SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A KELOLAND non-profit that helps pit bulls find forever homes continues to grow.
Sioux Empire Pit Rescue started with just seven dogs years ago.
Today, at any given time, the organization could have 25 to 30 dogs in their care. But the reason the rescue was started might surprise you.
July marks 10 years since the Missouri 500 dog fighting ring bust. It’s believed to be the biggest dog fighting raid and rescue in American history, according to the Humane Society of Missouri.
The operation stretched across multiple states and involved hundreds of dogs. Once the dogs could be released, volunteers brought seven of them back to South Dakota.
That’s how Sioux Empire Pit Rescue got its start.
Guinness is just like any other dog.
“If you go sit on the couch he’s the first dog in your lap,” Guinness’ Owner Biz Word said.
But this wasn’t always his life.
There are scars on his face to prove it.
“They’re across the top of his nose. He’s got a good one above his eye,” Word said.
The pit bull is one of the seven dogs rescued from the dog fighting ring and brought to South Dakota.
“Dogs just living on chains waiting for the next torturous thing to happen to them,” Word said.
Biz Word is his owner.
She says Guinness is about 13-years-old now.
“He’s never going to have to know what it’s like to be bounced around or fearful of anything ever again,” Word said.
Sioux Empire Pit Rescue volunteer Melissa Jungemann says four other dogs from the original seven are still alive today.
And the Sioux Falls based organization has gone on to find homes for many more animals.
“It really is exciting to know that we have sustained and we have great supporters and that we’ve given so many dogs chances,” Sioux Empire Pit Rescue volunteer Melissa Jungemann said.
Thanks to that chance, Guinness is now living the good life.
“For the most part I would say he is the most forgiving and hopefully forgetful little guy you could ever meet,” Word said.
The Sioux Empire Pit Rescue has some events coming up including the Run for the Pack 5K and 10K on August 4th.
You can find details on that event and more by clicking here.