Heroic "Pit Bulls"
Heroic American pit bull terriers & pit bull-types
Stubby 1917-1926 was a stray found by Private John Robert Conroy on the campus of Yale University, in 1917, while Conroy was training for deployment to the European front of WWI. During the course of his stay at the camp with Pvt. Conroy, Stubby became familiar with all of the bugle calls, the drill marching routines, and even learned to give a dog's version of a salute. He would put his right paw on his right eyebrow when a salute was executed by others around him. The camp commander was so taken by Stubby's ability to salute the dog was granted permission to remain with Private Conroy. Stubby, along with Pvt. Conroy eventually traveled to the frontlines with the 102nd Infantry Division. While serving overseas, Stubby was wounded in action twice, he saved his entire platoon by warning them of a poison gas attack and he single handedly captured a German spy. The commander of the 102nd used this last act of bravery to put Stubby in for a promotion to the ranks of the Noncommissioned Officers by awarding him the rank of Sergeant. He became the first “Pit Bull” to be given rank in the United States Armed Forces.
Sgt. Stubby served in 17 battles during his stay in Europe. This Pit Bull of unknown descent became America’s first decorated war dog. Stubby lived in a time when American Pit Bull Terriers were loved and respected by everyone. They were the nation’s most popular dog, an icon, a symbol of American pride. There was no breed specific legislation, and there were no vicious “Pit Bull” attacks in the news. Dogs like Stubby were admired as heroes in households all across America. “Pit Bulls” were held in high regard as symbols of freedom and courage; they were a big part of every day life and everybody wanted one in their home. Stubby received a hero's welcome and was even honored at the White House. Stubby inspired the U.S. Military K-9 Corps. He also went on to become Georgetown University's mascot.
although "Stubby" is widely regarded as the Grandfather of the American War Dog he was not the first by any means. Dogs were commonplace during the Civil War as companions for the soldiers and during the Spanish-American war, "Jack Brutus" became the official mascot of Company K, First Connecticut Volunteer Infantry.
"Old Jack", as he was known, was considerably bigger than STUBBY and fortunately the Connecticut soldiers never got the chance to try to smuggle him anywhere since they basically spent the War encamped at various places here in the states providing coastal defense from Maine to Virginia. "Old Jack" died of spinal troubles and constipation in 1898.
Dogs were formally used during World War II, Korea and Vietnam in such roles as guards, and patrolling scouts but whether the dog is employed in a formal program or not you can be sure that wherever there are soldiers in need of comfort and companionship there will always be a faithful dog nearby.
The medals and accoutrements displayed on Stubby’s Left side
- 3 Service Stripes
- Yankee Division YD Patch
- French Medal Battle of Verdun
- 1st Annual American Legion Convention Medal Minneapolis, Minnesota Nov 1919
- New Haven WW1 Veterans Medal
- Republic of France Grande War Medal
- St Mihiel Campaign Medal
- Purple Heart
- Chateau Thierry Campaign Medal
- 6th Annual American Legion Convention
Lady Amanda a Bull Terrier from Fielding, was inducted into the Purina Animal Hall of Fame in 1987. Lady Amanda was staying with Gabriella Baird while her owner, John Bodi, was away. Early one morning Baird woke up to find an intruder standing beside her bed. Without hesitation, Lady Amanda pinned the intruder against the wall keeping Ms. Baird safe until police arrived to take him away.
Dixie Butler another heroic APBT. On November 11, 1999 Dixie risked her life to save her family from a deadly Cottonmouth snake. The snake approached Dixie’s owner Valerie Humphries and her children outside their Georgia home. Valerie was unable to prevent the snake from getting dangerously close to her children when suddenly Dixie jumped between the snake and the children using her 50lb body as a protective shield, as a result she suffering multiple bites to her face and eyes. After fully recovering from her heroic rescue of Frank Humphries, 9 and his 7-year-old twin siblings, Katie and Codi, she received the Hero Animal of the Year Award and was inducted into the Georgia Animal Hall of Fame in 1999.
Bud 1903 made history as the first dog to travel across the U.S. in an automobile. His goggles are at the Smithsonian museum. Bud was an APBT.
Pig 1914-1923 was a WWI Pit Bull from Austin Texas. Pig became the varsity mascot at the University of Austin Texas and attended home and away athletic events. Pig also went to classes with students and participated in morning “fall-outs” with military aeronautics cadets.
Marley, a 3 year old APBT dragged Autumn Ingram, a young girl from her house. The girl had gone into the house when she saw the fire and thanks to her brave family “Pit Bull” she survived. Autumn's siblings escaped the blaze with their mother who saw the dog grab Autumn's coat and forcibly drag the girl out of the house. The house was completely destroyed in the blaze, but luckily the entire family survived.
Lilly was living with her owner Jimmy Farrel and his mother in Orleans, Ontario. Jimmy was asleep in the upstairs bedroom when his mother suddenly suffered a heart attack in the downstairs laundry room. Lilly quickly ran to Jimmy’s bedroom and began barking and banging her head against the bedroom door until Jimmy woke up and let her in. Once inside, she persisted to alert Jimmy of the emergency but Jimmy thought she was just playing. After Lilly pulled the blankets from his bed and began yanking his arm, Jimmy realized there was something terribly wrong. Lilly lead Jimmy down to the laundry room where his mother lay on the floor and Jimmy called 911. Because of Lilly’s unforgettable actions Ms. Farrel was rushed to the hospital in time to recover. Lilly was a Bull Terrier.
Patsy Ann 1929-1942 was a popular Bull Terrier in the 1930s. She greeted every ship that docked in Juneau, Alaska. She was loved by everyone including tourists. Patsy Ann was named Official Greeter of Juneau in 1934; she was also known for taking more photographs than Rin Tin Tin. Today Patsy Ann’s spirit lives on with a bronze statue of her that was commissioned and placed on the Juneau wharf in 1992.
Sandy, a 2 year old Staffordshire Bull Terrier lived with her owner Keith Chandler, who was paralyzed from the chest down. Sandy became a hero the day she rescued him from a house fire. The fire broke out in the kitchen and quickly spread through the entire house. Mr. Chandler yelled to his children to leave but he could not crawl fast enough from the bedroom to safety since all he could use were his elbows. Suddenly, Sandy rushed in and grabbed onto Mr. Chandler’s shirt and began dragging him out toward the patio doors. "The whole room almost exploded just seconds after Sandy pulled me into the garden," said Chandler. The fire was so intense that it fully engulfed the house in less than 30 minutes. Sandy is another amazing example of just how far a “Pit Bull” will go to protect her family.
Weezie saved his family from 2 armed gunmen who broke in to their home and held them at gunpoint. Weezy put himself between the intruders and his beloved family and pushed them toward the exit to safety.