(Helena-West Helena, AR) Thirteen dogs from an animal shelter in Arkansas were let out of their cages by vandals who used some of them as "bait dogs" for fighting dogs.
Workers at the Humane Society of the Delta in Helena-West Helena, Ark., recovered the dogs, but five of them were injured -- two severely.
Shelter workers are worried a shortage of operating funds could lead to another incident.
Beth Florek, the firector of the Humane Society of the Delta, said a puppy named Jenny suffered deep bites and cuts from a vicious fighting dog.
"As you can see she has injuries to her eye with sutures. The whole side of her face including the inside of her mouth had to be repaired," said Florek.
The innocent puppy was used as a "bait dog" by vandals who damaged outdoor cages and let out 13 dogs at the animal shelter in Phillips County recently.
Florek said vandals damaged several cages while trying to get dogs out.
"They had actually cut the bottom off the door to drag the dog out from under the gate," she said.
Workers at the Humane Society of the Delta found evidence at least five of the dogs were used to "train" fighting dogs within a few feet of where their cages were.
Beth Florek pointed to a spot where one of the injured dogs was found.
"A huge part of the fight happened in this spot. With lots of blood splattered on the concrete and up on the door."
The shelter relies on donations and is currently maxed out on four-legged tenants, with more than 100 cats or dogs.
With no funding from the city or county and an annual operating budget of $100,000, there's been no way to adequately heat or cool the shelter's main offices.
The large area where dogs are caged outside has a roof, but no electricity for security lighting.
Chuck Hankins, a truck driver from Seneca, Mo., stopped by the shelter Wednesday and took a liking to a beagle named Reilly.
Hankins quickly signed the adoption papers and was glad to do something to help the shelter.
But he was outraged by the recent abuse of some of the dogs here by people who clearly don't love animals.
"And do that to innocent animals and things when nobody is around is just a terrible thing to do," said Hankins.
The director of the Humane Society of the Delta said they will prosecute the person or persons responsible for removing the dogs and causing their injuries.
Also, the A.S.P.C.A has offered a $2,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest.
Humane Society of the Delta
PO Box 3218, West Helena, AR 72390
The HSD also has a website: www.humanesocietyofthedelta.org