While I know I’m called to be a professional, few things get under my skin like animal cruelty, and in particular, dog fighting. Dogs rescued from dog fighting are “lucky,” to escape with their lives, to be free of the physical pain and torture dog fighting brings to its victims, and to be given a chance to experience the goodness inherent in the passionate community of dog lovers across the nation and the world. But, just as children who escape ritualistic and systematic abuse for much of their lives, the emotional torment and consequences continue to plague these dogs well after they are rescued.
They experience nightmares, crying and running in their sleep.
They experience noise and other phobias.
They understandably have a fear and distrust of people.
They also have medical issues that continue well after their rescue.
All of this makes these precious dogs harder to adopt and harder to transition into pet-hood. This was the case of HOPE, an 8-year old pitiful mix who was believed to have been used as a bait dog in the heartbreaking and deplorable arena of dogfighting.
Hope was safe, but still needed something to calm her nerves, to alleviate her anxiety, and to help her successfully transition from throw-away dog to pampered pet.
While Hope had been rescued, her body and heart still needed to be convinced she was safe…and forever would be. Fortunately her parents turned to acupuncture and Tui Na massage — both part of a Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine approach to ideal health.
Hope is now happy, well-adjusted, calm and confident. Her nightmares have ceased and she’s finally living the life she deserves. But not all dogs are that fortunate. That’s why I’m asking other TCVM practitioners across the country to join me in providing acupuncture and Tui Na pro bono to traumatized dogs waiting for their forever homes.
We’re calling this Project HOPE — Bringing Hope to Dogs Impacted by Dog Fighting — and we’re at the VERY beginning of this process…. I’ll keep you updated as I enlist other TCVM practitioners and connect them with rescues in their area.
Together, we can bring hope to so many more dogs, just like Hope.