Bites at Animal Planet

Pit Bulls and Parolees

29 Jul

Shelter Dog Joyfully Reunites With His Formerly Homeless Owner

Dodo Circular

(Guest post by Stephen Messenger from thedodo.com)

Last year, Reece's human made a heartbreaking decision few pet owners could even imagine having to make. After falling on hard times, becoming homeless as a result, the man was forced to relinquish custody of his beloved pet — hoping to give Reece a chance at a better life by putting him up for adoption at a local no-kill animal shelter.

"He had lost his job and his home," Brittany May, from the Great Plains SPCA in Missouri, told The Dodo. "We do offer help to families with pets, but obviously if you don't have a place to keep them, then you don't have a place to keep them."

So the man, whose name is withheld out of respect for his privacy, had to say goodbye to Reece, likely thinking they would never see each other again. He was wrong.

Rachel Hodgson

Though his former owner might have wished for a fast happy ending — for Reece to get a new family that would be able to provide him with love and room to play — the dog had no such luck. For more than a year, Reece waited and waited for an adoption that never came, becoming one of the shelter's longest residents.

Meanwhile, the man who had given him up never stopped thinking about Reece, even as he struggled to get back on his feet.

Recently, however, Reece's former owner was able to turn things around, overcoming homelessness to get back on track and a normal life. Naturally, he began looking for a dog to share it with. That's when he found Reece, still waiting where he'd said goodbye so many months earlier.

This week, after the long road they shared apart, Reece and his human were finally reunited.

Almost a year ago, this man fell on hard times and lost his job and house and had to give up his best friend, Reece. Things turned around for him recently and he just happened to look on our website and saw Reece was still at our Independence Campus, waiting. We were able to reunite them, and needless to say, they both were ecstatic to be together again. Keeping families together - just one of the reasons #whywerescue.

Posted by Great Plains SPCA on Monday, July 27, 2015

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29 Jul

Brave Dog Who Lost His Eyes Will Never Lose His Smile

Dodo Circular

(Guest post by Caitlin Jill Anders from thedodo.com)

Humans can be so cruel to animals and yet, in the face of such cruelty, many animals still refuse to give up. A 5-year-old pit bull, brought to Animal Humane New Mexico, has had a practically unimaginable life — but he still keeps fighting, KRQE News New Mexico reported.

Raj (which means King), was brought in to the shelter by a woman who lived near him and witnessed his harsh beginnings, Animal Humane New Mexico wrote in a Facebook status. Raj belonged to a family with two other dogs, all of which were kept chained outside at all times.

980x-6Animal Humane New Mexico

Raj lost an eye while in that home, due to unconfirmed trauma, and eventually he and his two dog siblings were poisoned. Raj was the only one who survived. After that, the family decided they no longer wanted him and gave him up to the neighbor woman.  

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29 Jul

Lost Dogs Who Found Their Way Home

(Guest post by Emily Watson from thedodo.com)

Welcome home, old friend.

Remember when Roxy was reunited with her owner on Pit Bulls & Parolees? Relive the emotional moment here.

29 Jul

Giant 'Pit Bull' has Puppies and It's All Kinds of Wrong

Dodo Circular

(Guest post by Sarah V Schweig from thedodo.com)

A New Hampshire kennel is claiming to help dispel poor pit bull reputations by breeding a dog to be unnaturally huge and selling his puppies for a lot of cash.

Hulk, the giant dog, is believed by some to be a cross between an American bulldog and a American pit bull terrier. Not even fully grown yet at 22 months, Hulk currently clocks in at 175 pounds and serves as a cash cow for Dark Dynasty K9s.

Headed by Marlon Grennan, Dark Dynasty K9s breeds "protection dogs" for profit, and made headlines earlier this year because of Hulk's enormous size. Now, Hulk has fathered a new litter of puppies.

"We produce the best of all the finest bloodlines," DDK9 writes on its website. "The result is a well balanced calm family dog also capable of becoming a top of the line working dog. DDK9's dogs can be trained for any level of protection including for high level security or family and personal protection."

"How could you look at that face and be upset?" Grennan says, holding up one puppy to the camera in a recent video on the dogs. 

Well, for one thing, the United Kennel Club points out serious issues withAmerican pit bull terriers bred to be this large: "Excessively large or overly massive dogs and dogs with a height and/or weight so far from what is desired as to compromise health, structure, movement and physical ability."

Another reason to be upset: Even though Grennan claims his giant "pit bulls" dispel negative connotations about pit bulls, Grennan still puts on a "training suit" and gives the dogs the aggression training sessions that make them such valuable commodities.

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28 Jul

Pit Bull Rescued from Dog Fighting Makes the Bravest Journey

Dodo Circular

(Guest post by Cuda The Pit Bull from thedodo.com)

In August of 2013, after a three year investigation, a multi-state dogfighting operation was raided. Three hundred and sixty seven dogs were seized, making this the second largest dogfighting bust in US history. It took nearly two years of court battles, evidence review and red tape but it resulted in harsh prison terms, huge fines and the rehabilitation of not just the dogs who were seized, but for the puppies born while in custody.

Due to the numbers of dogs needing care, the Humane Society of the United States and the ASPCA both set up safe shelters to house them. I met roughly half of these dogs while volunteering with the Humane Society. At the HSUS shelter, staff and volunteers worked countless rotations with the goal of helping these victims of cruelty overcome their former lives. Urgent medical treatment was given, every milestone documented and we rejoiced over tiny acts of courage by the dogs from eye contact to handling.

Each time I returned to the shelter, the improvement in the dogs was evident. They began to trust again and learn about toys and treats. They experienced shelter from the weather and looked forward to regular feedings. They finally knew what life off the chain was about. There were some dogs who struggled quietly; they didn't respond to their new world very well. One of those dogs was Homer. Homer had a comfy kennel with a warm bed in an area designated for quiet and calm. He stayed in the back of the kennel, cowering in the presence of people and cringed when touched.

Homer didn't show improvement with each of my visits to the shelter. Nothing would change and it was heartbreaking. I started to wonder if he'd ever be okay.

The HSUS has a partnership with rescues skilled in the needs of victims of cruelty and when dogs are released from their custody, these rescues step up to start their work with the intention of placing them in loving homes. Bark Nationfounder Kelly McLaughlin met Homer during her volunteer time at the shelter and knew her rescue could help him. Exactly six months after he was rescued from the chain, Homer was released through the courts. Kelly, along with her sister and Bark Nation co-founder, Kerry McLaughlin, brought Homer and two other dogs who were struggling with fear, Zander and Taco, to Michigan. The three dogs had lived apart at the shelter but they shared a common bond.  

Homer's journey from the shelter to Michigan was filled with many firsts, like walking on grass. Photo: Bark Nation

Kelly and Kerry didn't know what to expect of Homer but they celebrated each milestone. Within a week of being in Michigan, Homer, Zander and Taco allowed themselves to be touched. A month later they were playing with tennis balls. With love and understanding and a lot of patience, Homer, Zander and Taco became brothers within four months. They played together and slept together. Still, it was at least six months before the dogs could cope with meeting new people.

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24 Jul

Powerful Photo Saves Shelter Dogs' Lives

Dodo Circular

(Guest post by Anna Swartz from thedodo.com)

Just days ago, Kala and Keira only had each other.

The two dogs were together in a county shelter in Atlanta, Georgia, next on the list to be euthanized if they didn't find a home.

Noticing how inseparable the dogs were, a Georgia-based volunteer group,Angels Among Us Pet Rescueshared a touching photo of Kala and Keira hugging each other, Kala wrapping her front paws tenderly around her friend.

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The photo immediately went viral and was shared over 9,000 times from theAngels Among Us Facebook page.

Below the photo, volunteers wrote:

"We see a lot of things in rescue but this absolutely will reduce you to tears! Kala and Keira are in a shelter and are scheduled to be put to sleep. Today is their last day unless we can save them."

Within hours, the image had caught the eye of a local man who just knew Kala and Keira were the dogs for him.

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24 Jul

Dying Pit Bull Gets a Family to Make His Final Days the Greatest

Dodo Circular

(Guest post by Anna Swartz from thedodo.com)

When Kelly Michael and Sarah Lauch first met Roosevelt they had no idea he would change their lives — he was a sad-faced, lonely looking dog.

Roo, as he's affectionately known, had been surrendered to Chicago Animal Care and Control by his old family because he had "issues urinating." The poor guy was just sitting alone, waiting for someone to come help him.

Kelly and Sarah knew they had to get Roo out of the shelter. With the help of Chicago rescue One Tail at a Time, they freed Roo and took him home as their new foster dog.

Screen Shot 2015-07-24 at 10.31.23 AM

Sadly, it turned out that Roo's health problems couldn't be easily fixed — a vet diagnosed Roo with terminal bone cancer and gave him only a few months to live.

Sarah and Kelly decided that they wanted to give Roo the best final days he could possibly have — so they adopted him, giving him a real forever family, and began to plan his big bucket list.

Screen Shot 2015-07-24 at 10.31.35 AM

So far, Roo has already gotten to swim in a lake for the first time (he loved it), get a fancy massage from the Chicago School of Canine Massage and he's eaten at Taco Bell, NBC Chicago reports.

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24 Jul

Abused Pit Bull Caitlyn's Biggest Problem Now is Losing Her Toy

Dodo Circular

(Guest post by Caitlin Jill Anders from thedodo.com)

As you may have heard, the pit bull who had her mouth taped shut, Caitlyn, has finally been put in a foster home with a loving family and her dog brother, Oreo. Considering the condition Caitlyn was in when we first heard about her, she has gotten more than we ever could have asked for her.

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Before finding her foster family, Caitlyn faced surgeries, health issues and a lot of pain. Now, Caitlyn has healed nicely, and her problems are much less scary. Instead of having to worry about being abused or hurt, Caitlyn's biggest problem is not being able to reach her toy when it falls too far away from her.

#Caitlyn Update July 19,2015 Caitlyn was visiting Charleston Animal Society and is lounging on her bed in my office! She reminds me of a 1-2 year old human baby who purposefully drops her toy on the ground to see if you will pick it up! In case you did not see our post on Friday, her alleged abuser William Dodson had his bond revoked on a previous charge and will not get out of jail. Using testimony from 9th Circuit Solicitors office and Aldwin Roman, Director of Anti-Cruelty and Outreach his judge revoked bond. #IamCaitlyn #Justice #TellemCaitlynsentyou

Posted by Charleston Animal Society on Sunday, July 19, 2015

Charleston Animal Society posted this video of Caitlyn paying a visit and playing around with a toy. When Caitlyn loses the toy (as in, it falls a few feet away from her) she's simply too relaxed to try and retrieve it. Girl, we've all been there.

It's truly amazing that this is now Caitlyn's biggest issue — a typical dog problem, just like she should have. Caitlyn used to have the weight of the world on her shoulders, and now, she's just a regular dog again. It's amazing that she's made it this far, and that we've gotten to watch her throughout her journey to happiness.

Hopefully one day in the near future, Caitlyn will find a forever home like Wilma did on Pit Bulls and Parolees.

23 Jul

2 Months Of Love Can Utterly Transform A Rescue Dog

Dodo Circular

(Guest post by Anna Swartz from thedodo.com)

For dogs who have experienced abuse or neglect, a little bit of love can make a whole world of difference. Only two months ago, Harry was a matted mess — it wasn't clear how long it had been since he'd slept in a home.

Reddit user lwmajeed uploaded photos of Harry the very first day she met him, when she agreed to foster him through Helping Paws.

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According to lwmajeed, Harry was "completely matted and covered in dirt/tar," but after a long visit with a groomer, Harry was looking much better.

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Harry seemed so happy to be in a comfy, loving home ... and his foster parents began to realize that maybe Harry was meant to stay forever.

"We became his foster parents because he had no place to go," lwmajeed posted on Reddit, "and now he has found a special place in our hearts and our home."

Imgur

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22 Jul

Pit Bull With Severe Anxiety Finds Parents Who Totally Get It

Dodo Circular

(Guest post by Caitlin Jill Anders from thedodo.com)

A few weeks back I wrote about a 10-year-old pit bull named King. King has severe anxiety issues, and was having a ton of trouble getting adopted from Animal Haven, the shelter that had taken him in.

While at the shelter, King definitely had issues. All of the commotion and the other animals were making his anxiety more intense, and he almost always needed to have a toy in his mouth in order to feel safe.

980x-4Erin O'Sullivan

King had been at the shelter since December, and Erin O'Sullivan of Susie's Senior Dogs was pushing hard for him to get adopted. Susie's Senior Dogs is an organization that helps senior dogs find homes, and Erin, its founder, had taken a special interest in King. Erin made countless posts about King, hoping that the right person would see one and take a chance on him.

I had the pleasure of meeting King, and what I saw was an anxious dog who just needed to find a place he belonged in order to really find himself. That's all I wanted for King, all I wished for after every post Erin made. Almost a month after I wrote about King, everyone who has been rooting for him has finally seen all of our wishes come true.

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