1. HSUS policy should be clearly stated, not as a recommendation to individually evaluate bust dogs, but as an absolute requirement. In the course of any HSUS involvement with law enforcement on a dogfighting case, HSUS must not only advocate for evaluations by a qualified individual(s) but, if met with resistance, should fight for this provision using all available resources, including bringing in outside subject experts and going to court. All resources and efforts which the HSUS had used in past to get bust dogs killed must now be directed toward getting them individually evaluated and, if appropriate, into rescue.
2. HSUS must bring in outside evaluators for each case, preferably including:
- someone with experience successfully rescuing and rehoming bust dog survivors
- someone from a well established no kill shelter
HSUS staff must not participate in the evaluation process except as observers, if the evaluators agree, for their own education.
3. Any puppies under 8 weeks of age at the time of seizure or any pups born after seizure must be exempt from the evaluation process as a condition to determining their adoptability. HSUS must advocate for the guaranteed right to be placed into rescue for any such pups.
4. HSUS needs to publicize their new policy on saving bust dogs far and wide so there is no misunderstanding. HSUS should reach out to law enforcement and animal control agencies to educate them on the new policy and underscore that every dog deserves a fair evaluation.