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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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I saw this pic recently and it haunted me. I'm so relieved to know Timmy was rescued and in so much better hands now. I know this kind of thing is still going on though . Thank you for your amazingly hard work rescuing these animals. May you all be blessed!


Thank you for all that you do!! For helping this beautiful animal.


Thank you for all that you do!! For helping this beautiful animal.


What a beautiful little dog.


The work that you do is beyond words. This little guy has a loving home and happy life thanks to you. Keep up the FANTASTIC work!


Thank God for ASPCA and for foster homes to take in these abused dogs . . . and they are abused mentally and physically. We have a Pit and a Rotty and both of them are so affectionate I can't even imagine someone teaching them to fight. It gives me a terrible stomach pain just thinking of them in a abusive home. They are kind to both humans and other dogs, and they are so smart. Keep up the wonderful work you do. I'm sure most of these dogs that you rescue are smarter than those that abuse them.
Thank you for everything you do. I donate when ever I can afford it.


Well said. I totally agree. It makes me sick to my stomach. My pit is so sweet and loving. I wish I could take in all these dogs.

Krissy T

I wish I could buy an island just for pit bulls.... LOL


I"'ll go with you.


I agree, I love these guys, mine is an angel, she even sleeps with me,
and she hides if I raise my voice in the house. She is nicer then my Chihuahuas.