Five pit bull terriers were removed from the home of Smilin' Pit Bull Rescue Tuesday. The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty Serving Erie County raided the home on 610 Bowen Road in Elma and has ordered a representative of the rescue to appear in Elma Town Court on April 4 for alleged animal cruelty charges.
Smilin' Pit Bull Rescue is owned by Eric Gray, and according to their website the organization is a 501(c)3 nonprofit started over 15 years ago after Gray rescued his first American Staffordshire dog, Spud. The group claims to help needy pit bulls in the Northeast.
The dogs named Elvis, Thor, Daisy, Peggy, and Bree were removed from the rescue and have been taken to the Town of Tonawanda Animal Control.
According to the Buffalo News.com, there have been no comments from anyone representing the rescue nor have there been any updates on the organization's Facebook page. The page is exceedingly popular with over 25,000 "likes."
Another website and Facebook page recently developed and named The Truth About Smilin' Pit Bull Rescue have reported disturbing stories of dogs being denied medical care, dogs disappearing, reports of dogs confined to their crates for extended periods of time, as well as misappropriated funds. Many of the posts complaining about lack of funding for fosters and sick dogs allegedly have come from volunteers, adopters, and foster homes. A post on their Facebook page by Patti Smith states:
When animal abusers are finally caught, people ask,"why no one said anything or why people just sat back and watched." This is a group of people who refuse to sit back and watch dogs mistreated, neglected, and dying without proper vet care. Many of us have left Smilin' Pit Bull Rescue and have gone off to start our own rescues because we have seen how it shouldn't be done. Many of us are still actively trying to help this breed.
We are advocates for those who have no voice; the dogs being neglected and those who have died. You can read the our stories at http://www.spbrtruth.com/
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