First Idaho pit bull from dogfighting ring adopted

Many of the 63 seized animals learning 'how to be a dog'

Published: Monday, May 6 2013 6:25 p.m. MDT

"They'll learn about life and how to be a dog, how to play with toys, what a dishwasher is, what a vacuum is, all those things."

The third group of pit bulls were those that either for health or temperament issues involving other dogs would not ever be suitable for adoption. The shelter was forced to euthanize about a dozen such dogs.

"Those were dogs we just knew weren't going to be placeable in a home situation where there were pets or even if there were pets they would encounter in the public. They weren't dogs we were concerned about with any human aggression issues. These dogs, from the moment they got off those vehicles in terrible shape were extremely affectionate, extremely friendly with people. But there were some we knew weren't going to be adoptable due to their issue with other animals."

For the past month, the humane society has been working on making the remaining pit bulls — all of which have been named after cities, states, countries and continents such as Madison and Asia — emotionally ready for adoption. Many have been shipped out-of-state to rescue operations that specialize in pit bulls. The pit bulls have been sent to places such as California, Texas, Colorado, Minnesota and Indiana.

On Sunday, the first pit bull rescued from Oneida County was adopted. But for safety reasons, the shelter asked that the full name of the couple who adopted the dog not be released publicly as well as where they live. Parpart admitted the humane society has received angry emails from some who believe all of the dogs pose a threat and should all be put down.

Kyle, who previously owned a pit bull until recently when it died of old age, had followed the story of the Oneida pit bulls since they were discovered.

"We kind of watched the story develop. We lost our pit bull a few months ago, so we are familiar with the breed. We've had experience with pit bulls all our lives," he said.

While initially Kyle conceded he had some concerns about the dogs knowing their backgrounds, that changed quickly after he saw pictures of the dogs at the humane society.

"We saw the photos of the people handling the dogs and there was not one dog in the whole thing that was aggressive to anybody or anything," he said.

In the first 24 hours since they adopted their new pet, Kyle said his pit bull has been enjoying playing fetch in the yard and sitting in the sun.

"We have not had one problem with this dog," he said.

Another reason the humane society doesn't want much information released about who adopts the dogs is so the pets won't be negatively labeled their entire lives, such as some dogs are still known as "Michael Vick dogs."

"We don't want these dogs to always be stigmatized that these are always ex-fighting dogs," Parpart said.

Anyone who wants to adopt one of the dogs, or any of the other animals at the shelter, needs to first fill out an application at www.Idahohumanesociety.org. Parpart said applicants will be given a thorough check before they are allowed to adopt.

"We ask them all about their lifestyle and their home and everything else. They have to provide a veterinarian reference where they've taken their pets to a veterinarian in the past. They have to provide a pet ownership reference, so we call those references, we talk to people who know them. They tell us about their experience handling animals and living with a pet," she said. "We want to try and make a good lifelong match."

On April 5, authorities found the bodies of Yavette Chivon Carter, 27, Trent Jon Christensen, 32, and Brent L. Christensen, 61, all shot to death inside their Holbrook, Idaho, home in an isolated area about 20 miles west of Malad, which is where the dogs were found. Carter and Trent Christensen's 2-year-old and 2-month-old daughters were found unharmed.

There have been no arrests made nor a possible motive given. The Oneida County Sheriff's Office on Monday said there were no new leads in the investigation and declined to answer any other questions. The sheriff told the Idaho State Journal that the case was moving forward, that the person who shot the victims likely had some prior affiliation with them, and that the secrecy surrounding the world of dog fighting was making it difficult for investigators.

Email: preavy@deseretnews.com

Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam

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