In March, Leo came with me to the Alternative Placement Academy (http://network.bestfriends.org/stopbsl/news/24603.html). One of the things I mentioned to the kids was that only cowards fight their dogs, NOT brave men. “If someone wants to have a fight, so be it. But don’t have your dog do your fighting for you - work it out.” Their supervisor wrote me a few days later and said, “….any information we can give the cadets regarding how bad dog fighting is and how animals should be treated is so important. I thought it was great when you told them that cowards have their dogs fight for them. Thank you for all your help.”
The people who teach and lead our children see the importance of putting a sense of humanity back into our society. They see the downward spiral that can occurs in a society that engages in and endorses barbaric, abusive activities like dog fighting. They understand that it’s not the dogs’ fault - it’s the human being’s (lack of) responsibility.
In doing rescue, I've found that dogs that come from fight busts do astonishingly well in homes, make great pets, and some (like Leo and Zoe) have even become therapy dogs. It's not because we're transforming them into what they could become, it's that we're unearthing who they truly are. A positive, well-managed environment and good training brings their inherent human-loving trait out. It's no surprise these Pit Bulls seem to be born for therapy work.
Ultimately, it's about who is guiding the dog. Dogs are not doctors and lawyers for a reason! They don’t make executive decisions, we do. They depend on US for guidance. So what THEY do, we are responsible for…..period.
I think this picture shows how these dogs just bring the love out of someone. Hopefully putting these kids on the right track towards love, respect, and most importantly, responsibility for the life of an animal.
While one might say I'm simply defending Pit Bulls, I'd have to disagree. There's nothing to defend as they are not guilty. (Any guilty parties are the people involved, not the dogs). But it is a plea for folks to recognize the real root of the situation - the cause and effect that people have with dogs.