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