Now more than ever, you are needed to donate your old blankets, towels, and sheets to your local animal shelter. With financial cut-backs, repairs on shelters are often put off, so if it's drafty, the animals suffer. I know my shelter uses rags to stuff under doors. No kidding! Empty out those closets... this is your chance to get rid of stuff and do something useful!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Two Good Adopt-A-Pit Bull Stories, in Honor of Pit Bull Awareness Day


As you may have noticed I write a lot about pit bulls.  If you asked me six months ago whether this would be true, I would have told you it was more likely for me to jump out of a plane.  I never wished them harm; I just didn't know a lot about them except the sensationalistic news stories that you see. 

So how did I get here?

I have learned that pit bulls are a completely maligned breed. Like people, they come in all shapes and sizes.  If you saw the many pit bulls we have at Yonkers Animal Shelter, you would think they are just like people in this regard.  To suggest that all pit bulls are fighting dogs is like saying all people are body builders!  It's a ridiculous notion. Most of them are just homeless; their owner has fallen on hard times, someone neglected them, or they ran away and no one found them.  And now, some buildings in New York City are even banning breeds over 25 lbs.  Big mistake. It's an easy way out and it will only cause more trouble.

I would add to the ASPCA's statement that banning large breed dogs is only going to encourage the terrible problem of puppy mills breeding little dogs.  That is a post for another day, but trust me when I say it's a terrible thing. Don't ever buy puppy-store dogs; 100% of them come from puppy mills.  100%: no exaggeration.

Back to pit bulls: I asked around at some of the pet-friendly discussion boards for positive stories on pit bulls and here are the two stories that I received.

From Kristin in Nevada:
I have attached photos of Johnny Walker Red (he's the white and brown/red one). Johnny was born to backyard breeders. When they were unable to sell him, they dumped him and his sisters. We added Johnny to our fur-loving family and he is by far the funniest dog I know.

Johnny licks out our dishes and coats his face in spaghetti sauce, loves water and opens the shower curtain on you, and his favorite is waking up the kids. When we let him out of our room in the morning to go outside, he runs directly to our children's bedrooms and licks their faces to get them up to play. When he's excited, he flips his head around like Fraggle Rock. He's learning to sit up, but often falls over backward. I'm am laughing out loud imaging his fearful face as he reaches out his arm for you to pull him back. He is an awesome cuddler and the fastest cat food eater on earth. In a split second, the dish can be cleared without a kernel left.

Johnny is still a puppy so he chews on things as puppies do. This morning he ate a blue marker. I only knew because his face and paws were blue! Our command to send Johnny to his crate is "Lock Down." Just a threat is enough to get him to obey. I caught him yesterday with a roll of toliet paper in his mouth. All I said was "lock do...." and he spit it out on the floor.

Johnny chased our cat for the first two weeks, but was easily trained out of it. Now he just follows the cat around, VERY slowly and VERY closely. He gives him big slobbery kisses when he catches him and our snooty cat HATES it! It's just what he deserves!

Johnny was 9 months old when we got him, but it didn't take long for him to fit in. Pits are the most loyal, intelligent, and sensitive dogs I've ever known.

Everyone deserves a second chance. Rescued pets are the best pets. Somehow they know! ( I think you'll like the poem too.) Pits definitely need some extra help. There are so many of them and they get a bad rap. In Las Vegas alone, they put down 15 a day! Most are under two years old, too.
Good Luck. Let me know if I can help you in any other way!

Here are family photos:

And this is from Lawrence, a shelter volunteer in Indiana:

The best way I have found to get Bully's adopted is to get them trained as well as I can and to get them out in the public I take them for walks around town, every person that comes in to the shelter I ask if they have thought about adopting a Bully. I am always outside with 1 or more of them training and people stop and ask about them and I do my best to "Sell the breed to them". I also put them on The shelter is on
Here are a few more pic's for you to use in your blog. You may also publish my email addy if you think it will help. The pic. is my whole clan, the black and the brindle on the bench (Bailey and Nala) are my two that I adopted. The liver and white APBT is my 2 year old (August) and the Pointer-Jack Russel mix (Tred) is a stray we picked up along the road 4 years ago.

Let me know how thing are going; keep in touch.

And his family portrait (I'd like to know how he gets his to all look at the camera at one time!)

(a-ha - it's the treats!)
  Also from Lawrence about the shelter where he is a volunteer:
We have adopted out 12 other Bully's in 90 days. Rambo, Olivia, Game, Herman are just a few, they all have very good homes now. Here are a few pic's.

One more thing:

The next time you go to adopt a dog, please give a bully a chance. They are loyal, loving, funny, devoted, and they love to please. It's why some humans have trained them to fight. But not all of them have had that happen. Most haven't! Pit bulls today are like the ubiquitous shepherd-mixes in "pounds" when I was growing up. And anyway, when you adopt today, you spend time at the shelter with the dog, and you can see if he or she bonds with you. Give them a chance! They'll be shelter workers there who will tell you what's what with a particular animal. They have no interest in convincing you to adopt a dog that you are less than comfortable with. If it doesn't work out, they will only get the dog back and you will be upset. So you decide, but it has to begin by giving them a chance. Please don't let a sensationalist media and a scared government that seeks an easy way out stop you from doing the right thing by a homeless animal.