The Face of Dog Fighting Gets the Life He Deserves

Thursday, July 24, 2014 - 11:00am
Pit bull puppy attached to big chain

You may have seen this photo before. It was taken last August at the scene of a dog fighting raid, and it has been used in ASPCA advertisements all around the Internet and on TV. It can be hard to look at—a small, vulnerable puppy tied to a heavy chain, alone and cowering in fear. With just the quick snap of a camera, this single moment captured so much about the fatal sport of dog fighting, and this puppy became the face of abused animals everywhere.

That puppy’s name is Timmy, and he was one of 367 dogs rescued from a multi-state dog fighting ring that spanned Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia and Texas. After the raid, Timmy and the other dogs were taken to a temporary shelter where ASPCA responders gave them medical examinations, behavioral assessments, and the care and love they had previously been denied.

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But Timmy’s story doesn’t end there. This sweet puppy was placed in foster homes that helped train him to become a well-adjusted pet. His final foster parents, Brian and Nadine DeCicco, just couldn’t give the little pup up and adopted him this past May. “We didn’t have any concerns about bringing a dog who had been associated with fighting into our home,” says Brian. “We’ve both had dogs our whole lives and know that they can reflect the way they are treated. Both of our previous dogs were pit mixes and they are just so unbelievably affectionate.”

Happy pit bull laying on bed

Timmy now lives with Brian and Nadine in Maryland, where he is safe, happy and well-fed. “These dogs show amazing resiliency and forgiveness after being treated so poorly. They just want to be loved,” says Brian. Timmy spends his days snuggling with his family, snoozing in his “pita pocket” bed, playing tug-of-war with the neighbor’s Mastiff, and letting out his puppy energy—energy that at one time was restricted to a heavy collar and chain.

It’s hard to believe that Timmy is the same dog from that first photo. Fortunately, he will never have to worry about growing up to become a fighting dog, like so many generations of dogs tied to that very same chain before him.

Timmy’s new life is picture-perfect, but it would not have been possible without the support of animal-lovers like you. When you donate to the ASPCA, your gifts have a real, tangible effect—and Timmy is living proof of just how much we can accomplish when we work together.

Unfortunately, there are thousands of puppies just like Timmy still out there waiting for their rescue to come. Will you be the one to help save them? Make a donation today.

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See more photos of Timmy’s rescue and of his happy new life here.

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God love you both for loving and caring for that beautiful little boy


So happy Timmy was saved and that he has the best parents he could ever hope for. Best wishes to you all


What a lovely end to such a horrible story. Go Timmy!

Dirk Rogers

So beautiful.I'll never understand how anyone could look at a dog the way he looks chained,as such a pup,and not melt.

Steph Chapman

I was so upset when I saw this photograph, Timmys little face was hard to look at. The dreadful chain he was on must've been so heavy. It's so good to see that he's been rescued and rehomed to a wonderful couple and has grown to be such a beautiful dog. Without organisations such as yours, this baby would be dead now. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. You do a wonderful job. Sadly this goes on all over the world, I live in Spain and the amount of animal cruelty is just as acute. You guys are heroes. xxxx


Thank you ASPCA for helping this wonderful animal….he looks so happy. It is sad but I expect these rescues only scratch the surface of a cruel sport.


Look at that face! So adorable. So glad he is safe :o)


I want to thank all of you for the love, the hard work, the dedication and the more hope you give thse precious dogs that are so horribly mistreated and denied the love they so deserve. You guys at ASPCA give so much hope and gladness to the pets, but, not only to them but to animal lovers like me and all around the world that what you do by saving these guys from a certain death. God bless you and THANK YOU THANK YOU

Donna Zolkiwsky...

Thank You Thank You Thank You!!!!!! What a wonderful end to a horrific beginning for this beautiful baby. 6 months ago my boyfriend and I adopted a Pitt Mix that was used as a bait dog in a fighting ring. I am very pleased to say he is now one of the happiest dogs and just loves attention. He is such a sweet boy...We love our Bandit, and I cant say enough to people out there to go out and adopt from shelters and rescues...All these animals want is to be loved. Great Story!!

Pamela Cummins

Alot of angels do not show their wings, until they just have too, then you will see the good. May we all be angels and help the children and animals, for these 2 people go together forever and always.. God bless then all for helping the animals, for they all need us so very much.....