Amelie Jones and Daria Jones
Walking into the green house, a pit bull named Frida and a small yorkie named Hannah rushed to greet all three of us at the door. Mary Horne, the dog rescuer, was quick to explain how she had rescued these dogs and how they now lived with her, and it surprised us how much these small dogs had been through. Mary told us about her past and the dogs’ past. She rescues dogs that are in training to become dog fighters, she saves their lives and makes New Orleans a better, safer place for pit bulls and other dogs.
Dog fighting is serious and very dangerous because the dogs that live this way are mistreated and abused. From a young age, they are trained to attack other dogs and to dislike humans, This is why so many people are scared of them. According to Mary, the pit bulls that are abused are “almost always starved”, dehydrated, and uncared for, and sometimes, they are left outside even in case of severe weather. They are tortured by their owners both physically and mentally, they are usually in pretty bad shape when they are rescued, some are covered in scabs and have to go to the vet to get treated.
Some people, like Mary, are brave enough to help these dogs and give them a better life. When Mary notices that a dog is uncared for or mistreated she always offers to help, either by donating money or offering to take the dog to a better home or even to a shelter. Mary told us that she helps these dogs because of “the serious abuse of pit bulls and the lack of compassion for them and the hatred and the misconception of them and the fact that they are different and more dangerous than other dogs,” which makes her believe that they need a little extra love and care. Mary makes sure that every dog she can save, she does save.
To save these dogs she must go through a lot of steps. It is complicated because “the legal process is very hard, the police has to get involved, the SPCA has to get involved, and they assess to see if the dog is being seriously neglected”, she says. In Louisiana it is tough to get a dog saved legally, because in most cases, the neglect is not severe enough to save them. For example, if they only get fed once a week it is not considered serious neglect. If Mary cannot save these damaged dogs with the help of the law she offers money to people and she make the owners aware that they are mistreating their dog, the usually end up giving the dog to Mary. To help save the dogs she has to take manners into her own hands, with the help of the law or not.
Mary has certain criteria before taking dogs in. The dogs cannot have fought in previous fights. Even if you get a dog out of a bad situation it does not always mean you can change their ways, so they must be young enough to train to think differently than to just attack people and other dogs. Although Mary Horne does not take the dogs that have been in a fight before, she does a good thing for the community by keeping “dogs from being aggressive and out on the streets and possibly harming people.” Mary “doesn’t think you should ever give up on a child, so you should never give up on a dog.”