Part of the Solution

October 16, 2012  

Volunteering at a small dog rescue leads the author to meet several pit bulls and learn the details of their plight

By Erin Loose

I have always loved animals and have had an especially mushy spot for dogs for as long as I can remember. While I was always aware that there were dogs at our local SPCA in need of homes, I am embarrassed to say that until recently I was largely unaware of the many welfare and ethical issues surrounding rescue dogs. I currently work as a researcher in a veterinary college and have since become much more educated and knowledgeable about the issues affecting not only rescue dogs, but all animals. Something was lit up inside of me and I felt an enormous need to be involved and help out somehow. So I began volunteering with our local SPCA, as well as a small local rescue organization called Size Small Dog Rescue. While I wish I could devote more time to this, the experiences I have had have been so incredibly fulfilling and eye-opening! I now see the importance of rescuing and fostering in giving these animals a second chance. I have yet to meet a rescue animal who does not deserve a second chance. By and large it struck me how innately loving and trusting these animals are, even though a good portion of them have come from abuse, neglect and abandonment.

I had never had much exposure to pit bull type dogs and, truthfully, I was always a bit leery of them. The huge head, jaws and teeth struck me as a bit intimidating. Thankfully, it didn’t take much for me to change my mind. Size Small Dog Rescue has routinely rescued mainly small Chihuahua mixes from high-kill shelters in California, but have now began helping out the pit bull types as well! It was through reading the stories of these dogs and meeting some of them that my eyes were opened to the injustice of breed discriminatory legislation (BDL).

Tank is a pit bull mix who was adopted by the director of the organization and I have to say that I can see why she fell in love with him immediately. He stares at you with these gorgeous, gentle eyes until you pet him, and then he just lays back and basks in the love. Mocha is another pit bull mix that we meet regularly when walking our ShihTzu, Asa. Mocha is just such a happy dog and is so gentle with our little one. I’m embarrassed to say that our Asa is more of a jerk than big, goofy Mocha! These are some of the kindest, gentlest dogs I have ever met, and I had no idea how goofy they can be! I am happy to say that I no longer see scary teeth and jaws, only big, silly pit bull smiles. It guts me to know that they are often killed just because of how they look.

I discovered StubbyDog on Facebook and really love the different approach you take by focusing on the positive stories of these dogs such as the funny stories, the therapy dog stories, etc. I think this really presents a side to these dogs that most people have no idea exists. The more people are hit by these positive stories, the more they will realize how unjust and inhumane BDL is. I have a lot to learn about BDL but know I would love to be part of the solution.

(photos courtesy of Size Small Dog Rescue)

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One Response to “Part of the Solution”
  1. barbaraleeanderson07090 says:

    Thank you, Erin, for your love and commitment to the pitties.  Happy to hear that you’ve discovered what we pittie parents have known for so long.  Keep spreading the word!