AWF works to bring wounded dog to Monticello

The AWF Shelter has been working to bring Liam, a pit bull mix pup, to Monticello via Tennessee. Liam was used as a bait dog, and suffers from severe injuries, as well as a bullet wound. The plan is to fly Liam into the Monticello airport once the logistics are worked out. (Photo submitted)
Kim Brooks
Express Editor

     The Animal Welfare Friends Shelter in Monticello is anxiously awaiting the arrival of Liam, a 2- or 3-year-old pit bull mix pup from Tennessee, looking for a forever home.

     Several weeks ago, AWF President David Boehm was contacted by a family friend regarding a dog in Tennessee. Boehm said an image of the dog was seen online through a dog-fighting awareness group. It seems Liam was being used as a bait dog to train other dogs to attack.

     “They wanted to know if we (the AWF) had any room,” said Boehm. “And at the time (of the conversation) we did.”

     AWF consented to housing Liam, but some logistics needed to be worked out regarding how to get him from Tennessee to Monticello, Iowa.

     That’s when two non-profit organizations that assist in animal rescues stepped in: National Brittany Rescue and Pilots N Paws (PNP). The Brittany Rescue is dedicated to protecting the Brittany breed of dogs. Boehm explained when the initial image of Liam circulated social media, it appeared he perhaps resembled a Brittany spaniel. That is not the case; however, the Brittany Rescue is still involved in Liam’s well being. PNP is made up of volunteer pilots and plane owners who assist in transporting dogs across the country for adoption.

     In mid-June, plans were in place for PNP to fly Liam into the Monticello Regional Airport, but bad weather delayed the flight. Boehm said they are now just waiting for the volunteers to coordinate everything yet again to bring Liam to Monticello.

     The urgency in bringing Liam to the AWF is due to his health. He is being medically cared for in Tennessee. Aside from his attack wounds suffered in baiting other pit bulls, Boehm said he was also shot in the chest, requiring surgery.

     “They found him with a lump on his chest with the bullet still inside him,” said Boehm.

     During surgery, Liam’s collar was found imbedded into his neck as well.

     So how did the Brittany Rescue get in contact with the AWF? It’s all about networking.

     Once he arrives here, local veterinarians will look him over before it’s ok for Liam to remain at the AWF until he’s adopted.

     “Or maybe we can find him a foster home,” suggested Boehm.

     Boehm has been in contact with Liam’s foster home in Tennessee, and so far he’s progressing.

     “He’s doing good and his wounds are healing,” he said. “He’s ok being around other people, and he’s been introduced to other dogs.” Boehm said it’s important to note whether any breed can handle being in the company of other dogs; it’s not just a pit bull stigma.

     “It’s just like people,” said Boehm. “Sometimes you just want to be alone.”

     As for Liam, he said he’s not an aggressive dog.

     As a bait dog, apparently Liam was used as a decoy with other pit bulls to train those dogs to attack.

     “It could end in death,” said Boehm of the life of a bait dog. In Liam’s case, he came awfully close. “He was found in a ditch along a road in Tennessee.”

     Boehm said bait dogs are typically smaller dogs, or young pups like Liam.

     He was also on the list to be euthanized.

     “As of now, we’re told he’s a pretty sweet dog,” added Boehm.

     Until he arrives in Monticello, Boehm said they won’t know Liam’s immediate needs.

     “We’ll assess him when he gets here.”

     The AWF has and continues to house pit bulls from time to time. Of the recent pit bulls, one was a rescue dog and one is an owner-surrender “because the city (in which the reside) banned pit bulls,” said Boehm.

     As for whether it’s hard finding forever homes for pit bulls, Boehm said it can be. “People need to make sure their town or landlord allows them,” urged Boehm.

     The AWF is seeking donations to assist in Liam’s healthcare once he does fly into Monticello. Donations can be made out to the AWF in care of Liam. AWF is a 501(c)3 non-profit. Visit their website at for more information.

     You can also follow Liam’s progress on their Facebook page: “Animal Welfare Friends.”



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