Murphy, a Rottweiler mix, was recently rescued and taken to SPCA Tampa Bay. He was a “bait” dog.
What is a bait dog? Well, in dog-fighting rings, the dogs do not start off fighting each other; they start off fighting dogs whose jaw power is not strong enough to hurt them. Murphy was one of those dogs.
The fighting dogs would attack, bite and try to kill Murphy. The people who owned him could have cared less. All they cared about was making their dogs meaner so they would win fights. The sad thing is, those dogs were made to fight and be mean.
Murphy was picked up and taken to the SPCA, but his fight for life wasn't over. The shelters do not have much room, so they do an aggression test on the dogs when they arrive. The process is understandable, but it involves throwing these dogs into a small place with people they don’t know. For many dogs, that can be scary, and in some cases even gentle dogs will growl and act aggressive.
Murphy was one of these dogs, and he was scheduled to be euthanized immediately. This poor boy went from being attacked on a daily basis by other dogs, having to defend himself just to live, to thinking he had to keep defending himself to live and being scheduled to be put to sleep.
One thing no one counted on was a volunteer named Jim.
Jim was at the SPCA doing bird rescue work when Murphy was brought in. He decided he was going to adopt Murphy, ignoring all the suggestions not to.
“I really didn’t know much about dogs, but after meeting him, I wasn’t going home without him," Jim said. "I just couldn’t live with myself. Now he has been my best friend and sidekick ever since.”
Because of Murphy, Jim, who sells homeowners insurance, got a special license so he could sell a type of insurance that covers all dog breeds. He did it because he knows it is not the breed that makes a dog aggressive.
Murphy now has a Chihuahua buddy named Tiki. Jim says they spend a lot of days playing together and have become best friends. To think, this dog was at death's door many times, and he now has a wonderful life and has proven that some dogs deemed aggressive are, in fact, just scared.
Murphy has overcome a lot of obstacles to live. I am glad that Jim was an angel who allowed him to do it.