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A new life: Rescued dogs from fighting rings find second chance

Saturday - 2/2/2013, 12:41pm  ET

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Lizzy, one of two dogs rescued from a D.C.-area home who are ready for placement. (Courtesy of ChristieLyn Diller)

WASHINGTON - Emmy and Lizzy have a story that resembles something out of a crime drama.

Over a year ago, the dogs were scooped up when federal agents busted a multi-state crime operation that involved narcotics, firearms and dog-fighting.

ChristieLyn Diller with the Washington Humane Society says the organization ended up taking possession of three dogs from a D.C. resident who was allegedly using his dogs for dog-fighting purposes.

When dogs are confiscated from suspected dog-fighting operations, they become very hot property.

"We actually had to board them in a secure facility and we did so for about a year and a half," Diller says.

It was finally decided that the dogs could be placed. An older male dog had neurological damage and had to be euthanized. But Emmy and her puppy Lizzy were now free to be adopted.

Emmy is a pit-terrier mix.

"She has a sweet personality," Diller says. "She does have some visible scars on her face and her ears, and officers do believe that she may have been used for breeding."

Lizzy has been described as 'movement reactive.'

"What that means is they can startle a little easily," Diller says. "For example, we actually don't have her with our other dogs in the kennel. We have her in a different environment, so that she's not alarmed by all the other dogs."

Diller says in both cases, it is probably best that each dog be the one and only pet in a home and neither dog is a candidate for a home with young children.

Though that may sound ominous, Diller says with the right attention and care, Lizzy and Emmy will make a full recovery from their troubled past.

"As we saw with the Michael Vick case five years ago, many of those dogs are thriving in homes now with families," Diller says.

WTOP's Kate Ryan contributed to this report. Follow @KateRyanWTOP and @WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2013 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)