ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - Veterinarians and Orange County Animal Services workers are busy evaluating 34 dogs rescued from a dog-fighting ring Tuesday night.
Investigators arrested 26 people in the raid on the home.
Channel 9's Anthony DiLorenzo found out many dogs rescued from a life of fighting do eventually find new homes and thrive.
Even though Orange County's animal shelter is bursting at the seams, worker there hope all of the rescued dogs can be saved.
For the 34 dogs that range in age from one week to several years, their days of brutality are over.
"The dogs several have scars, one is limping," said Dianne Summers, with Orange County Animal Services. "With true fighting animals they are friendly with people, but they do have high levels of animal aggression."
According to experts, it will take time and attention for that aggression to fade.
"There's a dog inside that really wants to be a dog and please a human, and there is hope for these defeated dogs in the future," said Laurie Sullivan with Orlando Bully Rescue.
In March of last year, deputies busted another dog-fighting ring in Orange County. One of the rescued dogs, Izzabella, had been used for breeding and bait. Now she is in a foster home, thanks to Orlando Bully Rescue.
"We started medical treatment and then training and then that in-depth emotional support," said Sullivan.
Sullivan said her nonprofit group has rescued
around 75 dogs in the past year.
She said before her rescue group or others can step in and save the dogs from Apopka, they face some physical and legal hurdles.
"It's too soon to tell, but we will evaluate what's to come down the line," said Summers.
Nine chickens, a rabbit and a rabid raccoon were also taken from the home in Apopka. It's not believed that any of the dogs were infected with rabies.