"A breed of satin and steel. Pit bulls are a mixture of softness and strength, an uncanny canine combination of fun, foolishness, and serious business, all wrapped up in love."

-D. Caroline Coile

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Video du Jour

Chris Hughes has a passion for dogs. So much so that he takes them in from the most dire situations to find them a new home any chance he gets. Over the years, one of his pups stands out among the rest. Sitting patiently under Hughes’ desk as he works, Gremlin, a white and chocolate colored pit bull, has over 12,000 followers on Facebook. Listed as a “public figure,” the rescued dog informs the public of recent law changes, news, and friends up for adoption within the pit bull world.Gremlin herself was saved from the wrath of a dog fighting ring, a fact that Hughes shares with anyone who asks about the dog, to help raise awareness. “We don’t know where she was,” Hughes explained, “but her legs were broken and grew back in such a way that they needed to be re-broken.” He also said her vocal chords were ruptured, something most likely done by shoving the end of a baseball bat down the pup’s throat.It would be easy to presume a pit bull trained under conditions filled with stress and anger would live the rest of it’s life stressed and angry. But Gremlin allows swarms of children to smother her with their love and attention during her duties as a certified therapy dog. She has touched people within her community near Cleveland, Ohio, to as far as Australia. Though she is unable to bark or speak for herself, Hughes has given her a voice and a second life. She has gone from the most heartbreaking situation to a life of healing and helping.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Video du Jour

A New Pit Bull Study

The author’s study shows pit bulls’ natural habitat is the bed and breed-specific behavior is cuddling

By Anna MacNeil (Reprinted from StubbyDog.org)

My heart was stolen by a Staffordshire Bull Terrier 17 years ago – a brindle ball of muscle we called Buster Brown. (photo right)

Breed-discriminatory legislation overshadowed our community, transforming me into a pit bull type dog guardian.

Media reports whittled at my peace of mind. Laying on his bed, barely raising an eyebrow, Buster was a threat to no one. Do I have the only sweet, tolerant pit bull in the world, I wondered? Or are there other pit bulls like Buster, living in sub-standard conditions? My heart broke. I needed to know the answer.

At my university, I visited campus libraries expecting to delve into a pool of pit bull literature. Instead, I found myself ankle deep in a mud puddle. There was nothing substantial!

The first handful of papers described seized fighting dogs or tallied bites from hospital reports or newspaper articles of dogs of unknown origin. The second handful described the flaws and weaknesses of the first bunch.

How could a global breed discrimination movement be launched from such a crippled body of knowledge?

I knew what was needed: a hands-on approach for gathering details on each dog, guardian and environment, and a control group for comparisons.

In The University of British Columbia’s Animal Welfare Program, my study began to take shape.

Shelter pit bulls were the perfect subjects. They had a variation of genetics and environments, and fit the breed-discriminatory definition of pit bull type dogs.

(photo above and below by Melissa Lipani)

As (82) dogs entered the shelter, they were placed in either the pit bull group or the control group of other breeds (similar size, age and coat length).

Aggressive behavior was measured at three points in the journey: in the shelter by euthanasia rate (for biting), by return rate for aggression and across 10 aggression-eliciting scenarios in the adoptive environment.

A questionnaire was used to guide face-to-face interviews in the adoptive home, exploring details of the dog, guardian and environment.

Pit Bull Guardians

The interviews revealed a unique pit bull guardian. They intended on adopting a different breed, but were wooed by a pit bull. They were average dog guardians who just happen to have a pit bull.

Further investigation showed that these pit bull adopters provided the same home life for their dogs as the other breed adopters. Dogs were acquired for companionship, lived indoors, were alone less than four hours a day, and had regular playtime and exercise with their families. Pit bull guardians were slightly more likely to take their dogs to the dog park (p<0.10).

This provided the perfect environment to study the behavior of pit bulls. Similar environments could neutralize typical environmental effects and expose any real breed-specific behavior.

What the Study Revealed

A new profile of pit bulls emerged from the study: They were not more aggressive than the other breeds. Pit bulls were more likely to sleep on the bed [62% vs. 16%, p<0.05], more likely to cuddle with their owners (p<0.05), and less likely to show aggression to their owners (p<0.10) – three things associated with strong human-animal bonds. Pit bulls were more likely to pull on the leash (p<0.05).

There was no difference in the number of dogs euthanized at the shelter due to aggression. Likewise, there was no significant difference between groups for aggression to strangers, other dogs, cats, children under 12, skateboarders/cyclists, joggers, over food, when stepped over, or when moved while sleeping.

There was, however, a trend for the other breeds group to be returned for aggression (p<0.02). For those still in the home, there was a slight trend for the other breeds group to show aggression to their guardians (p<0.10).

Seven bites were inflicted on people: one by a pit bull, which did not break the skin, and six by the other breed group, four breaking the skin.

Keep in mind: No participants were informed that the study was pit bull specific!

Strong Attachments

The pit bull adopters have characteristics associated with strong attachments to pets. They were younger (under 30), tending to rent (rather than own) and adopting the first dog of their own (aside from family dogs). Strong bonds have been attributed to young adults (Roll et al., 1997) without children that live singly (Albert and Bulcroft, 1987, 1988, and Turner, 2001), and have previous experience with dogs (Serpell, 1996).

(photo by Melissa Lipani)

Strongly attached owners: 1) will overlook undesirable behavior (chewing and pulling on leash) (Staats et al., 1996); 2) are less likely to relinquish pets due to housing issues (our pit bull adopters are renters) (Shore et al., 2003); 3) regularly visit veterinarians and buy pet insurance; 4) enjoy walking and spending time with their dog; and 5) are more content with their dog’s characteristics (Ledger, 2000) (Endenburg et al.,1994) (Patronek et al., 1996).

The unintentional (unexpected?) pit bull adopter and shelter pit bulls came together to create a super attachment!

Average Pit Bulls in Average Homes are Average Dogs

This study provides the much needed evidence proving that pit bull type dogs do not harbor genetic aggression. Otherwise, we would have seen aggression in the neutral home environment. Thus, legislation should focus on the environment and irresponsible owners.

His muzzle now grey, a handsome Elderbull, Buster suggests a new breed-specific law to ensure that pit bulls be allowed to sleep on the bed! (photo below)

"Keep On Dreamin' Even If It Breaks Your Heart..."

"It's the toughest job you'll ever love."

Isn't this the slogan for a branch of the US Military? I have no doubt that is an incredibly difficult job, and I'm so thankful for our Military. But I have to admit, being a dog rescuer ranks right up there with tough jobs. It's no walk in the park. Some days it can really tear a girl up.

This beautiful dog is Bruno. He ended up at the shelter in Manhattan, NY and I met him through the wonderful Bruised Not Broken Facebook page. Late last week, Bruno was placed on the shelter's euthanasia list, as all dogs eventually do if they are not adopted or saved by a rescue group. A post was made on the Bruised Not Broken Facebook page, stating that if Bruno was not adopted, fostered, or rescued by morning, he would most likely be put down.

Now I must say, the followers of BNB's page are amazing. When a dog is added to "the list", the followers pull together and start sharing the dog's picture and story far and wide. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, email. Everyone starts broadcasting the dog's information, spreading the word, hoping that a potential adopter will see it and contact the shelter. This is the exact reason why I created The Lazy Pit Bull Facebook page: to share these wonderful dogs with the world, in hopes of saving lives.

Most of the time, the dog is saved. By posting pictures and stories all over social media, miraculously an adopter is found and arrangements are made, and the dog is rescued from the shelter. It is truly a heartwarming thing when the announcement comes, letting us know that the dog is now safe and sound.

Unfortunately, it doesn't always happen because, let's be honest, it's just not possible to save every dog. There simply aren't enough homes. There aren't enough adopters, fosters, and rescues to save all of the dogs waiting in shelters. The cold, harsh reality is that sometimes a dog doesn't make it out alive.

Bruno was one of those dogs. He died on Saturday, because no one came to save him.

I like for my blog and Facebook page to be positive and upbeat, a happy place where my followers enjoy hanging out. But it's also of dire importance that I keep my mission in focus, and my mission is to save shelter dogs and educate the world about Pit Bulls.

I don't like reporting that a dog we tried to save didn't make it, but I have to because we have to understand the reality of what we're doing.

We have to find a way to change the reality of Pit Bulls {and other dogs} in shelters.

Every day, 600 Pit Bulls die in shelters across our country. That's 218,400 every year. And that's just Pit Bulls - that doesn't take into account dogs of every other breed that are killed each year because there was no room in the shelter and no one came to take them home.

We must stop the cycle of unwanted animals ending up in shelters, and that starts with spaying and neutering your pets. That's followed by adopting, fostering, and rescuing from shelters, rather than paying hundreds of dollars for "pure bred" animals in pet stores and from backyard breeders. It starts with spreading the word about the thousands of beautiful animals that are waiting in shelters right now for a new home, a new family, and a new life.

You can make a difference right now in the lives of shelter dogs simply by following my Facebook page and helping to network these dogs. Yes, it hurts when one doesn't make it. But man oh man, you can't imagine how rewarding it is when we save one.

I'm doing this for Bruno, and for every other dog that died today because we let them down. My motto, from the Eli Young song, is "keep on dreamin' even if it breaks your heart." I do what I do every day, even when it hurts, because they need me.

Won't you join me? Please follow The Lazy Pit Bull Facebook page today. Do it in memory of Bruno.
By Christina Berry

Monday, March 19, 2012

Layla Turns Six!

The Birthday Girl

Waiting to open her presents
Still waiting...

Treats are GOOD!

Party guest!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

BullShit Legislation

It's preeetty safe to say that I have a ridiculously-strong love for Pit Bulls. If you haven't quite figured that out about me yet... well, it's okay. Maybe smarts just aren't your thing ;)

In fact, I've written more posts about "the Pit Bull" than any other dog or animal rescue topic.
I've shared the reasons why I love them.
I've examined the reasons why they're hated.
I've discussed why they deserve to live.
I've explained why they're forced to die.

I've shared the truth about Pit Bulls. I've presented the facts. I've disputed the stereotypes. I've challenged the bullshit.

I've shared from my own Pit Bull experiences. Not from what I've read about. Not from what I've seen on TV. Not from what I've been told.

I've been open and honest... candid and realistic. I've been a lover. I've been a fighter. I've been a friggin-force to be reckoned with.

In turn, I've planted seeds. I've witnessed change. I've made an impact. Slowly but surely, I've opened some minds, changed some perceptions, and righted some wrongs.

In those moments, no matter how small the change... or how tiny the impact... I've been proud of me. Proud of what I was able to do for these dogs. Proud of the hope I was able to bring them. Proud of the lives that may be saved, because I stood up for them... I fought for them... and then, someone heard me... believed me... and did something about it.

However... it doesn't always go that way when I write about Pit Bulls. The response isn't always positive. Readers aren't always open. My words aren't always welcomed, or valued, or even heard.

Instead, I'm often challenged, ridiculed, and bullied by "the other side" ... the Pit-Bull-hater side. This is the side that boasts sheer ignorance, lacking credibility and compassion, and rallying for injustice. It's the side that works against everything I fight for... the side that hopes to ensure the death of every last living, breathing Pit Bull.

People from this "other side" often write to me... just to provide me with a long list of reasons why each of my Pit Bulls deserves to die. And sadly, many people agree with them.

Keep in mind... these are my children they're talking about.

Further, these people are extremely arrogant and combative... arguing to be "right" about a subject that they honestly know little-to-nothing about. They'll deny all logic. They'll skew the statistics. They'll swear-by "first-hand accounts" ... random testimonials they've heard from a-friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend's cousin, who supposedly was there when it happened... or maybe just saw it on the news.

Honestly, it doesn't matter what they know or don't know. It doesn't matter what you say or don't say. It doesn't matter what this-or-that dog did or didn't do.

Because no matter what, they'll stand firm in their misinformation, with an intense, unwavering, and undeserved hatred for these dogs. Dogs that they've never even met... but wish to see killed.

Sure... these people sound pretty damn ignorant, ridiculous, and evil, don't they? So then... why would I even bother to acknowledge them with this post? Surely no rational person would ever take them seriously, or even consider complying with their cruel, unfounded, kill-those-dogs death wishes, right?

Oh man. I wish.

Maybe you're wondering exactly who is on this "other side" anyway, and why they even matter??

Well... I'll tell you. They are your friends, your neighbors, your landlords, your insurance companies, and your lawmakers. That's who's on the other side.

Does this group of people deserve my time or energy? Well... no.
But Pit Bulls do.

And sadly, it's nearly impossible to fight for these dogs... and work toward the justice they so desperately need and deserve... without taking-on those people from that "other side." Or should I say... taking-down that other side.

Here's why:

For every person who distrusts the Pit Bull breed(s)... a Pit Bull dies.
For every neighbor who complains about their presence, a Pit Bull dies.
For every landlord who forbids their residence, a Pit Bull dies.
For every insurance company who denies their coverage, a Pit Bull dies.
For every lawmaker who bans their very-existence... thousands upon thousands of Pit Bulls die.

The "other side" is responsible for the deaths of millions of Pit Bulls each year. Abuse, neglect, and unimaginable torture are to blame for the deaths of thousands more.

And so... the innocent die. The guilty thrive. Justice takes the fall. Ignorance kills them all.

Yet... few people care to acknowledge this issue. Even fewer fight to change it. And even fewer actually do something about it, by saving at least one... before it's too late. By adopting just one, so another has a chance. By loving just one, so they don't have to die without it.

Maybe you aren't a massive Pit-Bull-advocate-freak like me, but surely you have a good heart, and a solid understanding of the difference between right and wrong. Surely you can see that millions of innocent dogs don't deserve to die for no reason. Surely you can understand that your silence allows it to continue.

Maybe you don't have a Pit Bull. Maybe your friends don't either, and maybe you've never even met one. Even still, this issue should matter to you, and here's why:

Consider your dog... whatever his or her breed may be. Consider how much you love your baby, and how much your baby loves you. Consider the innocence of this special, loyal creature in your life, who wants nothing more than to please you... who lives and breathes just for you. Consider just how much you treasure his or her devotion, and just how deserving your baby is of life.

Now... consider if someone else --who has never even met your dog-- tried to threaten your dog's life... because in their opinion, your baby doesn't deserve to live. Consider that this person's opinion was formed... based solely on the actions of another dog of a similar breed.

Consider that the other dog had been severely starved, neglected, and beaten all of his life --and yet-- the dog was punished for those crimes, and was forced to pay the price for what was done to him.

Then, consider that YOUR dog must also pay the price... he'll lose his life. Consider that your dog has been sentenced to death --along with every other dog who bears his resemblance-- based on nothing more than the actions of another dog, who kinda-sorta looked like him. (I'm not kidding. This really happens.)

Consider the feelings you would have... the outrage, the fear, the pain. Consider how you would stand up and scream: "No!!! Please! You can't do this! It's wrong! Somebody please stop them! Help us!" Consider that no one hears you, no one agrees with you, and no one even cares. Consider what it would do to your heart, and your faith in humanity, if this were your reality.

Consider the pain in your baby's eyes, and the fear in his heart, as he is ripped away from the only family he knows and loves. Consider the confusion, the heartbreak, and the terror he will feel... at the moment he is killed.

Now... picture your baby, laying lifeless in a landfill, beneath thousands upon thousands of other babies, who look just like him... and died just like him.

That's what BSL looks like.

Seriously... ask yourself: what would you do... if this issue affected YOUR dog, in the very-real way that it threatens each of mine? Wouldn't you be angry? Wouldn't you be upset? Wouldn't you fight for your baby's right to live?

Then, to take it one step further, imagine how you would feel if your friends, neighbors, and co-workers sat back and did nothing to help you? What if you were the only one fighting? What if no one else even cared??

I want you to really allow yourself to feel those feelings... to imagine that level of anger and sadness... to acknowledge the utter helplessness of injustice. Does it feel right to you? Is it okay with you? Can you even believe it's allowed to happen??

Honestly, it's insane that this is allowed to happen, but it's definitely allowed... and it's definitely happening. It defies all logic. It's completely ridiculous. But mostly, it's tragic.

Here's the basic premise of Breed-Specific Legislation (BSL): When a dog of a certain breed harms or bites a human, let's just go ahead and ban every dog of that breed from existence... just in case.

It just doesn't make any sense...

Regardless of whether-or-not you love, hate, or feel completely indifferent to the Pit Bull breeds... surely you feel a special bond with your own dog. Surely you realize that your baby is distinctly unique in personality, behavior, and spirit. Surely you see the innocence, love, and desire that shine through your baby's eyes. Surely you look at him or her... and see a creature who is so incredibly deserving of life.

Well, that's how I see my Pit Bulls, too. Even if you don't believe in their love and innocence... it's there. It's in their eyes. It's in their smiles. It's in their hearts. It's in their souls. My dogs deserve to live, too. They just do...

In reading this... maybe you appreciate the love I have for these dogs, and maybe you feel sympathy for their pain. Maybe you don't want them to die, and maybe you wish that things could be different for them. Even still... maybe you're thinking that there's just no real reason for you to join the fight for them.

Because maybe you figure... "At least my dog is safe."

And maybe you're right...

But... maybe you're wrong...

Here's the honest truth: all it takes is one bite, from one dog, of one breed, for people to propose a legislative ban against that breed (Breed-Specific Legislation, BSL).

Across the country, 75 different breeds --and mixes of those breeds-- are currently on the list of banned or restricted dogs. It's NOT just Pit Bulls. In some areas, Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, and German Shepherds are deemed "dangerous," and are therfore banned. If you think small dogs are excluded, well, they aren't. Even breeds like Pugs and French Bulldogs are on the list.

And believe it or not... this ridiculous list isn't the useless work of some random Joe Blow, who simply thought it would be cute to list all of the breeds he doesn't like that much.

Nope. This is legislation, people. It's the law. And each year, more and more breeds (and mixes of those breeds) are being added to this list... in more and more areas across the nation. It's complete BULLSHIT.

And we're all just letting it happen...

By the time your dog's breed joins the list... it may be too late. You've got to care now. You've got to speak now. You've got to act now. Write letters. Make phone calls. Rally others to do the same. Just do something.

BSL is real, it's happening, and it's personal. It's life or death.

And it won't end... until we end it. Please join us in the fight for their lives. Not because I asked you to, but because it's the right thing to do.

By Ashley Owen Hill

Friday, March 16, 2012

Ben McKenzie's Pit Bull 'Is a Little Too California'

Ben McKenzie, who currently stars in TNT's Southland, and who first made a splash on The O.C., seems like a California actor through and through.

Wait until you meet his dog, a rescued pit bull named Oscar.

"He's super laid-back," McKenzie tells PEOPLE. "He's a little too California. The cancer he got was skin cancer, from laying out in the sun. He needs to wear some more SPF, I guess."

After undergoing chemotherapy, Oscar is now back in good health and has been visiting the Southland set with McKenzie.

"He's a Hollywood dog, man. Going to set, living in the Hills," McKenzie says. "He's living the dream, sleeping all day. I wish I had his life."

Photo courtesy of Ben McKenzie

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Pit Bull Strays Into Ventura Students' Hearts

When a pit bull terrier walked onto the Mound Elementary School in Ventura, a group of kids took notice. Now, it seems, he also walked into their hearts.

Chauncy, whose name means "friend" in urban slang, is now safe from euthanasia and awaiting adoption at the Canine Adoption and Rescue League's kennel in Santa Paula.

"I didn't want to hear about the dog dying," said Nicholas Thompson, a 10-year-old who helped raise money to send Chauncy to the rescue league. Nicholas said he thought Chauncy would be a really good dog for someone, calling the dog "very nice and energetic."

A janitor at the Ventura school discovered the dog Dec. 23. The pit bull terrier was hanging out in front of the Mound Child Development Center, which provides child care on school grounds.

Chauncy must have slept overnight at the school, because the next morning when teacher Rosalie Peake arrived for work, he was there.

"I fell in love with him," she said. "He's a really sweet, really intelligent dog. When I let him in my car, he jumped in and put his head on my shoulder."

Peake said she drove around the neighborhood trying to find Chauncy's owners, to no avail. With three dogs of her own and no other options in sight, she drove the dog to the county animal shelter in Camarillo that night. It was Christmas Eve.

Somehow, Chauncy survived five weeks in the shelter, even though unclaimed pit bull terriers are often euthanized after a couple of weeks.

"Five weeks is unusual," said Monica Nolan, animal services director at the Camarillo shelter. "If we know we've got a really good pit bull, then we'll try to hold it if it stays healthy."

The three breeds of dogs commonly referred to as pit bulls make up 21 percent of dogs in the shelter, and 58 percent of them eventually will be euthanized. The shelter euthanized 812 pit bulls last year.

Peake and her students kept tabs on Chauncy. They hoped his owners would claim him or he'd be adopted by a new family. But when weeks passed with no luck, they knew they had to do something to get Chauncy out of the shelter before he was euthanized.

Peake started contacting rescue groups and her students got to work raising money to pay for Chauncy's boarding, vaccinations and medical bills.

Sixteen kids in the center's leadership group made posters with drawings of Chauncy and phrases such as "Please help Chauncy! Please he needs a chance!" They also recruited their classmates to raise funds.

As of Thursday, the students had collected $300 in donations from parents, students and teachers, Peake said. Nicholas and four of his classmates — Miles Lagomarsino, Gavin Zollar, Brendan McCormick and Aidan McCormick — formed the core team that helped raise the money.

"I didn't think it was fair for him to be put down to sleep," said Brendan, 10. "It's not fair for a dog to not have a home."

Chauncy will be held for a few weeks at the Santa Paula kennel, in the hopes he is adopted, said Mary Saputo, Canine Adoption and Rescue League president. The black-and-white Staffordshire terrier mixed breed is about a year old, she said.

If Chauncy doesn't find a home in Ventura County, he'll be transported to a Save the Pets foster home in Eugene, Ore., said Maripat Davis, who's coordinating his rescue and runs the Ventura County-based animal rescue group All for Love.

Meanwhile, the students are continuing to raise money to help rescue other pit bull terriers in danger of being euthanized in Camarillo, said Ambar Flores, the center's leadership teacher.

"This shows them that they can make a difference even at a young age," she said.

Chauncy's story has taught Brendan the value of working hard for a cause, he said.

"I feel good because I saved a dog's life," he said.

Contact the league at 644-7387 for more information on Chauncy.

By Hannah Guzik
Photo by David Yamamoto

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Pit Bull Found Sitting By Owner's Body After Tornado

When emergency workers in Amelia, Ohio discovered the body of Carol Forste on Friday, they say they found her faithful dog, still at her side.

Kush, Forste’s pit bull, somehow managed to survive the storm that killed his owner and best friend, and the vet treating him says the loss has crushed his spirit. He says one look into his eyes reveals shock and trauma from the incident.

“Kush would not leave her deceased body’s side…stood right next to her until they discovered her,” said Dr. Dan Meakin, Kush’s doctor.

Dr. Meakin explained that Carol’s death took a toll on Kush, and that for days, he refused food and water.

“Something like that really puts the fear into them, so it sometimes takes them a couple of days to they feel like eating again, but Kush is starting to take food with hand feeding,” Dr. Meakin explained.

The doctor originally thought that Kush would have to be put to sleep because of injuries he sustained, but plans have been made for surgery, and it appears that the long term prognosis is good.

“He’s ripped his ligaments which connects the lower bone the femur to the tibia and he’s broken it,” Dr. Meakin said.

In the meantime, the focus is on Kush’s emotional recovery, which D. Meakin said may take weeks.

“Kush is going to be fine, he’s probably going to mourn the loss of Carol for 30 days or so,” he said.

Posted by ADMIN in Dog News

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Pittie Party Brings Cheer: Misunderstood Dogs Gather For Walks Around The City

Many are former fighting dogs or “throwaway” moms that were used for breeding.

A group of like-minded “bully breed” lovers who run blogs about the misunderstood canines have made time to put aside their laptops for real-time pack-walks around the city.

Every other weekend, Big Apple Pittie Pack Walks brings together these bully breeds, which include boxers and terriers but are most often synonymous with pit bulls.

“The goal is to not only give the dogs exercise and socialization skills, but to show off how great these dogs can be,” said Jennifer Bristol, a pit bull advocate who runs the Bully Project, which provides free pit bull training in Upper Manhattan.

Her fellow social media mavens, Alexa Jordan Silverman and Matthew Siegel, began organizing on-leash urban hikes after readers on their own blog — Two Graduate Students and a Pittie — alerted them to similar walks in other cities.

The couple became vigilant about training their own pit bull, Havi, after realizing that people on the street were scared of a dog they say is harmless.

“There is nothing innately dangerous about Havi or any other pit bull,” said Silverman, a dental student. “Unfortunately, with pit bulls, it is usually bad owners and not bad dogs.”

Silverman and Siegel joined forces with Bristol, who pens That Touch of Pit, and Doria Giles of Pretty Little Pittie.

The informal 2-mile hikes have taken them through Central Park, Riverside Park and the East Side promenade. The group’s next trek will takes place Sunday in Central Park, and is open to dogs of any breed. For info, search for Big Apple Pittie Pack Walk on Meetup.com.

The Bully Project will hold free four-week training classes beginning April 1 in Fort Tryon Park. For information, go to bullyproject.org.

The plight of pit bulls and other “bully breeds” brought two other young New York women to their rescue.

Rachel Gozman of Coney Island and Linda Montgomery of Westchester County founded Twenty Paws Rescue to seek out homes for abandoned dogs that are often deemed unadoptable because of their bad rap.

Gozman first became involved in rescue while studying psychology at Dartmouth College. After graduating, she became passionate about saving the underdogs when she was searching shelters for a sibling for her 12-year-old Bichon.

“They have the power to touch your heart like no other dogs,” said Gozman, 23, who is an NYU nursing student .

Many are former fighting dogs or “throwaway” moms that were used for breeding. The dynamic duo takes in dogs from the streets in New York City or from East Coast shelters, primarily in the South.

Gozman hope to pull dogs from the New York City Animal Care & Control shelter once the group establishes its nonprofit 5013(c) status.

Like many grassroots efforts, Twenty Paws relies on donations and a small army of volunteers, friends, transport coordinators and foster caretakers. They are always in need of additional foster homes to provide shelter for the dogs awaiting adoption, Gozman said.

Currently in its care are four dogs and a 1-year-old female cat named Layla.

The dogs are Ezzy, a social, energetic 5-month-old Labrador/pit bull mix who hails from South Carolina; Ulysses, a 7-year-old brindle pit; Kayla, a 9-year-old lapdog and Honey Bear, a gorgeous pit mix found wandering the city streets and named for her gentle bear-hug greetings.

For information, go to www.twentypawsrescue.com or visit them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/twentypawsrescue.

By Amy Sacks / New york Daily News

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Man's Best Friend

This won 2nd place for a Chevy/Mofilm competition. The St. Bernard, Golden Retrievers, and mixed breed were were all rescued. The four pit bull mixes were rescued from Milwaukee Animal Control. One is a therapy dog, the other is a flyball dude and the two big ones are great family dogs. The winners donated their portion towards Bruno, the handicap pittie pup that was found in an alley at 4 weeks old and had no use of his back legs. He's been rescued and he's currently in therapy. He's got his own Facebook page called Bruno's Story.