Volunteers rehab dogs rescued from Hillsborough County's largest fight operation

Seven dogs rescued, only six survived

TAMPA, Fla. - Tummy rubs, tail wags, and playtime -- this is what life's all about for Rockefeller, a chocolate pit bull mix.

"These animals love people. They cherish that bond that they get with the volunteers that are working with them," said Hillsborough County Animal Control Sergeant Pam Perry.

He is one of seven dogs rescued two months ago from a Seffner dog fighting operation, where life used to be about chains, wounds and misery.

The owner bragged to investigators, according to Sgt. Pam Perry, they were walking on a graveyard filled with 20 years of suffering.

"You just get sick inside, knowing how many animals had died on that property," said Perry.

Volunteers like Shawn Jacobsen give their free time making sure the survivors get a second shot at being a dog.

"That's why we work with them as far as the socialization and training. We try to make sure they get a chance," he said.

Just this week, the county won custody of Rockefeller, China, Gucci, Google, Rudolph and Mister.

It's not all good news though.  Mister bit a handler, a seventh dog died from an infection, and Rudolph is on the mend, suffering from a parasite common among fighting dogs.

"We're treating him, and hopefully can place him a home that can continue that treatment," explained Perry.

Some, like Google, will always have the visible scars from her past, but volunteers are working to give them the best possible future.

"We're going to do our best to get them placed in either homes or foster or sanctuaries.  That's our commitment to them.  We're going to need the community's help to do that," said Perry.

Perry says all six dogs will be evaluated before they are considered for adoption.

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