Showing Some Love to the Misunderstood

To be honest, I used to be terrified of pit bulls…not because of a bad experience, but because of all the bad press.  The news loves to flood us with the negative…to instill fear in us…but that is a blog for another day!

 

Once upon a time…a few years ago, actually…my nephew and his wife (Jon and Ashley) moved in with us temporarily while they were transiting to new jobs and a new city…and they brought with them the most precious puppy…Gracie, a beautiful American Staffordshire Terrier.  She was so cute!  Now, at first, I was nervous.  After all, my head was full of all the horror stories from the news.  I had three pups at home and Abby.  What was going to happen? Long story, short…nothing.  Nothing happened, but sweet puppy kisses, pups all playing together, snuggle time on the couch…no horror story.  I will have to share darling photos of that eventful time of my life on a Flashback Friday!

Now, grab a cup of coffee, sit a spell with me, and enjoy a little puppy love as I share a lovely interview with the talented, kind, and giving Aimee Shaw of Shaw Pit Bull Rescue.

 

1.  Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

My husband, Kenneth, and I have owned pit bulls for over 30 years. We’ve owned many, many dogs – many more that we can count – from rescues to fosters to puppies to our own “yard” and house dogs.  Before I met my husband, I had never seen nor heard of a pit bull. Maybe that was a blessing: I hadn’t heard the hype about them, so my heart was completely open.

Toby, Lexi, Sadie and Rita - looking all comfy!
Adopted Nila, playing and relaxing
 2.  What inspired Shaw Pit Bull Rescue?

They get such a bad rap – and it’s a shame, because they are some of the goofiest, most lovable, loyal and just full of character dogs you can ever be around. They are constantly doing things just to make you laugh.  What actually lit the fire, so to speak, was a case here in Columbus where 13 pit bull dogs were seized and put down, immediately.  I knew, in my heart, that something had to be done, or someone had to do something.  We first started out hoping to house and rehabilitate 1 or 2 dogs at a time – but that went out the window, quickly!!

Look at that sweet grin!

3.  What is the number one myth that you would like to debunk about Pit Bulls?

There are actually two MAIN ones…
 

(1) Aren’t pit bulls unpredictable around people, especially kids?Did you know the pit bull was known throughout history as the “Nanny Dog?” As a quick summary….If a pit bull is well socialized and raised properly, it is the perfect breed to have around children. While some can seem a little hyper, due to their exuberance, they are also the best-suited to handle the rough-and-tumble play a child can dish out and are the least likely to nip due to fear or pain. However, all children should be taught how to interact with dogs and should never be left unsupervised with any animal.(2) Won’t a pit bull that is animal-aggressive eventually turn on people?

Too sweet! Lexi & baby Porkchop...Awww
No. Do coonhounds turn on coon hunters? Do squirrel dogs tree their owners? Aggression towards other animals and aggression towards humans are two different things. This particular myth has generated the most damaging anti-pit bull hysteria. Again, for any dog breed, a properly-raised, well-socialized, responsibly owned dog should never show aggressiveness towards a human. Dogs that bite people are typically troubled – set up to fail by improper handling, abuse and/or reckless owners who ignore the warning signs that come with almost every dog bite. 
Rita - On Arrival; and 2 months later

4.  You have four pit bulls, a pot bellied pig, and three cats living in your house.  Tell us a little bit about them, how they get along, and any funny stories related to them.

Right now, we actually have 5 pit bulls, a pot bellied pig and 3 cats.  We have ‘our’ 3 (Toby, Lexi & Sadie); Rita – the little girl rescue that was almost starved to death when we got her; and Buster, the rescue from Ohio.  Toby & Lexi are siblings, and Sadie is their ‘aunt’.  All, of course, are spayed/neutered.  Rita, we decided to just keep her in the family because she had already been through so much.  She was found tied to a barbed wire fence, with no food or water, and was so weak she could barely stand or hold her head up.  We had to feed her a spoon full of food at a time, and pumped her full of livers and protein until she gained weight and muscle back.  The muscle tone was so deteriorated that you could see her skull under her skin.  

Our Spay & Neuter T-Shirt Design
All American APBT T-Shirt Design
Toby the pit bull, Porkchop the pig, and TJ the cat

Buster traveled to us all the way from Hamilton, Ohio.  We were the only pit bull rescue that made room for him, so volunteers drove him from Ohio to Tennessee, and Tennessee to us in Columbus.  Buster’s owner had been arrested for animal cruelty about 6 months prior, for nearly starving another dog, Bruiser, to death.  She was found not guilty, got Bruiser back, and, unfortunately, was arrested again in February for animal cruelty.  This time, Bruiser was too far gone to be saved – his temperature wouldn’t even read when he was taken to the vet to be euthanized.  She had also acquired Buster since her last arrest, and he was very weak and malnourished as well.  The good folks in Hamilton, OH rallied and raised funds to take care of Buster and find him a shelter.  We are so glad we were able to step in, as Buster is an amazing dog.

Showing a little love...TJ and Lexi
The cats – well, they are just cats, lol and keep to themselves mostly.  TJ, our big fat cat loves the dogs and you can find him snuggled up to any one of (ours) at any given time.  Jibbilette is scared of her own shadow and stays hidden most of the time, until night time comes around.  Monkey, the smallest cat, thinks he is 10 feet tall and bulletproof and won’t hesitate to pick a fight with any dog….  As a matter of fact, I was laying in the bed a few weeks ago with FIVE pit bulls and Monkey.  One dog jumped off the bed, startled Monkey, and he took off toward the others.  I grabbed the cat (apparently not thinking) and the cat tore me up.  I got up looking like Carrie, lol. But the little 5 lb cat did it – not the five pit bulls!
Porkchop and Lexi - begging :)
Porkchop, however – now he’s a different story.  He grew up from 2 days old with our pack (Lexi, Toby and Sadie) and was wrestling with Lexi at a week old.  We think that he thinks he is the biggest, baddest pit bull in the neighborhood, tho, instead of a pot bellied pig.  He does outweigh the dogs – but double (and triple in some cases!), but he needs to learn to quit charging strange dogs.  We can bring any new pit bull in our home – and socialize them to be a part of the ‘pack’ – with our existing FIVE PIT BULLS.  And the pig – well, he’s the problem!!!  But I love that fat pig.
 
When 10pm rolls around at our house, don’t move unless you’re going to bed.  If you do, you’ll have 5 pit bulls staring you down and racing you to the bedroom.  And you better get in the bed before they do… if not – well, you’re SOL!! lol

5. What is your dream for Shaw Pit Bull Rescue?  How can we help to fulfill that dream?

Ideally, we would like to have several acres to provide housing and care for abused, abandoned or neglected pit bulls.  We get several phone calls, daily, about dogs needing our help.  Unfortunately, we can not help them all.  We rely solely on donations, and none of our board members or volunteers are paid.  We use our own money, as well, to purchase feed, medical bills, etc.  Our biggest priority right now is kennels.  Tractor Supply has pit bull-proof outdoor kennels (welded wire) that are fantastic and very easy to set-up and move.  We are growing every week, and the more kennels we have, the more dogs we can help.  We hold dog food drives every 45-60 days, and have been blessed by the community and other facilities pitching in and donating food to us.  We are a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, so any donations are tax deductible

Gordy - on arrival, and a few months later
Diva - on arrival, and a few months later
Hand-painted piggy banks
6.  Is there anything else you would like to add?
We will be having an adoption event at Tractor Supply in Columbus, MS on Saturday, April 27 and also on Saturday, May 18.
 
Tractor Supply in Columbus has been a Godsend to us – and we are so grateful to them.  We will also have a booth at the Market Street Festival in Columbus on Saturday, May 4th, and will be selling t-shirts (we have four designs); hand-painted piggy banks; decals; and raffle tickets for a Savage .17 HMR bolt action rifle or $300 cash.
Porkchop has no problems with the misunderstood Pit Bull... neither should we!

All pit bulls that come to our rescue are given appropriate vaccinations and preventatives for worms/fleas, receive medical care as needed, receive rabies vaccination, are spayed/ neutered and micro-chipped before being adopted out.  Prospective owners are screened via telephone, adoption questionnaire, and/or home checks.  An adoption fee of $75 and our adoption agreement must be signed before a dog is released.  

We have adopted out 41 dogs since we began in July of 2012.
 
Right now we have 16 currently available for adoption; and a waiting list of 8 to come in…
Breed Discrimination T-Shirt Design
What is an APBT T-Shirt Design

What a fabulous and inspiring interview with Aimee Shaw!  It was such an honor getting to share good news and positive press with all of you today.  Now, let us get out there and do our part to help!

 

Have a Blessed Day!

Chasidy

Want to know how to help and get in touch?
Check out the links below:
 

WE ARE NOT TAKING IN ANY

DOGS AT THIS TIME 

Nor do we know of any other rescues

or shelters that are taking any in

 

BY APPOINTMENT ONLY

 

662.386.SHAW (7429)



Columbus, Mississippi

FEIN: 46-0852468

DUNS: 078737353

 

Mission Statement

Our goal is to provide abused, abandoned or homeless pit bull dogs with the medical attention they need; as well as the love and attention they deserve to heal - both emotionally, and physically.

 

We will work to facilitate the rescue and placement of abused or abandoned pit bulls into responsible homes and participate in fundraising to provide veterinary treatment; spay/neuter; food and shelter.

 

We are dedicated to fostering responsible pit bull ownership through education, adoption, and breed advocacy.

nOkillnetwork.org