Bronx Dog Fighting Victim Recovers, Finds New Home

Thursday, January 31, 2013 - 1:00pm
Bronx Dog Fighting Victim

On the heels of last week’s guilty plea by Raul Sanchez for his involvement in a Bronx-based dog fighting operation, we are thrilled to report that many of the dogs are thriving in their new lives as beloved pets.

In November, we told you a very happy story about Ninja, one of the dogs we rescued and rehabilitated, who found a wonderful forever home. Now we have another heartwarming success story to share: Mona Lisa, who was one of 50 dogs we rescued in June from that dark, dingy Bronx basement, recently went home to a loving family.

Mona now lives with two loving pet parents in a spacious house overlooking 50 mountainside acres, where she takes frequent hikes with her new dog sister, Zelda. Her other favorite activities include snuggling with Zelda by the fireplace and lounging on the couch with her new pet parents.

Mona Lisa’s journey to adoption wasn’t easy. After her rescue, she was transferred to one of our partner shelters, The Animal Support Project, Inc. (TASP) in Cropseyville, New York.

“When Mona arrived at the shelter, she cried and whined like a hyena and was extremely anxious, usually sitting pitifully at the kennel door,” says Melinda Plasse of TASP. But after plenty of attention, care and time to recover, Mona made great progress. “She is outgoing,” Melinda reports, “loves belly rubs, and is kind as can be to children and other animals.”

When we picture Mona Lisa romping around in the woods with her new family, we can’t help but smile. We’re working to make sure that animals nationwide won’t continue to suffer due to the cruel practice of animal fighting. Last week, legislators reintroduced the Animal Fighting Spectator Prohibition Act, which would make attending an organized animal fight a federal offense and would impose additional penalties for bringing a minor to an animal fight.

Please join us in our efforts by asking your own House representative to support this important humane legislation.

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Mona Lisa is one of the few lucky ones, and I am grateful for the work that made her happy tail possible. But please help me understand why the ASPCA, a supremely well-oiled fundraising machine with nearly $3M in excess funds (2011 year-end) and net assets of nearly $183M, isn't doing more to help the wonderful, adoptable dogs (overwhelmingly pits and pit mixes) being destroyed EVERY day at NYCACC just 7 minutes away on E110th:
Many of these dogs, like Mona Lisa, are also victims of abuse and neglect, often used as bait or breeders for the same dog-fighting rings the ASPCA is fighting to end. There's a HUGE DISCONNECT happening in animal welfare in NYC.

Janet Cooper

Horrible and horrendous! Humans are truly the least humane creatures on Planet Earth. Here in upstate NY we had a case where 3 puppies were left on the railroad track. One had a hind foot chopped off, the others had holes in their paws as though they had been nailed to the tracks. One puppy died. The other two have been rehabilitated. Just last week 4 adult dogs were found locked in a rental truck with no food or water or bedding. It turns out to be the same culprit. Obviously he will not receive jail time and will only have to pay a minor fine. He will be able to get more dogs. The only reason anyone can find is that he must be involved in DOG FIGHTING. He is on welfare and gets his living quarters from Public Assistance. He has a "girlfriend" and children (more than 1). Anyone who cares about animals should e-mail Governor Cuomo and urge him to press for stricter animal cruelty legislation. We have Buster's Law, but the penalties are laughable.
Clearly the most appropriate penalty would be: public castration without anesthesia; branding on the forehead with the nature of the crime (Torturing puppies); 4 years in jail for each animal tortured or abused and 16 years for each animal killed; any money earned in future should go 90% to helping animals-he should be able to live on 10% and get NO PUBLIC ASSISTANCE.

Aura Heine

I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart on Mona Lisa's behalf and on behalf of all the four legged angels that the wonderful people that work and volunteer for the ASPCA have rescued.
Thank you

Ken gile

Shows you how low the human race has gone in its 7 million years on this planet. Homo sapien is not the brightest bulb on this planet and truly shows it most of the time. Congress included!


"Thank you, Thank you for rescueing these precious dogs. I am Foster Parent To 4 Senior Bichons.(sm.paws rescue). They were abused & treated poorly most of their lives. They are hospice dogs because of medical conditions. In october i had 3 surgery procedures. Remarkabily the bichons took care of me. i am so LUCKY


I pray for those precious animals who can't help themselves and are thankful you are there looking out for them. I don't know what is wrong with people. They would not want that type of fate impossed on them. Keep up the good work.

Ceil Wallace

She doesn't look like a pit bull or a fighting dog but its obvious she's had pups. All I can imagine is that they were using bait puppies. Thank you and God Bless You for being there to save them.


In January my family and I adopted our baby Luggy,
he was one of the 50 pitbulls rescued from the bronx basement. He is a beautiful, happy dog who gives back as much love as we give him When i look at his eyes, they tell a sad story. I cant imagine the hell he was living in. It sickens me to see that they have only given this b***** 1 to 3 years. Perhaps they should take that judge and everyone else on this case to spend a night in that god forsaking basement. Maybe they would have seen things more clearly. 20 years would not be enough for this crime. Shame on them!


Thank you...thank you so much to all of you who are working hard to rescue animals like Mona Lisa.

Ann Rigano

I was so moved reading Mona Lisa's story....she really is a special dog and deserves a wonderful life. Thank goodness your organization found this dog fighting ring and saved these animals. Keep up the good work and the fight against this horrible sport!