Maybe one day, the dogs, like 917, can have real names instead of numbers.
"A lot of people have this misperception of fighting dogs being big brutish pit bulls that are killers," said Ehren Melius, the shelter's senior manager, who spends all day with the dogs. "In reality, some of these guys are traumatized from the experience they've been through from lack of socialization, the torture."
While these dogs may have been saved from a life a torture, the ASPCA estimates there are more than 40,000 dogfighters in the United States who are putting hundreds of thousands of animals through the brutal training to become fighting dogs.
"This may be the second largest dogfighting bust in U.S. history, but it's a drop in the bucket," said Bershadker. "This is going on all over the United States across socioeconomic lines, across racial lines, it is prevalent, it is pervasive, it is deep underground."