With the fall of Breed Specific Legislation from around the world, a new phenomenon is emerging. This is the unprecedented reporting of acts of heroism and positive press surrounding what has become the most hated breed, the American Pit Bull Terrier.
A story came out of Massachusetts this week heralding an amazing act of courage by a Pit Bull named Lily http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/09.... Lily was walking home with her owner, Christine Spain, when Spain fell unconscious and collapsed onto railroad tracks. The engineer reported he saw a dog "frantically pulling at a woman" and despite his best efforts to stop, heard a thump and thought he had hit them both. When he stopped the train and got off, he found the owner unharmed and Lily suffering from, considering the circumstances, minor damage. This is an eight-year-old rescue dog.
Right here in southeast Missouri we have another miracle story. On Friday evening, May 11, 2012, we held a Canine Good Citizen evaluation. We tested and certified four dogs, a Labrador retriever named Max, America's most beloved breed, a Pit Bull named Butters, America's most hated breed, a Lab mix fresh from the Puppies for Parole program out of Southeast Correctional Center and a Pit mix from the Puppies for Parole program.
For all following the story of Butters http://www.kfvs12.com/story/17346796/loc..., Trace White director of the Sikeston Area Humane Society has used this sweet dog to raise awareness of the breed, as well as showcasing what a companion dog should be. He has brought joy to so many people with a dog that was literally pulled off the table to be euthanized. This is what taking a leap of faith is all about. Since the story aired on KFVS 12, Trace has been ordered to muzzle Butters anytime he is within the City of Sikeston's city limits. This has effectively curtailed all the positive work Trace has been doing within his community.
Last evening, Butters passed his CGC test with flying colors. No one doubted this dog's ability and the next step in his journey will be his certification through Therapy Dog International. Breed Specific Legislation does nothing to promote safety in a community but it does deprive people from the experience of sharing in the bond forged between dogs and mankind. Congratulations to Trace and Butters, God's speed on your journey to educate all those you meet!
We have another CGC certified dog that is also nothing less than a miracle. Blue is a Pit mix, born in the Sikeston shelter. Blue's mother came into the shelter heavily pregnant and gave birth almost immediately. She survived only long enough to insure her puppies were safe before she died. All Blue's siblings found homes but Blue, who suffered from stress related demodex, was overlooked repeatedly.
Blue lived the first 14 months of his life in the shelter. Despite pressure from so called no kill advocates to euthanize him, Trace took another leap of faith and kept him safe. Blue entered the Puppies for Parole program, excelled at the training and emerged one of the finest companions we have ever turned out. This dog is incredibly gentle, social above all expectations and eager to please. He is alive and ready to move into his permanent home all because one man listened to his heart and refused to give in to ignorance.
Again, Trace you are to be commended for your dedication to this breed and the heart you put into insuring all viable candidates for homes are given every opportunity to live.
There is a storm brewing and it signals the end of BSL through the positive work of all the dedicated dog advocates everywhere.
Congratulations to all owners working to insure they present the best dogs to society and a special thanks to Kevin Sharp, our evaluator, who goes above and beyond to help us realize our goals.