HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL SCORES

Pit Bull from Dog-Fighting Ring Flown to New Home

CLEVELAND, Ohio — A heartbreaking existence for the more than two-dozen dogs rescued from a Cleveland dog-fighting ring has ended with happy tails.

The last of the 27 pit bulls rescued from an east side home back in December 2011 has found a new home in the Lone Star State.

Six pilots donated their time, money, fuel and planes to fly “Mustang Sally” to the Love-A-Bull rescue organization in Austin, Texas. She was accompanied by another second-chance pooch, “Coltrane,” from the Cleveland City Kennel. The rescue group will care for the dogs until they’re adopted into a loving, permanent home. (See above this story for pictures of their journey!)

Julie Konopinski with the CCK and pilot Eric Mele, of OneTankFlights, have been organizing the 1,400-mile trip since February. They made it happen by recruiting pilots from transportation companies Animal Rescue Flights and Pilots N Paws, whose co-founder hails from Copley.

Konopinski said all (except one who sadly passed away) of the 27 rescued pits are in foster care homes awaiting adoption. The stable environment for the pups is a step in the right direction, but they still have a long way to go.

Nearly all of the dogs tested positive for a rare, parasitic blood disease called Babesia gibsoni. It’s mostly found in dogs involved in fighting, transmitted from blood-to-blood contact, Konopinski said.

Treatment is expensive (about $700-$1,000), but the disease’s cure rate is 80%. That’s why the police officers, who pulled the dogs from the home, came up with an idea that would help the dogs’ rescue groups pay for their medical care.

“Badges for Bullies” will be held on April 14 from 6-11 p.m. at the Zone Car Lodge at 1303 West 58th Street. The fundraiser will feature celebrity bartenders, live entertainment and raffle baskets. But the best part may be an appearance from some of the rescued pooches!

All proceeds from Badges for Bullies will go directly to the care of the dogs. For more information on the event, including how to purchase tickets, click HERE.

*See pictures of “Hope for the 27″