"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

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Best Friends Says Farewell to Vicktory Dog, Lucas After a Long Battle with Severe Health Issues


(KANAB, Utah) — A dog who played a pivotal role in saving the lives of canines confiscated from dogfighting busts finally has lost his battle with a myriad of health problems. Lucas, who was Michael Vick’s grand champion, was humanely euthanized at Best Friends Animal Society’s sanctuary Wednesday evening, June 19.

Lucas’ battled-scarred face left a lasting impression on anyone who ever met him—not because of his appearance, but because the often happy-go-lucky Lucas never stopped grinning when he was around people.

Because of the perceived street value based on his previous notoriety and underworld status, the Federal judge who adjudicated the Vick dogfighting case (and authorized the placement of the Vick dogs with rescues), ruled that Lucas be released to Best Friends with the condition that he remain a lifetime-care dog at the sanctuary, located in Kanab, Utah.

Lucas was one of the 22 “most challenging” dogs rescued in April 2007 from Vick’s Bad Newz Kennels fighting operation-- dogs that the judge would only release to Best Friends. They came to the sanctuary in January of 2008, following Vick’s trial and the appointment by the court of a Guardian/Special Master to recommend appropriate placement of dogs seized in the initial raid.

At Best Friends, the dogs were affectionately dubbed “The Vicktory Dogs.”

Prior to the Bad Newz Kennels case, there was no hope for dogs confiscated in dogfighting cases, according to Gregory Castle, chief executive officer of Best Friends Animal Society.

"Before Lucas and the rest of the Vicktory dogs came to Best Friends, the policy on dogs taken from fighting rings was that they be killed. That’s it. That was the policy – rescue them from the bad guys and then kill them. After the Vicktory Dogs those policies and organizational positions were changed in favor of every dog being treated and evaluated as an individual.”

John Garcia was co-manager of the sanctuary’s dog area at the time of the case. He was sent back east to get to know the dogs and help them transition to their new life. His relationship with the dogs was chronicled on the National Geographic Channel series “DogTown.”

“Lucas was inspirational from the first time I ever saw him, I was impressed that after all he had gone through, he still loved humans,” said Garcia, who is Best Friends’ emergency response manager. “He showed us the resilience of canines, something we humans need to learn. Bottom line, he was the king. He changed people's perceptions worldwide about who fighting dogs were and what they could become. I think it's time not be sad, but to celebrate his life. He lived a happy life at Best Friends and Lucas saved thousands of other dogs' lives just by being who he was.”

When the dogs first arrived at Best Friends in January 2008, media came from around the country to meet the dogs. While most of the other dogs were very frightened and cowered from the camera, Lucas proudly hopped on top of his doghouse, wagging his tail nonstop and posing for the camera. Several hardened newspeople were visibly smitten with this charismatic dog.

"Ironically, of all the Vicktory Dogs, the one who could never be adopted per court order, was the most social and well-behaved of them all around people,” said Castle. “And that is how Lucas will be remembered around the staff offices where he spent his days. It was a blessing in every way to be around him and to witness his wonderful effect on everyone he met.

“Lucas was bigger than the abuse he had suffered and bigger than his abusers. In fact they never really touched the real Lucas,” Castle said.

Lucas embodied an indomitable and gentle spirit, but also he represented the tragedy and abuse that the worst of humanity imposes upon the best of our animal friends. It was never possible to escape the sad reality that behind his heavily scarred muzzle and intimidating reputation of a grand champion fighting dog was a sweet, affectionate, regular dog who wanted nothing more than to be around people – to love and to be loved.

“Lucas should have been someone’s pet and been raised in a loving home,” added Castle. “His life, however, was stolen by a gang of thugs who thrived on inflicting pain on helpless animals. Yet, he bore not a hint of malice toward people. In fact he makes the case that it is the characteristic loyalty and desire of dogs to please their people that is manipulated and used against them to get them to fight, which most certainly doubles the crime and abuse of dog fighting."

“Lucas was indeed a champion, but his greatest victories were outside the ring. He won our hearts and taught the world about the integrity and depth of character that is a dog.”

By bestfriends.org
KCSG Television - Best Friends Says Farewell to Vicktory Dog Lucas After a Long Battle with Severe Health Issues

Lucky the Bed Bug Dog

Lucky is a common dog name, but this pit bull’s story is anything but common

By Kaycie Goddard (Reprinted from StubbyDog.org)

Lucky’s life didn’t have the best start. Severely neglected, the scrawny, mostly hairless puppy was discovered by his now dad, Peter Schonemann of Russ Pest Control, while he was out performing bed bug inspections in North Carolina.

“I knocked and knocked on the door and no one would answer until I heard this whimpering,” Peter says, “So I took him outside with me and pet his head — it seemed like the only part of him safe to touch. And everyone who saw me said they were glad I had the pup because no one else wanted him.”

Peter took Lucky home to his family who immediately fell in love. A surprisingly clean bill of health had the puppy settling in with his new family in no time. “He ate twice and slept for about four days,” Peter recalls. No one in the family would have guessed that Lucky, seemingly just another of their rescue dogs (of which they now have three), would soon show off a special talent.

Adult bed bugs are just a little bit smaller than an apple seed and can be seen with the naked eye. However, their eggs and nymphs are nearly impossible to find without a special skill set — a skill set that Lucky just happened to be born with. “He would just sniff everything, and yeah he’s a dog, but this was different,” Peter says. Fully trained bed bug detection dogs can cost upwards of $7,000, but Lucky was showing signs that he’d be a good candidate to show what a totally free rescue dog can do. “So we bought some vials to hide the bugs in and Amy started training him to be a bed bug detection dog.”

Peter and Amy are impressed with his progress. “He can sniff out one egg. That’s all it takes,” his dad boasts. “He still gets distracted with other dogs’ toys when we’re searching a place and that sort of thing, but we’re working with him. He’s still such a puppy.”

“Everyone loves him around the office. He comes in every morning to take attendance before we go out for more training,” Peter says. Lucky, now 19 months old, is on track to be a certified bed bug detection dog by the time he reaches his second birthday.

“Lucky is the epitome of a pit bull — he’s loyal and loves to play,” Peter says. “Some clients are afraid of him since he’s a pit bull, but he’s got this goofy ear that stands up all the time so I think that helps.”

When he’s not sniffing out bed bugs, Lucky enjoys running with his mom, getting spoiled at the office, and enjoying a quiet home life with his family. Lucky and Amy ran in the 2013 Canine Crawl on St. Patrick’s Day which benefitted their local shelter, the Humane Society of Eastern Carolina. Not only did they participate in the race, Lucky and Amy finished in first place in Amy’s age group.

Stay updated on Lucky and his bed bug detection by following him on Facebook and Twitter.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Cat Adopts Newborn Pit Bull Puppy

Cleveland Animal Protection League photo

A Mama kitty caring for her own litter of kittens at the Cleveland Animal Protection League in Ohio is pitching in to help shelter staff care for a week-old pit bull pup who needs all the support he can get in order to thrive.

Noland the pup came to the APL last week when he was just a day old, and is said to have been rejected by his mother.  Mama kitty Lurlene has accepted Nolan alongside her babies, who are called Rivette, Espa, Zixi and Tallydab, and she mothers the puppy for about 9 hours a day.

Shelter staff bottle feed Noland and take him home with them at night.

APL President Sharon Harvey said, “Pups that old without their mom … their survival rate is pretty iffy,” in explanation of why they decided to see if Lurlene would accept Nolan into her litter. Lurlene and the kittens welcomed him with no problems.

“Lurlene loves him,” said Harvey. “It’s so adorable.”

Noland will remain with the APL for as long as it takes to make sure he is strong, healthy and ready to be adopted.

“Noland is going to be with us for quite awhile,” said Harvey. “We need to be really sure with him. We’ve got to focus on giving him the care he needs right now.”

Lurlene and her little family.
Photo via
Cleveland Animal Protection League at Facebook
Article by: Editor in News

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

10 Celebrities Who Love and Advocate for Their Pit Bulls

When it comes to the canine kingdom, few breeds are as controversial as the pit bull. Often used as fighting dogs, pits have developed an undeserved reputation for being dangerous.

Unfortunately, this perception has been perpetuated by celebs like Kelly Ripa and Kate Gosselin, who have both gone on record as suggesting the dogs are unsafe to keep as pets. The good news is that pit bulls do have some fans in their corner. Read on to find out about 10 stars who are working to break the stigma surrounding the pooches through advocacy, awareness, and/or lots of adorable photos.

Kaley Cuoco

Pit bull advocate Kaley Cuoco starred in a PSA supporting the breed.

The “Big Bang Theory” star is a huge pit bull advocate. The actress recently adopted her third and frequently tweets about misconceptions of the breed and how much she loves her own pups (and enjoys sharing silly photos of herself with her pooches, as evidenced by the shot above). She also partnered with Angel City Pit Bulls to make a PSA for the dogs, stating that she was “so proud” to work with the organization.

Not only that, but she was one of the first celebs to speak up when the dogs were publicly maligned by talk show host Ripa. On her morning show, Ripa referred to the dogs as dangerous and said, “But the gangster’s dog is uh, I mean if it’s a gangster it would have to be a dangerous, uh, Pit Bull kind of dog, right?” Cuoco immediately spoke up, saying that she was, “completely heart broken and disappointed.” She also tweeted, “I really hope @KellyRipa didn’t say what I think she said this am regarding pit bulls. #Please don’t be true.” Unfortunately, it was true, but perhaps all the protests she received — from Cuoco and others — helped changed Ripa’s mind.
Photo credit: Kaley Cuoco Facebook

Wil Wheaton

Wil Wheaton owns two rescued pit bulls, Seamus and Marlowe.

Kaley Cuoco wasn’t the only celeb upset by Ripa’s ignorant pit bull comments. Cuoco’s occasional “BBT” co-star Wil Wheaton also took to Twitter — and he blasted Ripa’s remarks. In his first tweet, he said, “According to @KellyRipa, Pit Bulls are ‘dangerous’ and ‘the gangster’s dog.’ Her ignorance breaks my heart, and will hurt Pits in shelters.”

He followed that up with, “I’m not a gangster. My friend @KaleyCuoco is not a gangster. My dog Seamus is not dangerous. @KellyRipa couldn’t be more wrong. Millions of people listen to @KellyRipa. When she spreads misinformation about Pit Bulls, it makes it less likely people will adopt them. I hope @KellyRipa will do some research, spend some time with a Pit Bull, and correct the misleading impression she gave millions of people.”

The former “Star Trek” star also took to Tumblr to defend the breed, pointing out that pits make great therapy, service, and search and rescue dogs. His wife Anne also joined in, tweeting that neither she nor Wil are gangsters or thugs. For the record, the pair have two rescue pits: Seamus and Marlowe.
Photo credit: Wil Wheaton Twitter

Rachael Ray

Rachael Ray makes homemade dinners for her pit bull Isaboo.

Ray loves dogs so much, she founded a line of dog food (Nutrish) that benefits shelter pets. Additionally, her pittie Isaboo has been her constant companion for years, long before Ray had a human significant other. And after Ray did settle down and get married, Isaboo continued to have free run of the house. Ray told People that she fixes Isaboo special dinners, and that the pooch sleeps in bed with the couple.

“I make a dog-friendly version of almost everything that we make for dinner, so she gets a lot of home-cooked food. She likes barley or orzo with chicken stock, carrots and parsley. She likes parsley a lot… We have a queen-size bed and the dog sleeps in the middle. John and I are sort of these little quotation marks on either corner. Isaboo starts out under [the covers], she gets too hot, then she comes back over. We haven’t slept well in six years,” said Ray. It doesn’t seem like she minds too much, though.
Photo credit: rachaelray.com

Cesar Millan

Cesar Millan uses pit bulls in his dog training demonstrations.

Millan is famous for his dog-training techniques, and for years his companion in training was a pit bull named Daddy. Daddy’s mild temperament made him an ideal choice for helping to rehabilitate aggressive dogs, and Millan said of the pooch, “[Daddy] never made a mistake — never, never. He’s never displayed aggression or any other negative behavior. He’s just always helped me. I have never had a dog like Daddy. I’ve been astounded by his intuition, consoled by his affection, and awed by his silent empathy.”

After Daddy passed away in 2010, a new pit bull stepped in to take his place — Daddy’s pit bull protege, Junior. Millan adopted Junior as a two-month old puppy and relied on Daddy to teach the pup appropriate behavior. It worked, and now Junior is the official ambassador for large dog breeds. According to Millan’s website, “Junior [is a] representative of powerful breeds everywhere, from pit bulls to Rottweilers and Great Danes. He will not be a replacement [for Daddy], but a new face of calm submissive dogs at the DPC (Dog Psychology Center), showing the world that it isn’t the breed alone, but the human behind the dog that determines behavior.” In case you couldn’t tell, the Dog Whisperer is a certified fan of pit bulls.
Photo credit: Shutterstock.com / Phil Stafford

Jessica Biel

Jessica Biel calls her dog Tina a "55-pound blanket."

Jessica Biel is so in love with her pit Tina that she’s created the hashtag #TuesdayswithTina just to share photos of the pooch on her Twitter and Whosay pages. The pair are often spotted around Los Angeles, where Biel proves that pit bulls make great companions — the active actress regularly takes Tina hiking and to the beach, the park and more.

All that activity apparently takes a toll on the pooch, who has developed a reputation for sleeping in unusual spots. Although Biel was quoted as saying, “I promise I have an actual dog bed for her,” Tina seems content to nap wherever she sees fit. When the dog isn’t happily snoozing away in the actress’ potted plants, the pair cuddle on the couch together (above), and Biel even referred to Tina as her “55-pound blanket.
Photo credit: Jessica Biel Whosay

Jon Stewart

Jon Stewart owns two rescued pit bulls, Monkey and Shanksy.

The “Daily Show” funnyman is such a canine fan that he occasionally lets dogs fill in for him at work (see above). Additionally, he’s a dad to two rescued pits, Shamsky and Monkey, and has gone on record saying that, “pit bulls are very nice dogs.” His most famous observation about the breed happened during the 2008 election cycle, when Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin said that the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull was lipstick. Stewart countered with, “One is unfairly maligned in spite of evidence that it is no worse than any other dog, and one is an artificial demographic that is no better or worse than any other mom.”

According to dogster.com, “The Daily Show” is an extremely dog-friendly workplace (a fact that’s confirmed by The Bark). The site reports that, on one particular day, “at least four different [dogs were] roaming around unsupervised. Apparently staff members can and do bring their dogs to work every day.” And during the Michael Vick dog-fighting scandal, Stewart had no qualms about ripping into the quarterback on air. “He calls [dogfighting] a sport! I’d like to cover him in liver and let the dogs see if he’s as fast and elusive as they say he is. My guess is no.” Well said.
Photo credits: The Daily Show Facebook page

Linda Blair

Linda Blair is so passionate about pet rescue that she formed her own organization, the Linda Blair Worldheart Foundation.

She may be best known for her pea-soup-spewing role in “The Exorcist,” but these days Blair devotes her time to animal rescue — particularly for pit bulls. The actress is such a huge advocate that she formed her own rescue organization, the Linda Blair WorldHeart Foundation. Not only does it train, socialize, rehabilitate and work to find homes for pets in need, but the Foundation also provides interesting tidbits — such as Blair’s collection of vegan recipes. Additionally, the organization works to clear the misconceptions about the dogs.

Blair is very open about her love for the breed. “The first dog that I came across that followed me home was this big brown and black brindle pit. Now, the new media said, ‘Run, It’s going to kill you,’ and so I was terrified, like many are still today. The dog that followed me home was asking for help. And he changed my life forever. I gave him a helping hand, and in turn, he healed my heart,” she says.
Photo credit: Linda Blair WorldHeart Foundation Facebook page

Alicia Silverstone

Alicia Silverstone's pit bull Butterfly is the "princess of the house."

Silverstone is mom to three pound pups, including a pit bull named Butterfly (also known as “The Pig”). She says that Butterfly has long been the “princess of the house,” and tends to get spoiled the most. ”I’m obsessed with her belly,” Silverstone says. “I love rubbing her belly. It’s so soft.” Silverstone has been advocating for pit bulls for years, in part because she thinks the breed is misunderstood, and that it’s the people who train them to be aggressive that are the problem.

In addition to using her website, The Kind Life, to help aid adoption for shelter pits, she also uses it as a forum for pooch pampering. In 2011, she featured a post on her dogs’ plant-based diet, saying that they are healthier than ever now that they’ve gone meat-free. “Since our dogs have been eating this way, they have stopped getting fleas, hot spots, and their coats look so nice. They are all super healthy with perfect blood work. People always think they are younger than they really are. Feed your animals grains, beans, and veggies like you would eat and you will absolutely see a difference in their health,” she says.
Photo credit: The Kind Life

Josh Hutcherson

Josh Hutcherson rescued an injured pit puppy from a shelter and now takes him on movie sets.

Last year, the “Hunger Games” star made headlines when he rescued a pit bull puppy. The dog, now named Driver, had been dropped off at a kill shelter with a broken leg. A rescue organization saved the dog, and Hutcherson took him home as soon as his leg healed. “[Driver] sat in the shelter for 11 days with a broken leg, and the injury was already about a month old. He’d been sitting in a great deal of pain,” said a rescue worker.

Fortunately, the dog’s life has vastly improved. Not only has Hutcherson provided, “a full stomach, warm bed and a loving owner,” but Driver — who has grown substantially — even gets to accompany his owner on set. It seems that the movies are in the dog’s blood — Hutcherson said his name was inspired by Ryan Gosling‘s character in the movie “Drive.” It looks like the pooch will be hanging out on sets for the foreseeable future.
Photo credits: Hands Paws Hearts and Shutterstock / Joe Seer

Fiona Apple

Fiona Apple postponed her music tour to stay home with her dying pit bull, Janet.

Fans were excited last year when Apple released her first album in seven years. Unfortunately, her tour plans in support of that album were interrupted by her dog’s severe illness. Apple adopted her pit bull, Janet, when the pooch was just a puppy. At the time, she found the four-month-old in L.A.’s Echo Park with a rope around her neck and bite marks on her body, indicating that the puppy had been used in dog fighting. That was fourteen years ago, and the pair have been inseparable ever since. “She was under the piano when I wrote songs, barked any time I tried to record anything, and she was in the studio with me all the time we recorded the last album,” said Apple.

Sadly, Janet suffers from Addison’s disease, so when the dog’s health took a turn for the worse last November, Apple postponed her tour. In a four-page letter posted to her Facebook page, the singer explained her decision. “She’s my best friend and my mother and my daughter, my benefactor, and she’s the one who taught me what love is. I can’t come to South America. Not now. But I know that she is coming close to point where she will stop being a dog, and instead, be part of everything. She’ll be in the wind, and in the soil, and the snow, and in me, wherever I go. I just can’t leave her now, please understand,” she wrote. She has not released further updates on Janet’s condition.
Photo credit: Fiona Apple

It’s clear that these 10 stars have found loving companions in their four-legged friends. We bet they will continue to advocate for the breed, showing how wonderful, loving and non-aggressive the dogs can be. Perhaps Blair’s comments on pit bulls say it best:

“The misconceptions, the prejudice, and the misunderstanding of this breed… This is the original American hero…There’s a history, and if you get into it, you understand they’re an amazing dog."

Here’s hoping more people follow in these celebs’ footsteps and raise them as the gentle pets they were meant to be.

by China DeSpain

Channing Tatum and Lulu

Dog: Lulu / Guardian: Channing Tatum

                                        By Briana Fugitt (Reprinted from StubbyDog.org)

Here’s another reason to keep your eyes on actor Channing Tatum (Magic Mike, 21 Jump Street). Channing has his very own pit bull mix, Lulu, who was adopted from a shelter in his home state of Alabama when she was just seven weeks old. He loves to dance with her, and not just any old dancing, either – Channing and Lulu like to reenact the famous scene performed by Jennifer Gray and Patrick Swayze in Dirty Dancing. Need proof? Check out the video below.

Video du Jour

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Celebrity Pit Bulls!

                                              (Reprinted from StubbyDog.org)

By Briana Fugitt

Actress Lake Bell, from The Practice and Boston Legal, found her pit bull Margaret through her agent, who just happened to be on the Board of Much Love Animal Rescue. One photo of Margaret and Lake was sold. Not knowing much at the time about pit bulls and their bad reputation in the media, Lake couldn’t understand why people would cross the street to avoid walking near her pit bull. In an interview with The Pet Press, Lake explains, “My getting Margaret was based on pure connection. I had no idea that pit bulls were notorious or that there was any bad press about them. It’s weird. I just thought she kind of looked like the dog that was in The Little Rascals. I didn’t think of her as looking mean. She looked beautiful, and so kind and sweet, and she was a little timid when I first got her. She was just special.” A true story of love at first sight!

People.com released Lake Bell and Scott Campbell's official wedding photo. They were accompanied by their "dogs of honor" Texas and Margaret.