“Loyalty Unleashed: Pit Bulls and the People Who Love Them”

June 3, 2015  

How the unplanned adoption of my pit bull Mickey inspired me to write a book of

positive pit bull stories.

By: Sue Torres


In the fall of 2009, and quite by accident, I became involved in animal rescue as a volunteer. Soon after, I also became involved in networking shelter dogs online. I must have seen thousands of heartbreaking photographs of dogs in need of homes. The overwhelming majority were pit bull breeds and as I later learned, only one in 600 would make it out alive.

sue torres2Fast forward to February, 2011. I had no plans to adopt a dog as I was caring for my senior disabled dog who was approaching the end of his life. Then I saw a picture of the dog who would change my life on a Facebook page. His name was Mickey and somehow I knew he was meant to be mine.

Out of all the dogs I had seen, there was something about him that I could not get out of my mind. I followed him for over a week, shared his picture, emailed rescues and did everything I could think of to help him. Despite my best efforts, on February 9, 2011, he was put on the list to be destroyed the next morning in New York City – more than two hours from where I live.

I had reached out to nearly every rescue in New York City and, just when it seemed hopeless, one – and only one – responded.  I adopted Mickey sight unseen, not realizing the task that was ahead. Mickey was terrified and I was inexperienced, but we persevered. It took some time, but what I discovered behind all the bravado and the fear was one of the sweetest dogs in the world.

sue torres3I have learned so much from my experience with Mickey. I have learned volumes about dog behavior and training. I have learned tolerance and patience. Most of all, I was inspired to write a book with the goal of helping others learn what Mickey has taught me – that it is not the look of a dog that matters, but what is inside. Mickey has taught me the true meaning of unconditional love.

While I thought I was doing a good deed by giving a scared, unwanted death row dog a home, what Mickey gave me in return was his heart. Who got the better end of the deal? It is hard to say, but I think we both won.

sue torres5Mickey has made many friends – he helped raise my daughter’s puppy and has mentored several foster dogs. He has also changed the perceptions of people who have had a life-long fear of dogs.

I have had some amazing dogs in my life but my first pit bull, Mickey, is the most loving dog of all. I wrote “Loyalty Unleashed: Pit Bulls and the People Who Love Them” to educate, to promote shelter adoptions, and with the hope that individuals and families looking to adopt a dog will look beyond they myths and the stereotypes and give a homeless pit bull a chance.

sue torres6I continue to promote a positive portrayal of pit bulls on my website http://www.loyalpitbulllove.com/ including stories of hope and a featured monthly hero, and also on my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/SuesLoveOfPitBulls which features daily posts that include training and care tips, helpful hints for dog owners, legislation updates and uplifting stories.

A portion of all proceeds from my book will be donated to animal welfare organizations, especially those that promote pit bull adoption, education and awareness.






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One Response to ““Loyalty Unleashed: Pit Bulls and the People Who Love Them””
  1. adrienne clegg says:

    Your heart and mine beat as one. I was saved by the love of a Pibble I rescued from dog fighters. She changed my life in every way and I wouldn’t trade a moment of it.