**09/29 UPDATE** CLICK HERE.
Hundreds of thousands of people around the world have viewed, shared, contributed to, and sent a great deal of love over this past year to Bentham, the former bait dog. His story was shared around the globe in dozens of countries, and it resulted in him getting adopted.
Unfortunately, while the rescue conducted thorough screening, did homechecks, and required regular updates from the adopter, the owner did not follow through on the requirements of the rescue (not sharing space with other dogs, two longs walks per day minimum, etc) which resulted in Bentham biting another dog. The bite was brief and was not serious enough to require veterinary attention or first aid care of any kind. However, because of he incident, Bentham was no longer allowed to live at the apartment complex. To read more from the original story, including an extensive photo gallery, click here.
His story has been the point of much contention and debate (see the comments section of the original article), but the larger focus from the rescue is to get him adopted into a forever home. Follow his journey and updates in his Facebook album here.
I got to see my boy Bentham today. I went to the sanctuary to give him his heartworm and flea prevention for the month. He is getting to be quite a chunky butt! You can tell he misses our long walks (and so does his big belly!), and he is just as sweet as ever. I think being at the sanctuary and being exposed to so many other dogs has been good for him. I truly think he should officially shed his old label of "former bait dog" to now just "Bentham, the pittie in need of a home". He needs an active owner/owners who are willing to give him his beloved walks/jogs, but that have no other dogs. We are not saying he can never be around other dogs after working with a trainer, but for now, we would love a home for him with just his own people. His first home allowed him to sleep in the bed, and oh boy, was he a bed hog!! He LOVES people---LOVES them. There is just so much good in this boy's heart. He is young, A+ healthy, and ready to be someone's companion. Could that be you?
Since the attention the last Examiner article gave him, he has been receiving very kind donations of toys, treats, dog food, flea prevention, and rawhides. Ultimately, he needs a home. The rescue is open to out of state adoptions, as a very kind supporter has offered to cover the transport costs.
As with the last home, his potential adopters will be highly screened, and hopefully, this time, his new owners will continue to enforce those firm boundaries that the rescue put in place for the home.
If you would like to help sponsor his dog food or other needs, please contact email@example.com. But the best way to help is to spread his story online to get him a new home! The good news is the Texas heat is subsiding. The bad news is, he still does not have a couch to call his own.
Bentham's original news coverage can be seen here.
And here (audio included at the bottom of the article).
To see his newest adoption promo video, see here.
ORIGINAL ARTICLE CONTENT:
Bentham was found like so many other dogs who are used, abused, and exploited by humans for the sole purposes of dogfighting. He was underweight, bleeding, in pain from numerous injuries, and begging for human contact. Police officers found him wandering alone in the town of Navasota, Texas in late 2012, and promptly took him to the struggling, bare bones shelter. Fortunately, it is run by an animal control officer that works endless hours, loves each rural stray like her own, and refuses to give up on any animal—especially the ones that others have thrown away as if they don’t matter, like Bentham.
Like most pit bull type dogs, Bentham wanted nothing more than to be loved by people, even though people did these egregious acts to him. The animal control officer and her dedicated volunteer networked with Long Way Home Animal Sanctuary & Pit Bull Rescue, and the world took notice. Long Way Home did a television, radio, and newspaper blitz and started an international online campaign to raise funds.
Through the generosity of people from South Africa, Belize, Canada, Argentina, and a dozen other countries, they were able to raise the funds to get all of his injuries treated. With the extra funds, Bentham was neutered, heartworm tested, temperament/personality tested, boarded, leash trained, and became a great dog in the making. After international attention and literally tens of thousands of Facebook views, Bentham was adopted by a lovely woman in Houston who fell in love with him—just a mere two hours away!
Sadly, several months later, Bentham’s happy ending has ended. He was enjoying a lovely Texas afternoon outside with his owner and bit a nearby dog; now, the apartment complex refuses to allow Bentham to stay (likely because of his breed), regardless of how much his adoptive mom pleads.
Unfortunately, the rescue is full, so he’s being boarded in an outside kennel and desperately needs a loving foster or forever home without other dogs. If you have room in your heart for this silly, young guy who has had many ups and downs in his short life, contact www.mylongwayhome.org. To follow Bentham’s story, check out his Facebook album, photos, and videos.
Have a story idea? Does your organization have a case that needs more attention or publicity? Or, just see a type? Contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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The author, April Plemons, is an animal rescuer and welfare advocate. She is part of Long Way Home Animal Sanctuary & Pit Bull Rescue. Check out their Facebook page below!