Pit bulls: they have been called aggressive, dangerous, or even killers thanks to the people who raise and train them to do awful things like fight. However those who have been around the breed know that they are intelligent, loving, and loyal partners, often performing heroic deeds. The following dogs are rescues who, despite being terribly abused, are still amazingly sweet natured. In honor of National Pit Bull Awareness Day (October 24), we are highlighting just a handful of the amazing heroic Pit Bulls out there.
#1 – Maggie
Maggie was adopted from Humane Society Silicon Valley (HSSV) when she was 8 weeks old by her family. Their 7th-grader Jessica (now in college) is a devoted animal lover and convinced her family to sign up for the kitten fostering program at HSSV. Maggie quickly showed a fondness and motherly attitude toward the family’s foster kittens so she and Jessica happily began sharing foster duties. In her role as chief kitten socializer, Maggie has helped foster more than 80 kittens, making them comfortable playing and living with dogs and ready for their forever families.
Download Dogly to support your favorite pit bulls and all rescues by choosing your favorite shelter to benefit from 10,000 around the country. Follow Dogly on Instagram for videos of Maggie coming out October 26, 2015. You’re purrfect Maggie!
#2 – Ox
Ox is a pit bull that lives on White Oak Pastures, a sustainable, organic, multi-generational farm in Bluffton, Georgia. Ox normally lives a pretty relaxed life on the farm, greeting visitors and riding in the truck with his owner Will Harris.
But one day something was wrong – they heard Ox barking incessantly. The farm has a several hundred gallon waste water holder pond and one of their guardian dogs, a Great Pyrenees, had fallen into the pond. Ox stood by the edge of the pool barking for over an hour until he finally got someone’s attention. When the team noticed something was wrong, they walked over to see why Ox was acting that way. The Pyrenees was limp in the water. The team got him out within a few minutes and were able to save him. Had it not been for Ox, the other dog would have drowned. Move over Lassie, Ox is the new hero in this town!
#3 – K9 Kiah
A rescued pitty, Kiah has found her true calling as a heroic narcotics detection dog for the City of Poughkeepsie Police Department. Kiah is finishing up her training and will be on duty starting November. We salute you Kiah!
#4 – Jericho
Jericho is a rescued dog who graduated from Animal Farm Foundation’s Assistance Dog Training Program. Now, he has a new life as a service dog for Matthew Smith. Smith lost the use of his legs in a car accident and uses a wheelchair. Jericho helps Matthew with balance, mobility and retrieving dropped items. Together, the two enjoy an active lifestyle, including fishing trips on Matthew’s boat, four-wheeling excursions and a recent cruise the pair took to Alaska. Way to go Jericho!
#5 – Bella
Formerly abused and neglected, Bella now lives in a home with several other animals, including a Guinea pig named Mr. Brownlee. When a newly rescued dog started to run towards the guinea pig, the family was sure he was done for. The dog, Cody, didn’t stop even when the family yelled at him. That’s when Bella sprang into action. She overtook Cody, getting in between him and Mr. Brownlee. She stood in front of the guinea pig, body rigid, and wouldn’t let the other dog near him. She didn’t growl or bite, but blocked him when he tried to move around her to get to the guinea pig. She continued to do this until the owner was able to get to the pig and remove him from the room. Definitely a hero in our book – good job Bella!
#6 – Howard
Howard, a rescued pit bull, was the first pitty ever to act as a U.S. Military dog. When Alexander Reimer was deployed to Afghanistan in 2012, he was the person fortunate enough to have Howard by his side. Reimer says the pitty and he were inseparable and that Howard saved his life more than once. He considers Howard a “brother in arms.” Unfortunately, Howard was not returned to Reimer when he was retired from service. Reimer now suffers from PTSD and is considered 80% disabled through the VA. He would like to have his partner back as a service dog. If you would like to help Reimer get Howard back home, please visit their Facebook page for more information.
Elle has won more awards for her work than we could possibly name, including: American Humane Assn. American Hero Dog , American Human Assn. Therapy Dog, Best Breed Ambassador Award, Golden Dog Award, and so many more. And who is she? She is a pit bull that spends her days as a therapy dog, working in a dog reading program. She also visits schools and teaches children dog safety. She is an amazing pitty that is helping change the world’s perceptions of the breed (and dog’s in general), one child at a time.
#8 – Nana
Nana spent the first nine years of her life being horribly abused – her teeth were pulled out, her ears cut off – and forced to breed repeatedly (they believe 15+ litters in that time frame). She was saved from euthanasia and adopted by a wonderful family who has helped Nana learn how to be a dog –something she was never allowed to be before. She is part of the Project Blue Collar movement and is an ambassador for them. Nana helps spread the “positive pit bull awareness” message as well as the plight of pet overpopulation and the importance of spay/neuter, adoption, rescue and of course ending Breed Specific Legislation (BSL). Way to go Nana!
#9 – Jeffrey
Jeffrey was on the euthanasia list when a rescue advocate came across his photo. She cross-posted him like she always does, but then took a second look. She knew right then he was meant to be part of her family. Now, he is a registered Pet Partners Therapy Dog, Registered Reading Education Assistance Dog, a Reiki Attuned Canine, and a Goodwill Ambassador for shelter dogs everywhere. Jeffrey volunteers weekly at an inner city reading program and also at The Cove Center for Grieving Children and Camp Erin Newtown, where he provides comfort for children and families suffering loss. He is definitely proof of the compassionate nature of the pitty.
#10 – Calista
Another victim of dog fighting – with cut-off ears and scars over her entire body – Calista “smelled like death,” when her new family first saw her. The President of Mayday Pit Bull Rescue & Advocacy group was able to look past her rough shape, however, and saw she was a life worth saving. So, she adopted Calista herself. She is now a Pit Bull Breed Ambassador and therapy dog– living proof that these dogs come back horrendous abuse to be loving, loyal pets.
#11 – Xena
Some of you may remember Xena from the 2014 American Hero Dog Awards. Horribly neglected, Xena was found by the side of the road and given a one percent chance of survival. Shortly after her recovery, she met Jonny Hickey, a young boy with autism. Before Jonny met Xena, he was very quiet, withdrawn, and preferred his own space. Autism had made it difficult for Jonny to interact with others, leaving him isolated and silent most of the time. When the Hickey family adopted Xena in March, Jonny’s life dramatically changed for the better. Since day one, their friendship has been a constant source of comfort to Jonny.
Now, Jonny is a constant chatterbox at home, playing with Xena and even singing to her! Together they are raising awareness about animal cruelty, the kindness and gentleness ofpit bulls, autism, and that shelter animals make great best friends.
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