Sunday, August 29, 2010

See? No Need to Be Alarmed :)

Pit bull adoptions have been fairly slow lately and it's made some of us wonder if folks aren't still secretly concerned about adopting a dog who has come from a "fight" bust. Well we're hoping that here, we can show folks (again!) that bust dogs can be normal, every day companions despite their background!

To the left here, take a look at Sadie Mae. Sadie is one of two dogs we were able to rescue from a small bust in York, SC from February of this year. Sadie bears the scars from her past on her coat, hidden away now beneath the shine in her body and light coloring of her fur.

Sadie's paperwork from the shelter screamed "very dog aggressive" on page after page of the legal paperwork we were made to sign before they would release her. I can only hope today those same folks who wrote those very harsh words in an effort to protect themselves from any liability within the unknown SEE this photo and realize that you CANNOT label a dog ANYTHING without an individual evaluation. Sadie now lives in a home with 4 other dogs and 2 cats and loves every bit of it. We're definitely making plans to get more pictures and maybe some video of her "unexpected" home life as she paves the way for more bust dogs in our region to be afforded the opportunity of an individual evaluation before being labeled a villain.

Last October, we traveled to Missouri to assist with the large dog fighting raid and rescue that spanned across numerous states. In total, over 500 dogs were confiscated in this raid - the largest raid in US history to date! We were able to step in and help with 4 of these dogs, 2 of which are already in their adoptive homes :) Eva the Diva was spotted by her adopter from a photo from hundreds of miles away. The match has gone well and her new family adores her :) Superman Dan was the next to be adopted and is making his new dad smile every step of the way with his personality that is as unique as his looks! Suey Dolittle has gone through obedience training and enjoys a good romp with other dogs with a similar play style and has an uncanny love for children - She NEEDS one in her life! She's so polite with them and can certainly take their usual rough and tumble nature. Eddie Munster was saved before having to go through the horrors of training or fighting and my THAT is a good thing! This boy is sensitive and likely would have made a terrible addition to someone's "yard" for the purpose of fighting. Eddie is a busy boy with a way to make the girl's swoon with his goofy nature and polite but pleading hugs for people.

Want to see a video of two of the bust dogs PLAYING? Check this one out of Dan and Suey when Dan came down for a visit :)

Eddie Munster has improved by leaps and bounds since he came to us in October of 2009. Such a timid boy who is slowly but surely testing out new things in life and gaining a new confidence with new things. One interesting thing a lot of people don't realize but is something that is practically a necessity with Eddie; a LOT of dogs from these busts really THRIVE and LEARN from social interactions with other dogs. Eddie's lack of confidence is amplified in situations when there are no other dogs present. For instance, his foster home likes to take him running to meet some of Eddie's needs for physical exercise.
There are times on these run/walks where Eddie loses his confidence and basically just stops and "pancakes" to the ground in an effort to not have to go anywhere. What his foster home has found is that if he takes the other two (yes TWO) resident dogs out on the run, Eddie has no fears and can make it through his full route. It's amazing what other dogs can teach those who know so little!

And then there's Scarlet Justice, the second dog we were able to pull from the bust in York, SC. She has come with her fair share of advanced challenges quite simply because it's obvious she was heavily involved with the more worse things that go on in dog fighting - actual fighting. While we have no solid proof (ie: no one saw it happen first-hand with her) of her full background, her many scars and old injuries tell us a lot. She's not an easy dog for most people as she has a higher energy level than most dogs out there. She's also not so cat friendly. She's a true pit bull terrier through and through though with her insatiable love for people. Her body melts against your's like butter when she's being petted and she has the drive to do whatever it takes to make YOU happy. We're currently exploring her ability to be with other dogs and we're optimistic for the outcome. Not all bust dogs are going to be easy, but there are many, even with "special needs" that still exude the temperament we all look for with these dogs - their love for people.

At present, we're working out the details on what may be going on and where life may be taking Justice with an injury from her past. See, Justice suffered a break of some sort in her left front leg. It has healed, but because it wasn't attended to properly, we're now seeing some "new" issues lower on her leg in what would be our "wrist" area. X-Rays were taken of her leg last week after a bout of lameness in that leg for the second time in a 10-day period. Those X-Rays showed some very rough "healing" in the outer carpal area in that leg. She was prescribed Rimadyl and we're going to see how things progress once she is through with it. It could be a lifelong issue that will require medication to help her cope with the injury. At this time however, we aren't sure and we're waiting on additional guidance from our veterinarian on what this will mean for her over the long term. In the mean time, Justice is now learning what swimming is all about ;) It's a great form of exercise that doesn't require impact on joints that aren't at their best.

Although such a long post, we genuinely hope to reach people who may have reservations about dogs that have come from these fight busts. We understand, the words can sound intimidating and scary! Especially with all the bad press that abounds! And while the media may not find great stories from positive press since that hardly brings in a slew of ratings, the positive press is out there. And here, this is our PERSONAL experience with dogs from these types of cases. And the people that have opened their home and life to one of these extraordinary animals will also speak from the bottom of their heart just how normal and incredible these dogs can be. Ask someone ;)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Scarlet Justice

Okay all you New Hope fans! The blog is back in action! To kick off our blog reinstatement, we would like to direct your attention to a girl that needs your help! Scarlet Justice came into the rescue from a small bust in upper South Carolina, yes! Here in South Carolina! Two dogs were saved from this bust, Scarlet being the only one left without a home! However, now due to unforeseen circumstances Scarlet Justice is in dire need of even a foster home.

Scarlet Justice is a special dog that would need a foster home that has some experience with under-socialized dogs and has tricks and techniques to assist with inappropriate play behaviors (i.e. mouthing!). A lot of patience and time would really help with her! We also work with an excellent trainer out in Summerville, SC - Kristie Allen CPDT who owns and operates The Learning Canine LLC., who offers her services to some of our dogs and whom we could put you in contact with to help Justice along in her training.

This girlie absolutely LOVES balls of all kinds and is ready to play all the time! She is very busy, and if left alone can easily find something to do (and not always the best thing)! Scarlet is a very sweet dog that enjoys playing outside, playing “soccer” and jumping into the air for treats!

She, like all of our dogs would need to be slowly introduced into a home with other dogs. Due to her extreme prey drive (part of being a terrier) a home with cats will not be considered as she is always up for a good chase!

Scarlet is about 2 years old and sits nicely at about 40 pounds and surprisingly enough Scarlet is heartworm negative. While we would prefer someone who has experience in her direct needs, the right person who is willing to work with this girl could truly help! Let’s all network and try to find this girl a foster home, or maybe even a permanent home!

Let’s pull together South Carolinian's and help out a dog that came from our own state! Help make a difference in the life of a wonderful dog that needs a loving and understanding home!

If you are interested in helping Scarlet Justice find a foster home, or if you are interested in taking this girl in and adopting her, please fill out the foster or adoption application on our website:!

Thank you for your continued support with the rescue and our needs! This is a truly special dog with some special needs, she has overcome some terrible times and experiences in her short life, and we want her to have a great life from then on! Help us get her a foster home or adoptive home and make her life the happiest it can ever be!

If you are unable to open your home to Scarlet Justice, please consider giving a small donation towards her care and training. No amount is too little and we know Scarlet would thank you with lots of tail wags and kisses for any new toys you help bring her way!

Monday, May 10, 2010

New Hope In Columbia, South Carolina

Many of you may be wondering why our web site and blog updates have been slow going over the last several months. Well, we won't make excuses, but rather we will just say that our web "guru" has been out of pocket due to a big move and it's incredibly hard for one person to stay on top of html stuff, writing content, keeping track of emails and phone calls PLUS caring for her own 2 foster dogs and 2 personal dogs... not to mention her work schedule and somewhere in there she likes to catch a wink or two. Whew!

Things are getting back to "normal" starting today. Our webmaster is back and with a HUGE update to boot!

New Hope Pit Bull Rescue is now a "chapter" organization, with locations in both the Charleston area of South Carolina as well as Columbia. Isn't this exciting!

As always, we are looking for foster homes in the Lowcountry, but now we are in dire need of volunteers and foster homes for the Columbia "chapter" too. If you are interested in getting involved with a great organization with a wonderful cause, please don't hesitate to visit our web site and read our policies... then don't forget to fill out the application that most suits your desire to help Pit Bulls in need!

We are looking for a new foster home for Superman Dan.

Dan came to NHPBR as one of the "Missouri 500", and one of four dogs that New Hope Pit Bull Rescue took in from the large raid back in July of 2009.

Quite an energetic boy, Dan has come a LONG way in learning how to be dog and is doing well in learning basic obedience and manners. Currently Dan lives in a home with three other dogs and his foster mom feels that he would benefit even more if he were in a home where he could receive more one on one attention and a lot more exercise.

If you are interested in fostering Superman Dan, and can offer a home where he will receive the amount of both physical and mental enrichment a dog of his energy level requires, please read our foster policy and fill out an application.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A Pivotal Moment...

First, we'd like to apologize to all of our faithful readers for slacking on the blog department lately. We've been incredibly busy maintaining behind the scenes stuff that we haven't had the chance to keep you all updated! Give us just a few more weeks and we'll start feeding your need for New Hope updates once again :)

"Catch the dog fighters and give them the same treatment they gave the dogs!" We've all heard the similar cries of support from those against the terrible act of dog fighting. Folks, while the support to end dog fighting is much needed and must continue, please don't forget that behind every dog fighter busted, there are dogs. Usually 10 or more and at other times it can reach close to the hundreds with one person alone. Dogs that have been encouraged by their humans to respond aggressively towards other dogs. Dogs who want to please their handlers and who may have become addicted to their praise and the adrenaline of a fight. Dogs who have lived their lives on chains, day in and day out, unknowingly waiting for their day to be matched. Many of these dogs die because, you guessed it, there is no where for them to go. We've seen little change in the state of South Carolina in respect to bust dogs. Most would prefer to hide the story. Most would prefer to euthanize the dogs simply because of where they came from, ignoring the individual personalities of the dogs or even feeling helpless as to what could be done for them, believing that there are no resources to help.

Resources. That is why we chose to get involved with the Humane Society of Missouri and Mutts N Stuff in aiding in the placement of 4 dogs from the largest dog fighting raid and rescue in US history to date. Although there is never a shortage of great pit bulls in our local shelters, we knew that by not getting involved, we would have a harder time effecting a change for the dogs in our own state, especially those confiscated from raids or busts. All 4 dogs from the MO-based raid are adjusting well. Its been different teaching them things in comparison to most of the dogs we pull from shelters but it seems primarily because they have never had to worry about learning anything. The only real boundaries set forth were dictated by chains. Teaching them impulse control and providing them with coping skills for new situations has been our largest task with the dogs. They want to make you happy one thousand times over but do tend to forget a lot in the beginning and need a fair and consistent leader. Three of the four dogs can safely play well with other dogs. The fourth likely will too but his foster mom is taking things slowly to make sure a good foundation is laid. To compensate for bringing dogs in from out of our home state, we rescued three emaciated females prior to our trip out to Missouri and after returning, rescued an additional five dogs of mixed genders, ages, and conditions. These are huge numbers for us being such a small rescue.

Our point to bringing up the dogs from Missouri is that they have afforded us the hands-on experience to be able to say with confidence that bust dogs ARE worth saving. I don't recall of ANY cases in the state of South Carolina where even a handful of dogs confiscated in a fight bust were released to a rescue for adoption. Folks, we are at a VERY pivotal point in South Carolina history that for the first time, dogs from a bust could make it out ALIVE! It's already a HUGE deal in our opinion that the shelter is allowing the evaluations! Please understand how IMPORTANT this is. Please also understand that to save these dogs lives, we have to move quickly. We NEED foster homes! If even a small part of you is considering fostering, talk to us! We're trying to make history for South Carolina and build up even MORE resources for dogs in the future and we can't do that without YOUR help.