MONROE (WWJ/AP) – Three dogs involved in an alleged Monroe County dog-fighting ring could be freed in the coming days from an animal control facility.

The Blade of Toledo reports that Monroe County Circuit Court Judge Joseph Costello on Wednesday signed an order overturning First District Judge Jack Vitale’s decision to euthanize the pit bull mixes, named Dusty, Reilly and Monroe.

The order confirms a decision Costello made Oct. 20, ending an eight-month dispute between the county  and animal rescue organizations over the trio’s fate.

After issuing the order, Costello — who said the dogs don’t pose a threat to public safety — returned the case to Vitale to decide on finding new homes for the dogs.

The district court had previously determined the dogs were too dangerous to the community and should be euthanized. Earlier, a fourth dog – Razzle – was deemed not to be a threat to public safety and was released to the care of a pit bull rescue group called the Buster Foundation.

The  foundation wants custody of the dogs so they can adopt them out. The group believes the dogs can be rehabilitated and reintroduced to society as behaved family companions.

The dogs were seized during a March raid on a suspected dog-fighting operation. Twenty-seven people were arrested and face charges from the raid. Most of the suspects have entered pleas and have been sentenced, with prison time ranging from 18 months to 15 years for watching and participating in the dog fights.

TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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