CAMDEN, NJ—Sweet Pea, a white pitbull who was used as a bait dog and left to die in a Camden City garbage site three years ago, has become the poster-pup of dogfighting awareness in the state.

A joint resolution was passed by the state Senate and Assembly on June 30 giving her the official designation.

“Owing to her gentle nature, Sweet Pea courageously endured and became a champion of other abused animals, with leftover donations for her care being turned into a fund in her name at the Mount Laurel Animal Hospital,” the resolution states.

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In April of 2015, just months before legislation was passed to criminalize dog fighting, Sweet Pea was found by volunteers with New Jersey Aid For Animals [NJAFA] with her skin torn off, a ripped ear flap and other severe injuries. According to the resolution, she was used as a bait dog, or a live training dummy for fighting dogs to attack or maim, in a dog fighting arena.

“The significance of this toughened dogfighting law comes alive in Sweet Pea’s story,” Kathy McGuire, President, NJ Aid for Animals, said in a statement.

After her hospitalization and months of rehabilitation through daily swimming exercises, Sweet Pea was able to make a full recovery.

“This is one of the worst bait dog survivors I have seen in my career, but she will make it,” one of Sweet Pea’s treating veterinarians, Dr. Marci Rose said in a statement.

Since,”The Sweet Pea Fund” has helped abused animals at the Mount Laurel Animal Hospital, and on September 8 the NJAFA will hold the third annual “Evening Under the Stars,” a fundraising event for the Sweet Pea Fund at the Riverview Inn in Burlington, NJ. Visit NJAFA Facebook page for details.