The difference between Jack VI today and Jack VI when he got here is pretty stark! (Jack must be the most common name for a dog in America; we already had five dogs named Jack when this little guy arrived, hence the name Jack VI)
Jack VI came to us from a shelter in Georgia. He had been confiscated by the animal shelter because he had been used as "bait" to train fighting dogs.
I will let that horrific image sink in for just a moment.
Jack was part of a group of five "bait dogs" who came to Smilng Dog Farms to live out their lives in safety and peace. These dogs are not adoptable, because of what has happened to them.
They are, not surprisingly, extremely dog-aggressive. Why wouldn't they be? Their only chance for survival was to fight for their lives. The sight of another dog sets them off, because of their horrible memories.
Imagine: your life is limited to a small, confined crate... no chance to play or visit with caring people or happy dogs... when you hear someone coming to get you, instead of feeling joyful for an opportunity to run and play and have fun, you feel only dread and fear because you know what is coming next -- you will be in a fight for your life... and when it is finally, mercifully over, you are taken back to your crate and shoved back in, to nurse your wounds all alone, with no one to comfort you or hold you ... all alone until the next time you are required to "teach" another dog how to fight!
It is almost impossible to imagine that anyone could do this to a dog.
What is even more surprising is how dogs like Jack -- given their background -- can learn to trust people again. I am sure that I would never trust a human again, had I endured what Jack went through.
Jack still has issues with other dogs. But he plays with his toys, is loving to people, and is so very grateful for everything we do for him! And even though he is destined to be an "only" dog, he has a ball chasing the birds as he runs along the fence in his play yard. There is a peace about Jack that would have been hard to forsee when he first arrived -- nervous, worried and underfed.
Jack is truly an amazing dog!
Jay Hellerich, executive director
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