When people think of canine rescue shelters, their mind probably goes straight to a loud kennel full of barking dogs. Some dogs are terrified and hiding in the corner. Other dogs are jumping at their gate and barking for attention. People wander about, looking in each kennel and pondering if that furry pup is the right one for them.
But when it comes to Pit Bull-centered rescue organizations, there is more to it than a large kennel where dogs are fed a couple of times a day until they get adopted. This different type of rescue organization puts immense effort into making a dog’s life comfortable, happy, and healthy. And in the world of Pit Bulls, they put even more effort into demolishing the negative stereotype that follows each of these snuggly creatures.
Let’s take a look at the breakdown of a Pit Bull rescue organization…
Pit Bull-Specific Organizations
There are over 550 canine rescue organizations in North America who aim to improve the lives of Pit Bulls and Pit Bull breeds. They focus on improving the reputation of the often frowned-upon dog. Through advocacy, the people of these organizations work to defeat the nay-sayers who treat Pit Bulls poorly and then blame the dog for being aggressive.
These Pit Bull-focused organizations provide the absolute best care so these dogs are as happy and healthy as possible. The smiling faces of loved Pit Bulls pop up across many social media platforms so that the world can see just how affectionate and sweet this breed truly is.
Organizations such as Pitties.Love.Peace from Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania live by the mission statement:
“To provide a safe haven for pit bull and pit bull mix dogs in need throughout the northeast, primarily focusing on dogs in Pennsylvania. We rely on approved fosters families to provide safe, loving, temporary homes for the dogs in our care. The ultimate goal is to place each and every rescue into a loving forever home. Until that happens though we provide will food, bedding, shelter and veterinary care for every dog, as well as training and rehabilitation for those in need.”
PLP accommodates Pit Bulls and bully breeds in the northeast area of the United States. Each dog receives immediate veterinary care, professional basic obedience training, and a foster home. None of the dogs live in an overcrowded, noisy, anxiety-inducing kennel.
To fund expenses for these pups, PLP hosts events such as 5K runs, auctions, and awareness events at local pet stores. None of the people working for organizations like this receives paid compensation. Each person is a volunteer and each dog receives support through donations.
PLP and similar organizations manage social media accounts to advocate for the love of Pit Bulls and peace among Pit Bull mix breeds. By making sure the dogs are as healthy and happy as possible, they’re portrayed and loving and friendly.
Some Pit Bull-centric organizations utilize foster homes instead of kennels to house dogs in need of adoption. Kennels are almost always overwhelming due to constant barking and the depression of being alone in a cold, hard enclosure.
Foster families are thoroughly inspected and interviewed to ensure they will provide the ideal living environment for the most uncared-for dog. These foster families socialize their dogs with other dogs, cats, other various pets, children, and unfamiliar people. Pit Bulls do not always get this kind of socialization when living in poor conditions. While meeting new animals and people may be terrifying at first, the dogs soon realize that these new experiences are fun and full of warm hugs and tasty treats.
The family members keep their foster Pitties on a strict schedule with a veterinarian to give them necessary vaccines, medications, and checkups. The families also provide appropriate toys, beds, food, and other equipment for the dogs to enjoy.
Overall, foster families teach these dogs “how to be a dog.” While that may sound silly, dogs who have been in captivity their entire lives or were mistreated in a previous home may not understand that tennis balls are for retrieving and couches are for napping. Through foster families, these dogs learn how to be comfortable and at peace in their proper living environments.
Veterinary Checkups and Professional Training
Often times in a rescue organization, each dog spends time (sometimes up to 10 weeks) with a professional trainer. The dogs learn or reinforce their knowledge of basic commands, obedience, and proper manners.
The reason the rescue organizations enlist a professional trainer is that a trained dog has a better chance of getting adopted versus an untrained dog. People appreciate that they don’t have to do all the work of training their new furry friend.
Spending 10 weeks with a professional dog trainer is not cheap. The training is an investment that is often funded through donations and adoption fees. So, while it may seem expensive to pay $200 for a dog who desperately needs a home, the organization has a good reason for the cost. Remember, buying a puppy from a breeder could cost upwards of $500 to over $1,000.
The Pitties living with foster families may lack confidence in their ability to “be a dog.” They don’t know how to be a dog, so the members of each foster family must encourage their pup to act a particular way and play with particular toys. Using cheerful voices when playing and socializing teaches the bully breed that he is doing the right thing. He is gaining confidence!
Some dogs who find their way to canine rescue organizations have been beaten down and do not know right from wrong. The foster families build these dogs back up to the happy-go-lucky dogs they were meant to be!
Many of the canine rescue organizations around the world function entirely on the free time of volunteers. They also rely solely on donations for all financial costs. These volunteers do not receive any kind of compensation, which means every single penny goes towards the dogs.
When you donate money to an organization like this, you are donating to support dogs in need. You are not supporting the wallet of a CEO or corporation. You can feel good about donating to Pit Bull rescue organizations!
Canine rescue organizations centered on the needs of Pit Bulls and Pit Bull mixed breeds are indubitably the unsung heroes of the canine rescue world. Many people do not realize how much the volunteers of these organizations sacrifice and commit to the cause of improving the lives of Pit Bulls everywhere.