Gov. Rick Scott made a change to Florida laws that will make pit bull lovers happy.
Scott signed Senate Bill 772 into law. The law shows support for treating pit bulls as individuals and giving them a chance to survive after terrible abuse.
Stephanie Swisher loves her dog Alaka. Even though Alaka is a pit bull her family said she is the opposite of the stereotype. Swisher said her pit bull was badly abused by her previous owner.
"She was not allowed to be adopted out by animal control because she had been involved in a known dog-fighting ring," said Swisher. "She would not fight, so she was used as a bait dog."
Alaka has several scars, but the pictures Swisher showed Channel 4 of Alaka right after she was rescued looked like a different dog, Alaka was severely malnourished.
"We recognized her, found her, and my husband and I said, 'We can't, as sweet as this dog is, we can't watch her go out and not know what happens to her again. We have to take her home."
Under the new law, dogs like Alaka will be given a chance instead of being immediately written off as dangerous. Before Senate Bill 772, dogs like Alaka would immediately be euthanized because of their involvement in dog fighting. The new law says that dogs captured as victims of dog-fighting operations should be evaluated individually and then adopted into good homes instead of automatic euthanization. Swisher's family thinks the new bill is "amazing."
"There are dogs that are not able to be adopted out, but not every dog in this situation is a dangerous dog. Alaka came from a situation of horrible neglect and abuse, and she's amazing," said Swisher.