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Last Updated:
10/23/2020 1:58 PM


Pit Bull. There is no other breed of dog—or arguably, any other animal at all—whose mere mention can elicit such strong opinions. Try a word-associate game with your friends. Ask them what they think when you say “Pit Bull.” Chances are their responses will be more negative than positive. And it’s no wonder. No other type of dog is as widely banned from housing, legislated against, or incorrectly vilified by the media.

How did we get here?
Pit Bulls were once widely considered ideal family pets—affectionate, loyal, and gentle with children. But in recent years these dogs have suffered tremendously from a combination of overbreeding, bad publicity, and irresponsible owners. In reality, the overwhelming majority of Pits and Pit mixes are sweet goofballs who have gotten a very bad rap.

Learn the truth.
National Pit Bull Awareness Day October 27 is a day of appreciation and education designed to change perceptions and stereotypes about Pit Bulls and their responsible owners. Please take a moment to learn the truth about these wonderful dogs and consider rescuing one of them from a shelter.ASPCA

belle and tuxedotaylor and his petashlies dogkimmie in sinkfrancis with child 



Bell and Tuxedo, top left, were abandoned. Bell, staring you down, was taken to Halifax to be killed. ARK rescued her and the owner of Tuxedo. Kenneth, fostered her. When he moved to Georgia he returned Tuxedo to the Center. But Tuxedo became terribly depressed and destructive. In desperation we called Kenneth and asked him if he would adopt Tuxedo. He agreed and our transport delivered Tuxedo to his dady. Now the two best friends snuggle every chance they get and Kenneth calls with updates and sends photos.

Thumper, (middle with his "pet" poodle), was rescued by ARK. He was named Thumper because his tail never stopped thumping. We could not find a foster or anyone to adopt him so he lived in an outside kennel for 3 months, becoming more and more aggressive. We worked with Thumper while he stayed at FloridaWild Veterinary Hospital in DeLand. But the longer he was kenneled without a loving home environment the more aggressive he became. Finally we were warned that he may have to be euthanized. Desperate we advertised "FREE to TERRIFIC HOME - Inspections and references required."  Within the week lovely Ginger visited Thumper with her two small granddaughters. Thumper took an immediate dislike to Ginger, growling and backing away. But he loved the girls. We suggested Ginger remove her wide hat and sunglasses and sit on the ground at his eye level - and sure enough Thumper became her friend. An hour later off she went with this thumping maniac. He arrived "home," met his little buddy, and proceeded to nestle in. His mom called a month later to say he was tearing up her house when she left. We got her a kennel and she put a warm bed in it, closed the door, and went to work. When Ginger returned Thumper, now renamed Taylor, was outside the kennel, peacefully waiting. We had failed to secure the back of the kennel when setting it up! Funny thing though, he didn't destroy one item in the house. All he needed was the assurance he had a special place. Soon he learned he was never going to leave home.

Kimmie, resting in the sink in an outside kennel at ARK's Center, refused to mess up the concrete. She always waited patiently until we took her for a walk. She was pulled the week she and her 6 pups were to be exterminated at the Orange Co. Animal Shelter. Kimmie was a terrific mom but she didn't want anyone near her except one man, ARK's caretaker. Two pups lived and were adopted but no one wanted Kimmie. Month after month she lingered sadly in the sink, waiting and watching. Finally the right person came along. James, and fell in love. Kimmie went home with her new dad and mom and has been spoiled rotten ever since. She sleeps in their bed, demands special foods, and in general rules the home.

Francis, sleeping peacefully with his little pal, Tori, was an abused dog ARK rescued. And Tori, with neurological damage, was also one of ARK's rescues. Both love each other dearly and love their best friend too. Ask Ashlie's little girl if pits are bad. And what do you think the answer will be???? 

kimmie & copper 1

kimmie & copper hugging

Above, Kimmie and Copper love each other. It's too bad people can't appreciate this and love like animals do - unconditionally.

BEFORE AND AFTER - Rescue, Love, and Care Saved me while I saved Eleven puppies that weren't even mine! 

rosied starvedrosie beautiful 

Here is my amazing story. Only God could do this.

ARK rescued a wonderful American Bulldog named Grace. She had 11 puppies and was a wonderful mom.
Grace got into a tube of roach so the vet said she couldn't nurse her 3 week pups. The pups were then taken to a
foster who was going to bottle feed them. But they didn't want a bottle so she took them back to the vet hospital.
GUESS WHAT??? I was tied to the gate that very morning at the hospital. I was starving, thin, but I had milk.
Someone dumped me off after taking my babies away.
The vet put the pups and me together in a kennel and look at the photo to see what happened. Six weeks later
MY PUPPIES were ready for homes!
And now I'm ready for a loving family who will care for me like I did those 11 puppies. I deserve a wonderful
family don't you think???
I'm not good with children, they make me nervous. I was mistreated terribly so don't trust many people but
I have a big heart and so miss my darling puppies. And evidently it was a man who hurt me and made me fearful.
The vet says I may even warm up to other submissive dogs. Men and unfamiliar people upset me and and I will
bite but the vet says my bite is not a bad one!
But I'm living at FloridaWild Veterinary Hospital and everyone loves me. I'll eat treats from fingers and won't
even touch their fingers. I will give kisses but it's to women; the men I need to learn slowly to trust again.
I need to be an only pet or someone who is patient with me. I have had a horrible life. See the second photo of
me with "my babies" 2 days after arriving at FloridaWild. I was skin and bones and the sadness on my face. Then
I found FloridaWild and they're taking great care of me. I am smart and loving to all the people at the vet hospital,
but I need to be introduced slowly to other animals.
I do play with a dog at FloridaWild and we have a grand time running around together. If I'm introduced carefully
I can get along with other dogs too. But no furry little creatures. I've been living at FloridaWild since January.
Please give me a chance at a wonderful home. PLEASE.......

END OF STORY: Rosie was adopted by a wonderful family who had just lost their beloved Pit Bull.
She is strong, healthy, and oh so happy.
Thank God for those who know PIT BULLS MAKE INCREDIBLE PETS!!!


Incorrect Breed Identification Costs Dogs Their Lives - February 2012

Is that "pit bull" on your shelter's adoption floor really a pit bull? The results of a recent four-shelter study suggest chances are good that he's not.
     Four Florida shelters - Jacksonville Animal Care and Protective Services, the Jacksonville Humane Society, Marion County Animal Services, and Tallahassee Animal Services - participated in the study. Four staff members at each of the four shelters indicated what breed(s) they thought 30 dogs were, for a total of 16 observers and 120 dogs. Of those 120 dogs, 55 were identified as "pit bulls" by shelter staff, but only 25 were identified as pit bulls by DNA analysis. 
     Additionally, the staff missed identifying 20% of the dogs who were pit bulls by DNA analysis, while only 8% of the "true" pit bulls were identified by all staff members.
     These poor track records for correctly identifying breed is particularly important, say study authors, because in many municipalities, dogs identified as "pit bulls" are not offered for adoption or are subject to local breed bans preventing their adoption or ownership.
     Even in areas without restrictive ordinances or shelter policies, pit bulls are usually stigmatized as undesirable. Labeling a dog a "pit bull" can result in difficulty finding him a home or even his death.
     The study report was authored by Kimberly R. Olson, BS and Julie K. Levy, DVM, PhD, DACVIM, of the Maddie's®Shelter Medicine Program, University of Florida and Bo Norby, CMV, MPVM, PhD, of the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, Michigan State University.
     Among the authors' conclusions were: Because the observers' identifications were so inconsistent, visual identification of breed is unreliable. The safety of individual dogs is best evaluated by looking at the individual dog's attributes, including personality, behavior, and history, not breed.

Read her endearing story here and view her amazing photographs.