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Last updated 4:38PM ET
March 8, 2021
More To Pit Bulls Than Fighting, say Lineville Rescuers
(APR - Alabama Public Radio ) - Henrietta's pink tongue hangs out of her open mouth in anticipation of her reward. She sits patiently, brown eyes gleaming, then catches her prize from the air and chews the treat with gusto.

Renee Jones took in Henrietta, a pit bull dog, last year like she has done so many other times.

Not long ago Jones became one of the only volunteers in the area for Turtle Moon Pit Bull Rescue, a foster/adoption organization for pit bull dogs.

"I take in pit bull dogs and try to find homes for them," Jones said.

Turtle Moon is a volunteer-run organization, located in Lineville, whose main goals are to rescue pit bull dogs, educate the owners and help the public gain acceptance of the breed through education.

"Pits have an undeserved reputation," Jones said. "They have such good temperaments."

The breed loves people, she said, and would even make a horrible guard dog because of their happy nature.

"They also have good work ethic," she said.

Though pit bulls may be good dogs, the breed has also been in the news locally and nationally because of their use in dog fighting. Pro football star Michael Vick is facing federal charges related to dog fighting and a Cottonwood man is scheduled to go on trial this month on similar charges.

Jones's special connection with pit bull dogs makes the recent charges against Vick especially hard to deal with. She went as far as writing a letter to Vick's sponsors and coaches.

Jones is a lover of dogs and has studied them extensively. Many animal organizations have sought her opinion on the adoptability of various dogs and commissioned her help in training them.

Jones was called as a witness in the 2005 case where Jonnie Lewis was charged with fighting dogs in the Cottonwood area. Seventeen pit bull dogs were confiscated during the investigation and Circuit Judge Edward Jackson asked her opinion on whether the dogs could be reformed or not.

She believed they could, but Jackson deemed it necessary to euthanize all of them anyway. She was right there for each of their deaths.

"They were happy wagging their tails," Jones recalls. "Of course, they didn't know what was about to happen."

Jones said the only good thing that could possibly come out of that day would be a conviction of the person responsible for their situation.

Lewis was among 72 people charged with dog fighting in 1995, but his was the only case to be dismissed. The 2005 case against him is scheduled for trial later this month.
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