Thursday, October 30, 2008

Update on Jezzy!

We received a LONG awaited email up date on Jezzy today and we couldn't be more THRILLED!

To give a little bit of a backstory, Jezzy was surrendered to us in January 2008, by LowCountry Pit Bull Rescue (now known as South Carolina Pit Bull Rescue). She came to us underweight and with a multitude of health issues. It was believed, by the vet we took her to after her arrival, that Jezzy suffered from an intolerance to rich foods and it was recommended that we feed her a bland diet of chicken and rice. During that appointment, we also learned that Jezzy was heartworm positive. Poor girl!

We took Jezzy to our own vet to begin planning her heartworm treatment. While she was on antibiotics and steroids, a pretreatment to build her strength before starting the toll taking heartworm treatments, Jezzy became very ill and we almost lost her. She was hospitalized for more than a week and on Sub-Q antibiotics and fluids just to keep her alive, while our vet ran various tests to try and figure out what was making her so sick. It turns out that Jezzy was suffering from a severe hookworm infestation in addition to having heartworms. A double whammy for this beautiful and sweet girl.

Being a brand new and small rescue with very limited resources, we were faced with a heartbreaking decision. We had another dog in our program too, and we were desperately trying not to exhaust all of our resources to treat Jezzy, but to also get her healthy at the same time. Our vet team had fallen in love with this girl, and the clinic stepped up to offer us a true miracle. A vet tech had grown attached to Jezzy and wanted to adopt her, so our vet offered to take Jezzy on as the "clinic dog" and treat her free of charge in hopes that she would make a full recovery. It was a slow process but she did recover, and the wonderful tech adopted her and Jezzy was able to go to her new forever home at the end of April. She was treated for the hookworms that nearly cost her her life and able to begin treatment for the heartworms. She was tested again a few days ago and is now heartworm free!

Here is a slideshow of Jezzy's pics while she was in our program.

Now, 6 months later, LOOK at this BEAUTIFUL dog!

We absolutely CANNOT thank the vet clinic enough for stepping in and going above and beyond for this girl! She looks fabulous and her new "mom" is obviously doing a superb job. Does that even look like the same dog to you guys???

Beautiful! Absolutely beautiful. Things like this totally MAKE OUR DAY! This here folks, THIS is WHY we do what we do. :)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Mr. Mike :)

As previously mentioned, several wonderful people came through with donations for Mr. Mike at our National Pit Bull Awareness Day event and we couldn't be any happier about it! Two bales of straw, two bags of cedar bedding, a large bag of dry dog food, cans of wet food, bowls, a collar, harness, leash, treats, toys, blankets, all sorts of stuff! (You all should have seen how we managed to stuff all these things in my car!) It is absolutely amazing and helps give us all faith to see people step up to help out these dogs who have been mistreated in the past by other people. You all are WONDERFUL! We can't say that enough!

Now, just so you all know, Tino DID make it into a new foster home so we can now start looking for a new place for Mr. Mike to go to that will keep him warm indoors and help give him the affection from people he wants so much :)

Mr. Mike was an absolute joy to be around and so affectionate, even though it was obvious to us that he was sore. He had a significant amount of hair loss that we aren't quite sure just what color he'll be when he gets better. We're guessing either fawn or red but...well you'll see what we're talking about in the new pictures we got of him. He is going to need a long term foster home while he recuperates but to see him go from bad to wonderful makes everything worth it!

If you are confident you can open your home to Mr. Mike, please fill out our Foster Application.

Now, on to the new pictures. You're heart may break a little at them, but remember, he's on the way to recovery now and so many of you have already stepped in to help get him there. Now we just need one more person to stand up and provide their home and spare time to him to get him indoors and out of the coming cool weather.

See what we mean about not being sure of his coat color? Those "golden" patches are fur that he hasn't lost. He does have new hair growth but it's minimal at this time and will be a different color when it first grows back in.

There's reason to believe that Mr. Mike may have had a broken leg at some point underneath that bright pink bandage. It has healed but they are keeping an eye on it while he's there and it will need to be checked out when we can get him into the vet.

This is the topside "close up" of his rear end.

If you'd like more information about fostering, please send us an email at

Thank you everyone!

Busy Busy Busy!

What a day yesterday! We had SO much fun and got to meet a lot of great people and their dogs!

A complimentary view of our table:

And just to show that we have no shame whatsoever....LOL!

I'm scratchin' m' ears!


Those pics are SO embarrassing but you know what? We want everyone to know that we have a lot of fun at our events and that we're down to earth people :)

Now, to the other pooches we got to meet (with their people) :)

Gibby and his kid

Gibson and Harley

I didn't catch her name, but we got to meet a 7-8 month old English Bull Terrier! She was a beauty and so spirited :)

Meet Botox, a one of the area's American Bullies!

Botox and another pretty lil girl :)

Dog pile!

Look at Mia sporting this awesome bandanna that Marva made! Marva, those bandannas are GREAT!

This is Karma. Isn't she pretty?

And last but not least, by far our best Halloween costume seen on a pooch ALL day: Cheyenna!

We also want to take this time to thank everyone who stopped by to visit, our volunteers for helping out both at the event and "behind the scenes". We also want to give a HUGE thanks to Bonnie and Melanie (and their husbands!) as they brought a substantial amount of donations and goodies for Mr. Mike! Beverly and Marva also helped out with some supplies too! Every bit of it will make a difference in his life :) We will be posting an update on Mr. Mike shortly so keep your eyes peeled!

Thank you everyone for making yesterday such a GREAT day!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Ethical Considerations of Rescue Work

I thank Mary for writing such an important article with such tact and grace.

Article Written by:
Mary L. Harwelik
The Real Pit Bull
Permission to repost from:
The Real Pit Bull Blogspot

There are many, many APBT rescue groups in the USA, with more being formed with what seems like daily regularity. And while the work of those dedicated to helping individual dogs and restoring the breed’s reputation is noble in theory, it’s not always so noble in individual practice. Sadly, ‘rescue’ isn’t always synonymous with ‘ethical’.

Rescue work is a complicated, heart-rending, expensive undertaking that only those with the best of intentions for the FUTURE of the breed should pursue. This means that rescues must have a firm grasp of The Big Picture, recognize that they cannot ‘save them all’, and be 100% dedicated to thoroughly educating themselves on the breed BEFORE they open their doors up and present themselves as breed experts. And egos must be left behind. Rescue work is about the DOGS. Period.

Several years ago, a group of reputable advocacy organizations penned The Code of Ethics for Pit Bull Rescue. The impetus for writing this ethical document was not to try and control or judge the work of other groups, but rather to help guide and educate those newer to the world of APBT rescue. There is no ‘manual’ on how to do this work ‘right’, and experience, while often the best teacher, can sometimes come at the price of devastating mistakes and mishaps. The COE, as it’s been come to be known, was meant to help steer newer rescues on the path of least mistakes. The COE was also meant to help aid the public in spotting those APBT rescues that may not have the best ethics.

Ethics in rescue must always come first. Rescue is not a race to place the most individual dogs, or raise the most money, or build the biggest name. It’s about preserving the future of the breed, educating those who would impact the APBT breed, saving the best breed ambassadors, and committing to the public to always be open and honest about practices.

Breed rescue and advocacy is not for everyone, but if a person chooses to pursue this path, they must do so with the desire to always represent the field of rescue work to the best of their ability. They owe it to others who stand beside them on the front lines, and most of all, they owe it to the dogs.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

National Pit Bull Awareness Day!

Don't forget! This Saturday, we will be at the SuperPetz in North Charleston celebrating National Pit Bull Awareness Day! We're going to be doing a 50/50 deck of cards raffle and we'll have some fun contests as well! We will be there from 10AM until 4PM so there's plenty of opportunity to come out and meet with us. We'll also be presenting Pit Bull 101 and Kid and Dog Safety demonstrations throughout the day :)

Want another reason to come visit us? SuperPetz has chosen us, New Hope Pit Bull Rescue and the Holiday Charity recipient this year! Ask them for details in the store on how you can help out :)

We also have another neat idea up our sleeves for November and December but the cat will stay in the bag for now *grin* We want to make sure all the finer details are worked through before we announce it. Keep an eye on our blog and website as we'll be announcing it there first :) Look for it at the beginning of next week!

As far as the pooches, everything is going well :) The puppies have finally finished all their vaccinations and some of them will be split up into individual foster homes soon. Pam has been SO patient with us and wonderful for the pups that she deserves a much needed break! Also, Golda is about ready to start looking for her forever home! She's of sound temperament and would make a great therapy dog! She still needs some focus on proper manners in the house. You gotta remember, when she first came into the group, she had no idea that she was ALLOWED in a house, much less society's rules for living in one successfully. Her current foster home notes that she's getting better, but still needs some work. We're still keeping an eye on her pesky tooth that has been gnashing into her gums too. We haven't made the decision to have the tooth pulled yet and if at all possible, would like to avoid it. Golda will also need to be rechecked for heartworms to make sure the treatment was successful. We should know her status at the beginning of November :) Cross your fingers for her!

We're still needing a couple of foster homes right now. Tino still needs a foster home. Tino was one of the first dogs New Hope rescued from the shelter. He was left tied to the shelter gate so no one knows much about his background. Tino needs a special foster home who is willing to work with him on building his confidence. However life treated him before made him lack confidence in new, strange situations. In these situations, he gets uncomfortable and pees just a little. He's such a submissive guy and his peeing at over-stimulation is him telling whoever that he's stressed out and not a threat. Tino needs someone to show him that new situations bring good things. Tino needs someone who can follow through with unexciting greetings to help Tino learn that people coming and going is no big deal and that he can relax and trust in humans to do the right thing for him and keep him safe. Tino is a LOVER BOY and I personally would take him back into my home if we could get Mia adopted or moved into a new foster home.

Check out his Petfinder Page for more pics and a video of him. And if you are interested in helping Tino know what love and companionship is, let us know!

We were contacted by a couple of people who found a dog, emaciated, mangy and in serious need of some love and attention. His guardian angel is offering to foster him until we can find him another place to go but, Mr. Mike (as he's been dubbed) is being housed in an outdoor kennel. Mr. Mike has been promised some money to help make him better, and he's not on his way to the shelter, but with the weather getting colder, Mr. Mike is still in danger because he is not in healthy enough condition to maintain himself for too long. We are going to go on Saturday to meet him personally and temperament test him and could really use any cedar chips, hay, blankets, ANYTHING to at least try to leave with him to make him as comfy as possible until we can get him moved indoors.

Here are some pictures of Mr. Mike:

Here's the trouble, many people may be willing to put their heart and home out on the line for Mr. Mike to make life better for him. However, we can't bring Mr. Mike in without first securing a foster home for Tino. Tino is our obligation and responsibility first and foremost as a previous dog saved by our group. This is one tough part of rescue but one that we cannot forget!

If any of you can help, please let us know! If you are going to be at our Awareness Day event, let us know that too! If you have items you'd like to donate to help with Mr. Mike's care, please send us an email at

Thank you everyone!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Our Next Event

This Saturday, October 18th, we will be back out at Hairy Winston in Mt. Pleasant! If you can make it, you need to come out! We're going to have the three puppies, Mia, and Ms. Happy Golda Fawn there. It's gonna be super busy but lots of fun!

Visit Hairy Winston's Website Here. There are lots of neat things in the store so be sure to check them out too!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The Breed Issue

This is Chapter 5 from Karen Delise's book "Fatal Dog Attacks: The Stories Behind the Statistics." There's so much valuable info in this chapter that makes SO much sense that we couldn't NOT share it with you all.

It is important to emphasize that the breed of dog is never the sole determining fact in a fatal dog attack. A fatal attack is always the culmination of prior and present events that include: inherited and learned behaviors, genetics, breeding, socialization, function of the dog, physical condition and size of the dog, individual temperament, environmental stresses, owner responsibility, victim behavior, victim size and physical condition, timing and misfortune.

If breed were the primary or sole determining factor in fatal dog attacks, it would necessarily stand to reason that since there have been millions of Rottweilers, Pit Bulls and German Shepherd Dogs that have existed over the past 37 years there would have to be countless more human fatalities. Obviously this is not the case, as only an infinitesimal percent of any breed's population is implicated in human deaths.

Definition of a Breed

A breed is defined as: a relatively homogenous group of animals within a species, developed and maintained by humans.

Domestication is defined as: to tame (an animal), esp. by generations of breeding, to live in close association with human beings as a pet.

The definition of both "breed" and "domestication" are based on the principal of human management and control. There are no bad breeds of dogs. There are only different types of dogs designed by man to exhibit specialized behaviors or traits.

A breed is a man-made creation. There are breeds of horses, cattle, sheep and of course, dogs. A more precise definition of breed was offered by the Arabs centuries ago as, "a grop of animals raised by man so that it possesses certain hereditary qualities, including an uniform look which distinguishes it from other members of the same species."

Only recently has a uniform look become the primary concern of many dog breeders. Throughout the centuries, dogs were mostly classified by their function. Dogs were grouped according to their use as fighting, herding, guarding or hunting dogs. Today the American Kennel Club still uses the groupings of working, herding and sporting, but few dogs actively function in accordance with their groupings and appearance is often the primary trait considered when breeding.

Animals have been selectively bred over the centuries to maximize their capacity to serve man. Cattle have been genetically manipulated to maximize milk or meat production. Horses have been selectively bred to increase drafting abilities or to increase stamina and speed. Of all domesticated animals, dogs appear to have been selectively bred for the most varied and diverse reasons. From hunting, guarding, herding, retrieving, tracking, guide dogs, and companion animals, dogs have served man in dozens of capacities over the centuries. Breeds of dogs have come and gone as they sited the needs of man.

Breed, Function & Behavior

Besides the obvious diversity in size, shape and colors, different breeds also have innately different behaviors. Generations of selective breeding have made some breeds superb retrievers or herders, while others excel in tracking or hunting. With these specialized skills come specialized or accentuated behaviors. Besides being valued for their hunting and herding skills, dogs have been bred and maintained throughout the centuries for their ability to provide personal protection for their owner and his possessions.

The Doberman Pinscher breed was developed in Germany in the late 1800s by Herr Louis Dobermann. As the local tax collector and part-time policeman, Herr Dobermann set out to create the perfect guard dog to protect him from bandits while making his rounds. It is believed he started with the German Pinscher and added the Rottweiler for courage and guarding instinct. The old smoothcoat German Shepherd type was bred in for hardiness and intelligence. Interbreeding wth the Manchester Terrier was the probable source of the trademark black and tan coloring of the Doberman Pinscher. Other breeds, such as the Greyhound and the Weimar Pointer were introduced to improve the overall condition of the breed. After the death of Herr Dobermann, Otto Goeller continued to develop the breed. A breed standard was drawn up and accepted by German Kennel Club in 1900.

Selective breeding continued with the Doberman Pinscher breed throughout the 20th century. Many breeders in the United States no longer considered the initial aggressiveness associated with the earlier versions of this breed an advantage and began to selectively breed against this trait. Today, the Doberman is still an alert and watchful guard dog, but much of the fierceness originally associated with this breed has been selectively bred out.

This is rather an encapsulated version of the creation of a breed, in this case a breed developed to guard and protect, but it serves as an example to show how man can genetically alter an animal to exhibit a temperament and appearance to suit his needs. It also demonstrates that when a particular trait, for example, fierceness, is no longer desired, it can actively be bred out of the population.

The prior function or purpose for which a breed was created and the subsequent uses the dog serves in the life of his owner are vitally important factors in explaining temperament and behavior. Temperament can be explained as: genetics + environment = behavior (temperament).

It should come as no surprise when a breed of dog which has been selectively bred over generations for protective or aggressive traits is involved in an attack or an occasional fatality against a human. Over the decades different breeds of dogs have gained popularity as protection or attack dogs. Great Danes, German Shepherd Dogs, Doberman Pinschers, Rottweilers, and Pit bulls have all been hugely popular at one time or another as private and professional guard or protection dogs.

In July of 1923, an 11-year-old boy was killed by two Great Danes in Florham Park, New Jersey. The boy had sneaked into a park where the dogs were kept as guard dogs and was immediately set on by the Great Danes. As the boy vainly attempted to escape the dogs witnesses gathered and a handful of men attempted to beat the dogs off the boy. A park attendant arrived and was able to easily call the dogs back. The owner of the dogs stated that he had trained them to protect himself and the park premises.

In June of 1995, a young boy scaled a fence and entered into an equipment yard to retrieve a ball. The yard contained trucks and cement mixing equipment that was guarded by three German Shepherd Dogs. The dogs attacked and killed the boy. The dogs were taken to the local shelter, where they showed no signs of aggressive behavior.

In July of 2001, two Pit Bulls were being rented out as guard dogs for a business in a crime infested area of central Phoenix, Arizona. An intruder scaled the fence sometime during the night and was found dead in the morning by employees of the business. The 50-year-old man had died from blood loss due to dog bites. (Employees of the business reported that on two separate occasions security dogs had been killed - one was found wrapped in razor ribbon and the other had been beaten to death with a board that had nails in it.)

While the breed have changed over the last 80 years, the function of these dogs were basically the same: protecting or guarding a business or location. There was no distinction made on the part of these animals as to the status of the intruder. A child retrieving a ball or man intent on burglary is seen simply as an intruder and these dogs behaved instinctually and as agents of a human interest.

None of the animals involved in the above incidents could be considered "vicious," as all were easily controlled after the attack. Their behavior was in accordance with innate canine territoriality, human-managed breeding goals and their individual selection and training as guard dogs.

With dogs that seemingly act without the auspices of their owners or employers, it is important to remember that the creation, maintenance and continuousness of any breed is wholly dependent on human management. When a particular breed of dog begins to attack humans with little or no provocation, it is not because the breed is bad or vicious, it is because we as managers of the breed have either willingly encouraged this behavior or have irresponsibly allowed this behavior to be expressed genetically. (genetics + environment = behavior). Allowing a dog to behave aggressively and allowing aggressive animals to breed will ultimately produce a breed that exhibits increased levels of aggression against humans.

The Right Breed for the Right Onwer

By design, different breeds of dogs have innately different behaviors. This by no means implies that Rottweilers are dangerous and Golden Retrievers are trustworthy. What i means is that the individual breeds have traits and behaviors that have been selected for service to man. The problem arises when uneducated or irresponsible owners obtain dogs without knowledge of the breed's history and are not capable or willing to train, supervise and take responsibility for the behaviors that come with the breed.

A person who obtains a Border Collie without knowledge of the intense herding behavior and high energy level of this breed may have many trying days of dogs ownership. A person who obtains a Bassett Hound in hopes of the dog doubling as a jogging companion or watchdog will be sorely disappointed. While these are rather obvious examples of how certain breeds are not right for everyone, it should be just as obvious that a Rottweiler, Pit bull, Doberman Pinscher, Akita or Chow Chow is not the right dog for many people.

In the case of the uneducated Border Collie or Bassett Hound owner, the results are usually frustration for the owner and a very uncertain future for the dog when the breed does not live up to expectations. in the case of an uneducated Rottweiler or Pit Bull owner the price for ignorance can be higher than simple frustration.

A significant part of the problem with dog aggression as it relates to attacks to humans is not the breed of dog, but rather the inability of many owners to control, supervise, and properly train the breed of dog they choose to keep.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

New Pics of Mia :)

We managed to get some really good, new pictures of Mia at our event at Hairy Winston yesterday :) She looks a lil "porky" in some but a lot of it is how she's laying on the ground, trying to keep cool. We also were able to snag one GREAT picture that shows off her brindle undertones in her coat. You can't tell me she isn't one GORGEOUS dog!

Mia may be in luck soon too! A very sweet girl came by to visit her at the event yesterday and things look promising :) She's going to come back to Hairy Winston at our next event on October 18th with her husband and her dog to do a little meeting to see how things go. Cross your fingers for her!

And, if you haven't done so yet, you all REALLY need to go check out Hairy Winston in Mt. Pleasant. Their website address is The ladies there are wonderful and they have a lot of unique and upscale items at very reasonable prices :) It's a great location and I can't say enough good things about them :) You HAVE to go check them out. Especially if you like to spoil your pooch :)