Heroic "Pit Bulls" Page 3
Heroic American pit bull terriers & pit bull-types
Therapy Dogs International Inc. is one of the organizations that volunteered therapy dogs, including some “Pit Bull-type breeds” and an APBT to help the victims and families who lost loved ones after the attack on the World Trade Center in NYC on September 11, 2001. Many people suffered from severe depression and shock as well as post traumatic stress as a result of this terrorist attack on our nation. Sometimes the unconditional love of a dog can break through when medicine can’t. Therapy dogs are used in many different aspects of emotional rehabilitation.
Taylor the U.S. state customs dog (now retired) worked at the port of San Ysidro California. This Staffordshire Bull Terrier, like so many others has worked endlessly to protect Americans from crime and danger. Thanks to a few poorly-bred and mistreated “Pit Bulls” great ones like Taylor are overlooked and tossed out like garbage. Luckily there are still people who know the truth about “Pit Bulls” and stride to repair their tarnished image by preserving the heroic, tenacious, athletic, dependable “Pit Bull” that was once loved and desired by every American.
Bandog Dread (Shown Right) is owned by Dian Jessup, author of The Working Pit Bull. Bandog Dread holds more canine working titles than any other breed.
Neville (Shown left) a tan, two-year old American Pit Bull Terrier escaped from his owners in summer of 2005 only to be scooped up by a canine patrol and taken to the nearby Georgina animal shelter. Faced with looming anti-“Pit Bull” legislation across the province of Ontario his outlook was grim, especially after his owners phoned to say they wouldn't post Neville's bail. "But he was a great dog with a great disposition and extremely playful," recalls shelter supervisor Angie Closs. He stayed at the shelter for a month, as staff scrambled to find him a way out of a death sentence. What followed was a 4,248- km chain of human kindness that shuttled Neville by hand, by car and by plane. The convict canine was finally through the U.S./Canada border and in a country where his life was no longer in direct danger.
The shelter contacted Toronto-based Bullies in Need, a “Pit Bull” rescue squad which has organized at least a dozen flights of freedom for the much damned dogs since the province passed BSL. All have come from shelters and faced being euthanized only due to their breed not because of behavior issues. Sharon Hewitt, a co-director of the organization, says Neville's great escape has become pet-legend, he is proof that a province's outcast can become a nation's hero. "And there are more like him out there," she says. Bullies in Need organized a volunteer to drive Neville across the border into Buffalo. There, another local shelter put him up until more volunteers arranged for a flight west.
Strangers bent rules on how long they could keep a stray. They neutered him at their own cost and paid for his flight. He stayed with a foster family before the mild-mannered mutt was passed over to Diane Jessup, a former animal control officer who runs Law Dogs USA a Washington State outfit which finds police work for outcast dogs. With her help, Neville was deputized by the Washington State Patrol. He now screens more than 300 cars a day on the Washington State Ferry system, looking for explosives. He even made cover-boy for a national canine magazine. Neville is the perfect cop, and after thousands of dollars worth of training he now wears a silver badge over his heart. He has as many web fan sites as some TV celebrities. On her own web site, Jessup has a special thanks for Ontario, "for kicking out such an awesome dog." She writes: "Neville is now protecting homeland security for America. I'd say the joke is on Ontario." Neville the “Pit Bull” is the perfect example of how wrong BSL really is. Haven’t they ever learned not to judge a book by its cover?
Law Dogs USA only uses well-bred American Pit Bull Terriers to do not only bomb detection, but also to help find and prevent illegal drugs from entering the US. APBTs have been protecting America from the very beginning. These dogs were once called the “watch dogs of America” I believe it is fair to say they still are. “The reason we use well bred American Pit Bulls is that good ones have greater concentration to the task at hand than any other breed. Once focused on their job, they will "do or die"; a remnant from their rugged past. What better dog - and attitude - to have working for Homeland Security or fighting the War on Drugs!” www.LawDogsUSA.org
Popsicle was found close to dead locked in freezer on a drug dealer’s porch in Buffalo NY in 1997. His bloody, malnourished little body was discovered in a garbage bag by a police officer Ron Clark Jr. and due to the horrific conditions it was concluded that this dog may have been used in illegal dog-fighting. Considering what this puppy had survived, the shelter contacted US Customs canine-enforcement officer Sally Barr in the hopes that maybe Popsicle would qualify for the dog training school in Front Royal, VA. Of 500 dogs Barr had tested in the previous three years, only four made the cut. In February 1998 Popsicle graduated at the top of his class. Two months later Popsicle became a drug-sniffing, crime fighting American hero by detecting the record contraband cache under a tractor-trailer. His amazing drug-sniffing ability landed the U.S. with the largest drug bust ever achieved at the Mexican border: 3,075 pounds of cocaine found in a pineapple truck in 1998. For this he was awarded the agency’s Significant Seizure Award, he appeared in magazine articles and even went on Oprah!
Popsicle and hundreds of dogs like him are responsible for discovering billions of dollars in illegal drugs each year at the Mexican border. Popsicle is another great example of an average “Pit Bull” that almost didn’t make it, but when given the chance by someone who saw his great potential he went on to make history by becoming an American legend.
RCA was left at an animal shelter in Anchorage after her owners were unable to find rental housing that would allow “Pit Bulls”. Unfortunately this is an all too common situation that so many “Pit Bulls & Pit Bull Types” must face. Lucky for her she was chosen among 170 other dogs to be temperament tested for a start-up hearing dog program. RCA had the highest score in the group and went on to become Alaska’s first certified hearing dog! That just goes to show you, an average shelter dog can be a dependable companion, an amazing pet, or even a historic icon.
Cheyenne & Dakota are respected search & rescue dogs as well as therapy dogs. Owner Kristine Crawford is very proud of her two “Pit Bulls”. These dogs are helping very ill people overcome sadness and even severe depression. Therapy dogs play an extremely important role in the recovery process for people in need. The unconditional love of Cheyenne & Dakota is evident in their affection for everyone they meet. These amazing companions and so many like them have the power to heal just by existing. In seconds they have the ability to bring a smile to a sad face, or hope to a hopeless heart.
Crawford adopted Cheyenne from a local shelter in California after she was diagnosed with an illness that changed her life. Crawford saw Cheyenne and immediately knew she was the one. Cheyenne was to be euthanized at 4-months old for no other reason than her breed (American Staffordshire Terrier). In California hundreds of lovable, caring, companion -“Pit Bulls” are euthanized every day. Approximately 800 a week are put to death in LA alone due to overpopulation in shelters! The day they met, it was clear that Cheyenne and Crawford truly saved each other from a very grim future. Soon after adopting Cheyenne, Crawford adopted Dakota, a beautiful American Pit Bull Terrier. Cheyenne & Dakota have overcome breed prejudice to become powerful healing therapy dogs, friends, and life savers to so many. It is “Pit Bull-Type” breeds like these that remind America of the wonderful potential these breeds have to offer if given the chance.
Hershey, is an American Pit Bull Terrier that was abused by a breeder and ended up at the Toronto Humane Society. Now Hershey is a St. John’s Ambulance therapy dog. Hershey received an award from the Toronto Humane Society at a ceremony launching “Be Kind to Animal Week” on May, 2nd 2005 in Toronto, Canada, now a “Pit Bull” banned province. The Kyser family adopted Hershey from the Toronto Humane Society and never expected they would eventually bring him back one day to receive a medal of honor.
Spike 1988 – 2000 Spike will be remembered by many for being one of the greatest modern ambassadors this breed has known. As a service dog, Spike has made his mark on the community and he will not be forgotten by those who knew him.