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N.L. man rescues puppy from alleged dogfighting ring

Jesse Noseworthy says he’s bringing his rescued dog back home to Newfoundland, where the linesman says the pup will “live like a king.”
Mount Pearl native Jesse Noseworthy says he’s bringing his rescued dog back home to Newfoundland, where the linesman says the pup will “live like a king.” - Submitted

Snatched from the jaws of danger in British Virgin Islands

When Mount Pearl native Jesse Noseworthy went to Tortola in the British Virgin Islands to repair power line damage after hurricanes Irma and Maria, he knew he would witness some heartbreaking situations.

Still, nothing prepared him for what he saw on Jan. 16.

“My heart sank when I saw them all. It was like something you see on TV. You don’t even know what it’s like until you see it in person.”

Jesse Noseworthy
on the condition of dogs allegedly held
for a fighting ring

“We were salvaging parts and material from the existing power lines that were all damaged in the hurricanes, and we stumbled across these dogs being neglected,” he said. “None were fed and none had water.”

Noseworthy says there were about 20 dogs chained onto concrete slabs in the middle of the woods.

He asked the locals, who told him the dogs were used as “starter dogs” for a dog-fighting ring. Noseworthy was told the animals are used to get the “main fighting dogs hyped before the main fights.” The so-called “starter dogs” are kept separated from the “main” dogs.

“My heart sank when I saw them all. It was like something you see on TV. You don’t even know what it’s like until you see it in person.”

So, Noseworthy and his co-workers started sneaking in to feed and water the dogs during their work breaks. He says that throughout all of this time, he has never seen anyone else around.

Through conversations with residents, Noseworthy found out that one of the dogs, a puppy, was scheduled to fight on the weekend of Feb. 10 in Josiah’s Bay.

Mount Pearl native Jesse Noseworthy poses with Joey, a pup he rescued from an alleged dogfighting ring on Tortola in the British Virgin Islands. — Submitted
Mount Pearl native Jesse Noseworthy poses with Joey, a pup he rescued from an alleged dogfighting ring on Tortola in the
British Virgin Islands. — Submitted

“I couldn’t let this happen,” said Noseworthy. So, he went in with bolt cutters on Feb. 9.

“He could barely hold his head up, (the chain) was that heavy.”

Noseworthy conducted the rescue mission in broad daylight. He says he went into the woods as soon as he found out the puppy was scheduled to fight, even though he describes the situation as “nerve wracking”.

“But once I seen him light up when I put him over the wall, it was all worth it.”

Noseworthy named the puppy Joey, after Josiah’s Bay, where he was scheduled to fight. Noseworthy says he has no idea what breed of dog it is, but locally the dogs are referred to as “coconut retrievers” because if you throw a coconut, they’ll bring it back to you.

Joey has been by Noseworthy’s side every day since he was rescued.

“The bond that I have grown with my new ‘partner in crime’ is amazing in such a short time. It’s like he knows I saved him somehow, and in a way, he will be helping me just as much.”

Noseworthy brought Joey to a veterinarian on the island, who gave him medications, vaccinations, and a microchip. He also has all the necessary travel documents to bring Joey back to Newfoundland, “where he will live like a king.”

The pair will return home at the beginning of March.
Meanwhile, in chatting with local residents, Noseworthy says he found out that people are scared to do anything about dog fighting because they’re afraid of the repercussions from people who are organizing the fights.

“If I had the means, I would take all (of the dogs) and bring them to Canada, and try to find homes for them.”

juanita.mercer@thetelegram.com

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