It’s hard to think back on the condition that these dogs were found in when rescued from the second-largest dog fighting ring in U.S. history.

Yet, this anniversary — which marks three years since the rescue — is also a time to remember the freedom, and the second chance, that these dogs were given.

It wasn’t always this way. Previously, many dog fighting survivors were euthanized because they weren’t deemed fit for adoption. However, thanks to strong advocacy on the part of many rescue groups, these rescue dogs began to be evaluated and treated as individuals, rather than dismissed wholesale.