Meet Our Volunteers!!
My name is Dana and I have been with Shaw PBR for 5 years. I have 3 children that I also bring to the rescue to volunteer, and my husband has since joined us.
We were coming out of Dollar General one night, and my son who has always been dog friendly saw some dogs in the back of a jeep. His only thought was dog, and he went to immediately get kisses. My husband quickly grabbed and corrected him while explaining that those weren't just dogs - they were pit bulls and they would bite. I was upset and confused by his statement because he knew I had been raised with and around them as well as other bully breeds. I took my son over and gave him the chance to say hi. I'm sad to say that a slight amount of damage had already been done. When my son approached the dogs you could see some fear already forming - yet the dogs still kissed him lightly and gave him one of their perfect smiles.
After that I started slowly looking for people who dealt with the breed, and since I was already into volunteer work and animal welfare I looked for a rescue group. I found Shaw PBR on one of the other local pet pages. I contacted Aimee to see if I could bring the kids out on a regular Saturday Volunteer Work Day. And that was that. I never left and I have no intention of doing so. It's a running joke at this point that if the rescue ever closed - I would need my half of the dogs or visitation rights.
After 5 years of devoting my life to this rescue, and these dogs - I wouldn't change one thing. I've learned more from Kenneth and Aimee in these short years than a lifetime of love could ever teach me. This is kinda supposed to be about me, but I would still like to take a minute to say "Thank you for allowing myself and my family to become your shadows. And most of all, thank you for taking in just a few extra strays - even if we were of the people variety. We love you both. You are the real heroes.”
My name is Allison, and I have been volunteering for a little over four years. I am there almost every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday; except when I’m in school. I
come with my little sister most Saturdays, and we got started because my mom wanted us to know the truth about pits. They are seriously misunderstood, and mistreated, and we wanted to learn about
My sister was scared of the dogs at first because she had heard the rumors, but I hadn't and thought to myself, oh, these are just like most other dogs. I quickly learned that they were much kinder, and loyal. I've been there since, and I won't be shaken off my babies.
My name is Kaitlyn. I’m 14 and I’m a volunteer at Shaw Pit Bull Rescue. I’ve been volunteering with the adopt-a-bull since I was only 9 years old. I don’t do this because it makes me feel good - believe me, I get mad when I see the abused and neglected dogs come in - but seeing them get a home, and knowing we can save another dog from an uncertain fate is what keeps me going.
It takes an army to save just a few - but together we can and we are making a difference. I love my SPBR family, and you can be a part of that too. Any time you’re up for the challenge - come and join me.
I'm creepy and I'm kooky.
Mysterious and spooky.
My family and I are all together ooky.
Dre and her family
Why I volunteer?
Because I needed a distraction and a new passion besides the horrible choices I was making. I needed a new environment and to make better choices. I also figured if I was going to defend pit bulls and fight for them, then I needed to do a hell of a lot more than just rattle my keys on FB. I enjoy watching the transformations and giving the love each dog deserved from the very beginning.
My name is Bertha and we are from Mexico, lived 10 years in Virginia, 3 years ago, we moved to Columbus, MS. I love dogs since I had a pit bull in
Mexico for 13 years. My mom, sister and I rescued cats and dogs in Mexico (got vet treatment, food, care and after that we bring to associations when they help us to find them a home).
After my Peque I did not want another dog because I knew what a commitment it is to have one but my kids wanted one and Ramon (my husband) said no..... When we moved to MS Ramon told me that it was time for having a dog at home. I went to Columbus Animal Clinic because I did not know where to get one and they told me about CLHS where we adopted our Peque (second Peque because when Ramon saw her he said she looks the same as our first Peque). With our Peque at home I started to see a lot of pages about dogs, animals and oh surprise I saw a page about Shaw Pit Bull Rescue I checked it out and saw that they are here in Columbus.
I started to follow them, saw the news feeds, donation request, and I started to donate to the rescue because I know what a problem it is with people and pit bulls (always listened "why do you have this dog" "that dog is so aggressive" "you are crazy for having this dog") I am a volunteer because even though I was afraid (Dana teased me with my facial expressions the first time I saw the dogs) I saw their eyes and I felt their love and I could see they are so friendly; they felt my fear the first time I entered the kennels, but they approached me and licked me gently.
Now I am volunteer because I love them so much, I want to see their water clean, their spaces clean and I want them to feel comfortable in that space that is home to them. I know I am crazy, but I think as if I am the dog LOL so Dana I know I am slow to clean, wash beds and bathe dogs (I wait until they are quiet, and I speak with them) ha ha ha ha, but I love to give them hugs, kisses, massages, check to see if they are ok and talk with them LOL PS I went the first time only to view the rescue I never imagined I would become a volunteer.
I am Bertha Mireles. My mom, Bertha Cisneros, would occasionally mention Peque, an American Pit Bull Terrier my mom had had from when she was a
thirteen year-old. Unfortunately Peque passed away thirteen years later around the time I was around a year old. My mom would not go into much detail about Peque, for the sadness of losing her baby
was still great, and I believe it will always be so.
My awareness of dogs and the community of dog rescuers and such did not spring up until my family adopted the second Peque, an Italian greyhound and rat terrier mix that looks and acts exactly like the first Peque. What I mean by awareness is now anytime I hear of an animal cruelty case or of a dog fighting ring bust on the news, I think of Peque being in that situation. It brings me to tears of merely thinking of any harm coming to her. I took that anger and sadness and turned it into a more proactive and positive situation: donating, getting involved, and volunteering at the Shaw Pit Bull Rescue.
It was the middle of the summer, the beginning of July of 2015. My mom was doing research of some animal organizations to be involved in when she came across the Shaw Pit Bull Rescue Facebook page. The rescue being specific to pit bulls has a significant sentimental value to my mom and I because of the first Peque. As we scrolled through the pictures of the dogs, I thought, ‘I want to visit them. I want to see what I can do for them in memory and in honor of both Peques.’
The following Tuesday my mom and I decided to give the rescue a visit just to see the dogs. The last time I had seen a Pit bull in real life was when Peque was alive which had been when I was an infant. It had been nearly thirteen years since I had last seen Peque. Even so, Peque the Pit Bull had been little in size, hence her name Peque which is short for the Spanish word, pequeña, meaning small.
When my mom and I first arrived at the rescue, I did not know what to expect. I imagined maybe ten little Peques asleep on a blanket; how very wrong I was. When we entered the kennel area for the first time, I was taken aback. First of all, the dogs were huge, bigger than I had ever seen in my life. I was scared at first, not because they are pit bulls but because they are the same size as me if not larger. I barely knew how to handle little 20 lb Peque at home. But I made the effort to keep calm.
For a while I was unsure of dogs in general, but as I began to gain knowledge of their body language, how they perceive energy, and what they do and do not like; I became more and more confident that I would be able to handle and care for a dog. The rescue has done so much for me. Without the rescue, we would not have found out about and been able to adopt Vicky, a Dutch shepherd bully mix, who is the sweetest baby ever. The rescue has also contributed to a significant amount of my knowledge of dogs and confidence with dogs, that will follow me through the rest of my life. For Vicky and my ever-growing knowledge of dogs, I am forever thankful to the Shaw Pit Bull Rescue.
My name is Shannon, and I'm a MS native that spent several years out of state. While out of state, I found part time work with dogs, and it became a part of my identity.
We moved back to MS in 2018, and I can't begin to express how much I missed my doggy family. I had heard of Shaw from researching local rescues on the internet, but didn't give it much thought until we began looking for a second dog to add to the household. I knew it would be a task, because I had become involved with another rescue as a foster, but hey, it would work out, right?
My oldest daughter and I set up a vist, and came to the rescue to meet our perfect pup. It turns out, all of the faces I fell in love with that day wouldn't fit my household. Not a single one. But despite the adoption failure, we found more.
We got to meet some dogs that left a lasting impression. We witnessed the second day of an intake, and the condition she was in upon arrival. We went home and talked, and talked, and talked, and realized that we couldn't say goodbye to those furry faces simply because they couldn't fit into a foster house scenario. Those furry faces, some adopted now and some not, drove me to fill out volunteer paperwork and spend most Saturdays back doing what I love - working with dogs, and giving ear scratches. Those pups, the wagging tails, and the awesome staff make it a second home.
May 21, 2012 - The day that started it all.
This was the day that 11 pit bulls were seized from a home in Caledonia and put to sleep without a chance of finding a new home. Let me clarify, I am not blaming the Humane Society - it was their policy (at that time) not to adopt out pit bulls. However, it was this event that put the idea in my mind that a local American Pit Bull Terrier rescue was necessary. Little did I know that it was going to come to fruition much sooner than I thought!
We ran our first ad in The Real Story Aug. 15. We received six surrendered pit bulls the following Sunday, Aug. 19. What originally began as “we can only house one pit bull at a time” quickly got blown out of the water! But we can’t turn our back on a pit bull in need. Apparently, there was a great need for a local pit bull rescue operation!
Starting this rescue has been pretty labor-intensive, but it is also richly rewarding on many levels. Finding a new, loving home for a rescued pit bull represents a victory in our life-saving work. Every person we reach with our message of compassion and care for these wonderful dogs will share it with others...and that ripple of compassion will keep growing and growing. That, in itself, is reward enough for what we are trying to do.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever does” (Margaret Mead).
Of course, our general love and appreciation of the breed has fueled our devotion to them over the last 30 years. We originally bred American Pit Bull Terriers, but when the wrong crowd started showing interest in our dogs, we stopped. We had no idea about over-population (which is growing at an astonishing rate, day-by-day for bully breeds). We assumed most all that bred dogs were educated in that particular breed, bloodline, temperament, genetics, etc. Boy, were we wrong!
There are so many reasons I could list as far as why we are advocates for 'pit bulls'; but I'll refrain :O) I guess the main reason is because there are so many that hate them, even tho they have never met one in person, or want to. And that just breaks my heart. All dogs show and feel love; but in my experience, none are like the American Pit Bull Terrier. They are such characters, goofy clowns, smart asses, and snuggle buddies. I want everyone to experience the love and companionship they can offer - or at least hear me talk about it constantly, lol!
We lose our minds sometimes; and the indifference and basic ignorance makes us want to rip our hair out of our heads and run screaming for the hills. There have been many times we almost decided to give up. But then along comes another dog that needs our help; or we see photos or videos of those we have helped over the years in their new, forever homes, living the high life - and that's the fuel we need to keep on going.
One of my favorite rescue poems ends with the words... "We rescue them; and they SAVE us." It's the God's honest truth.
Owners and Founders Kenneth and Aimee Shaw