OAKLAND (CBS) — Good news for some shelter dogs and prospective owners. A new state law is giving them a second chance at life.

Until now, dogs captured at illegal dog fights, most are pit bulls, were labeled as vicious and as such, not adopted and eventually put down.

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The new law allows each dog to be evaluated before any action is taken, avoiding an automatic death sentence.

Contra Costa County Animal Services director Beth Ward said, “There are some that are real Macho fighters and there are some that were just coerced into fighting and there’s some that might not have even been fighters in the ring but were used as bait dogs, or they might have even been family dogs that were just hanging around at the time of the bust!”

On pit bull, Firefly, has been in the care of Contra Costa County Animal Services since February. Firefly is not a fighting dog and staff says she is a pit bull ambassador that demonstrates not all pit bulls are dangerous.

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Contra Costa County is pit bull central. Animal services is at capacity and is adopting out as many pits as they can. Before leaving, all dogs get micro-chipped, rabies vaccinated, spay/neutered and licensed, which can equal around $200 in fees.

Contra Costa County Animal Services employees said since they have so many pit bulls, all those fees will be waived for the month of August, in an effort to encourage adoptions.

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The new law also bans animal shelters from using carbon dioxide to euthanize animals.