I would like to share my story with you in the hope that it will save another puppy from going through the same horrific things that I went through - it is also a story of hope, character and strength.... ...

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My Story

I don’t remember life as a really small puppy but have vivid memories of the more recent stuff - I am even starting to dream, I have nightmares about those days - but I hope in time, these will fade and disappear - here goes...

I don’t know if I had a name I just remember being crated up (that is - kept in a crate for long periods of time, I really don’t like crates at all now) and being let out once in a while. I could’ve coped with this but it was the other things...

I was used as a Bait Dog - now I can only guess this was because I have webbed feet and I’m quite a small Staffie, I was not good enough to sell and would certainly never have made it as a fighting dog... So I became the bait….. 
A Bait Dog is crated until it’s time to ‘train’ the fighting dogs. 
The fighting dogs are faced up to each other with the Bait Dog, at first, in the crate between them.

The fighting dogs are taunted and jeered to overexcitement to make them fight each other. In the meantime the Bait Dog is used so that the fighting dogs do not hurt each other!

I had all but 7 teeth removed, not because they were bad, but because I could defend myself against the 2 fighting dogs otherwise. They were not humanely removed, just ripped out.

Dogs have huge roots on their teeth that are buried right inside the jaw so removing them would take huge force and excruciating pain. My gums became infected.

Next the fighting dogs would be set on me - this was their further training, again so as not to cause injury to each other I was used as the Bait.

The wounds you see in the photos are not all fresh, some have been there a while - I don’t remember my age when I was first used. 
I had lots of puncture wounds to my belly and throat and these too were infected. Bits of my bottom lip had been bitten off and I was in a bit of a sorry state.

As luck would have it I was seen being ‘Baited’ and set upon by the 2 trainee fighting dogs, this saved my life. 
I was rescued and taken to an animal hospital where I was treated for my wounds, vaccinated, castrated and generally patched up.

What I didn’t know until later was that I was going to be put to sleep...The reason - ‘because I was now ugly and no-one would want me’ - Pretty hard to take after surviving attacks from fighting dogs, to be thrown away and killed because now I had injuries that would leave me disfigured...

I wasn’t put to sleep - I was saved by a small rescue centre that took care of the rest of my injuries. 
I was given a name, Apollo.

My wounds, although I had been given some treatment, were nowhere near healed. I came to the rescue centre with gums so infected that I could hardly eat, even though I was literally starving - they softened my food for me until my gums healed.

Next to make better was the now horribly infected puncture wounds on my throat and belly.

My feet being webbed and soft from not enough exercise, split across and in between my pads - the rescue had to bandage these for quite some time. Three healed ok but the fourth is still a little sore from time to time but I can still have a bandage on that one if I need to.

So, now for the psychological trauma - this is a bit more complicated and the rescue had a lot of learning to do, as did I! 
I was put in the quarantine unit as we all do when we first come to the rescue and that was the first lesson...I don’t like crates!

So...I had the room to myself, for a couple of days to settle in - I admit I cried and cried being left but it was for all good reasons and I learned that when I came out for my run around I would not be set upon by any dogs. 
Then Liri (an American Bulldog cross) came into my room to keep me company - she is just the best ‘mum’ in the world - I stopped crying almost immediately and learned that actually this was OK AND I wasn’t afraid of her at all. 
We would go out for our walks together and I thought that was great!

Before long, the rescue decided it was time to see how I would really react with other dogs so I was allowed out of the unit and into the house where the resident dogs are. I met Polly and Bubs and was soon part of the pack.
I then contracted a nasty chest infection, my immune system was so depressed due to the large quantities of antibiotics I had been on, and I was really quite ill. I stayed cuddled into my blanket for days…

My chest infection cleared and I started to learn how to play! Bubs taught me, she was very kind and gentle and would clean me in the evenings (I think she was trying to help heal any other nasties!). Poo defended me all the time against the Doberman, who didn’t actually do anything but he is just big!

The rescue learned that my defence of wanting to do something or not be restrained (say I was in one room and really wanted to be in another room), I would turn what teeth I had left, onto their arm. They understood and we worked through it - calm and quiet restraint was by far the best option and I didn’t try to bite or get distressed anymore.

It was getting close to the time to find my Forever Home, I had come so far along the road to recovery and the rescue wanted to make sure I could fit into a home before I was too dependant on them, I was getting anxious when they left me on my own, well, hardly surprising, my new life was so special…. 

I am one of the lucky ones, I now have a wonderful home, I am settled and loved so much, the past is still there and I will never forget. Many like me never have the chance of love and life….they die at the hands of the fighting people.



Cut us and we bleed, hit us and we bruise, we are living beings, respect us, love us and we will repay you tenfold. We too have a right to life


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