When talking about dogs, some may remember the phrase “Dogs are a man’s best friend.”

Huey the Survivor

A recent picture of what Huey looks like now is on display at the Saving Huey Foundation at Fullerton College Monday. Photo credit: Tae Jang

Dogs are naturally compassionate animals – they stand by their owners with a stern loyalty and unbreakable bond.

These characteristics go a long way in showing the world the bond between man and dog. But some people take advantage of the traits that make dogs so lovable. They force them to participate in dog fighting, a cruel underground blood sport for the subculture notoriety and profit it brings.

Although dog fighting is a felony in all 50 states, it continues to occur in every part of the country and in every type of community, according to the Saving Huey Foundation.

“After hearing about dog fighting, it makes you wonder about what is happening all over the world. It makes you realize the cruelty of what the dogs have to face on a daily basis,” FC student Daniel Tracy said.

The Saving Huey Foundation’s goal is to bring awareness and expose the brutality of animal abuse. Their mission is to educate the public on the atrocities that animals endure at the hands of human beings.

“When it comes to dog fighting, it’s a huge issue and someone needs to stand up to raise awareness,” said Tracy Lystra, Saving Huey Foundation founder.

Through the years, Lystra’s mission has led her to travel all over California, rescuing abandoned and abused animals.

On December 25, 2015, someone found a dog named Huey in Riverside County and gave him food and shelter for the night.

The next day, Lystra’s family transported Huey from Moreno Valley to a vet in Corona, CA. Huey’s medical prognosis was grim, as he had severe injuries to his face and body. It appeared as if Huey had been used as a bait dog. He was extremely malnourished and weak.

If Huey were a bait dog, that means his sole purpose in life was to entice other dogs to fight.

In the process of transporting Huey from Moreno Valley to Corona, Lystra fell in love with him. She could see the sadness in his hollow eyes. They decided at the vet that Huey would come home with Lystra’s family while he healed from his physical and emotional wounds.

For the first 12 hours, Huey vomited and experienced diarrhea, and they thought he would surely pass away during the night. The next 48 hours were critical, but Huey had a burning will to survive.

Huey has made an amazing recovery, but his biggest obstacles right now are anxiety and nightmares. But Lystra’s family is showing love and dedication to help Huey recover from his gruesome past.

Due to Huey’s survival, the foundation has dedicated its name to the courageous dog.

“The cruelty that animals are facing shows the people that put them there are heartless. Obviously, this type of event needs to come to an end,” FC student Marissa Vacchev said.

When it comes to dog fighting, there are two types of dogs.

There are dogs that are categorized as fighting dogs. These dogs are taken from birth, which eliminates the nurturing love from its mother, and the owners train them to chew on dead or live animals to develop the taste for blood.

Then there are those that are categorized as bait dogs. These dogs are portrayed as rag dolls when the fighting dogs train on them.

Both types of dog go through mental and physical strains when participating in dog fighting. From the perspective of a dog killing another dog, this is natural because it is what they learned from their owner.

After the fights happen, the fighting dogs are praised by their owners for a brief moment and are rewarded with food. To the dogs, this type of love is the only thing they look forward to.

On the other hand, the dogs that lose are deemed useless and are either left to die or killed by their owners.

The people that raised awareness

Professor Andrus and Tracy Lystra after the Saving Huey Foundation meeting at Fullerton College Monday. Photo credit: Tae Jang

Sociology professor Angie Andrus said, “I wanted to bring Saving Huey Foundation to Fullerton College because I’m very much an animal lover. Someone has to be the voice for the animals, and I hope we raised awareness here.”

For more information on dog fighting and how it can be prevented, visit http://www.savinghuey.com

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