Category Archives: bigotry against dogs

Love, Hope and Forgiveness

Heroes Come in Different Species

 

An Abused Pit Bull and Human Survivor Share Hope and Healing

Some people see a pit bull and go running for the hills fearing that they will be maimed due to the sensationalizing of (and often untrue) pit bull attack stories overreported by the media. Then there are dog lovers and advocates who see a dog just like any other dog. Donna Lawrence is one of the latter. Yes, even after she WAS attacked by a pit bull.

 

A recent survey of people who admitted to having negative opinions of pit bulls, 60 percent of the participants cited media reports as the basis of their negative opinions.

 

“One person and one animal can make a powerful difference in the world,” said Donna. She survived an attack and later adopted an abused pit bull puppy who was set on fire. Her courage and commitment to dogs inspires people around the world.

 

Donna and Susie’s story of Love, Hope, Courage and Forgiveness has been made into a movie called Susie’s Hope which recently aired on UPTV.

 

The DVD will be released this fall, but you can preorder through Best Buy now!

 

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/susies-hope-dvd/25346296.p?id=3251052&skuId=25346296&st=Susie%27s%20Hope&lp=1&cp=1

 

Movie trailer:

 

 

Donna thought Susie was dead when she found her in a park. “My heart melted the instant I saw her. I had so much compassion for her. I saw this six week old puppy with third degree burns all over her body and I couldn’t understand how someone could do this to her. I had never seen abuse like this before. She was so little and frail with scars all over her body. Her ears were burned off. She had broken bones. Susie needed a lot of love and protection,” Donna explained.

 

10432978_10202421960093538_3033797204226093029_n

“As I held her, covered in bandages, she kissed my face.  She was so loving and just wanted me to hold her. I was captivated. We were kindred spirits. I could relate to her pain and suffering. She was wrongfully attacked. We both had a lot of physical and emotional scars and fears to conquer.”

A few weeks before she met Susie, Donna had been feeding her neighbor’s abandoned and abused pit bull who was chained up 24/7. One day the dog became aggressive and attacked Donna’s legs. She thought she was going to die.

It is important to note that the attack on Donna was not because the dog was a pit bull. The attack fit the profile cited in a recent report published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association (JAVMA)/  The report discusses dog bite prevention and cites factors involved in attacks. Breed is not a factor. The dog that attacked Donna was chained up (a resident dog not a pet), abused, neglected, not neutered and no able bodied person was there to intervene.

“I was working through some serious emotional turmoil, and one weekend when I had Susie in my care, I got the tragic news that I would never be able to have children—as a result of the attack. I cried all the way home from the doctor’s office.  When we got home, it was like God spoke to me,” Donna recalled. “You see that puppy, she has been abused, set on fire, and left for dead. Yet she is forgiving. She is not living in the past. She is happy and thankful to be alive.  She is moving on with her life and so can you. I want you to adopt her. I have big plans for you–bigger than you can imagine. And you will never fear dogs again.”  So, I listened to God. I let go of my hurt and anger and trusted in God that together we would bring healing to people and animals.”

Pit bulls and their bad reputation never bothered Donna. She considers pit bulls “loyal and affectionate dogs with loving hearts.”  Before the pit bull that attacked her and adopting Susie, Donna rescued another pit bull named Samson. “He was so sweet; I’d take him to the salon with me every day and he’d sit by the dryers while the gals got their hair done.  He’d look over their shoulders as if he was reading the magazines with them!”

Wanting justice (a punishment to fit the crime) for what happened to Susie, Donna was concerned that Susie’s abuser would go free. Animal cruelty laws were very lenient in North Carolina at the time and had not been changed in a very long time. The person who abused Susie was only given jail time because the court could charge him with destroying someone else’s property. Susie was treated as property rather than a living being. So, Donna helped to pass Susie’s Law with stiffer fines and jail time for animal abusers.

It  was a team effort. “In March 2010, we canvassed the state of North Carolina, sharing Susie’s story. We sent out emails, postcards and letters with our “request for change.”  We took Susie before the city council and county commissioners Votes were unanimous in the House and Senate (after taking one look at Susie).  The Bill was signed by Governor Perdue in June 2010, with Susie’s paw of approval. The law was put into effect in December 2010.”

“Remember, serial killers practice abusing animals first and then move on to innocent children and adults,” Donna declared.

Now, Donna has high hopes for the impact of the movie. “We hope that Susie’s Hope will start a nationwide movement, to bring national public and legislative awareness, to change laws in every state. Maybe even a national law to protect all animals. Some states have great animal cruelty laws, and then, some don’t. I hope the movie will motivate others to make a difference and change in their own state, or hometown, for the sake of the animals. I also hope the movie will motivate people to never give up on the things they are passionate about.”

Through Susie’s Hope™ the non-profit organization, Donna and Susie teach people how to treat animals properly.

 

984185_10203684889756603_2531145933910353384_n

“Susie and I are on a mission to do all we can to stand up for the rights of animals. It is time for a change in our society. We need to stop turning the other cheek to abuse and start reporting abuse whenever we see it. We need to crack down on puppy mills and backyard breeding. Fight for changes in your own state. Let’s get animals off of chains and make them a part of the family. We hope people will take care of their pets, and learn how to be safe around them, to love and respect them.”

When Susie and Donna visit schools, “I usually ask the children to offer Susie a treat. I teach kids in the schools how to approach animals,and to always ask permission. Not all animals enjoy kids running up to them and getting in their face, or riding them like a horse. Children need to learn at an early age to respect an animal’s space and how to gently approach them.

“People need to understand animals have feelings and emotions just like we do. They feel pain, loneliness and rejection, and they know when they are loved–and when they are not.”

Susie turned five years old in June (2014). “Susie loves chasing her brother and sister dogs around in the yard. She loves going to work with me at the salon.  (She gives the clients kisses and shows off with her favorite tricks–riding a skateboard, jumping through a hula hoop, playing dead, counting, reading, pointing to colors, and more). She loves to eat peanut butter. She loves riding in the car and traveling.  I think she likes being my friend. Susie does like other doggies, but it takes her a bit to warm up to them–she has to make sure she can trust them.

“Susie and I are on a mission to do all we can to stand up for the rights of animals. It is time for a change in our society. We need to stop turning the other cheek to abuse and start reporting abuse whenever we see it in our neighborhoods, communities or our workplace. We need to crack down on puppy mills and backyard breeding. We want to encourage everyone to fight for changes in your own state and communities. Let’s get animals off of chains and make them a part of the family. We hope people will continue to educate children as well as adults in their own communities how to take care of their pets, and how to be safe around them, to love them and respect them,” she concluded.

Susie is a nominee in the American Human Association Hero Dog Awards contest. As the 2014 AHA Therapy Dog, please consider voting for her.  (Visit www.susieshope.com orwww.susieshope-nc.org for more information).

Leave a comment

Filed under adoption, all you need is a dog, All you need is love, animal abuse, animal rescue, bigotry against dogs, breed specific laws, dog movies, dog movies/TV, dog rescue, dogs, keep pets safe, pit bull, saved from fire, Uncategorized

Susie’s Hope on TV

This is an incredible week for pit bulls with Pit Bull Week at HuffPost Green and this movie, wow !!!

A pit bull attack survivor adopts an abused pit bull … this just makes me cry. The courage exhibited by Donna Lawrence is truly inspirational and healing. (Imagine if someone else who shall remain nameless went on this path instead of the path of hate and revenge, oh well, everyone chooses what they do).

The movie Susie’s Hope, the true story of Greensboro, NC’s Donna Lawrence (played by Emmanuelle Vaugier, “Two and A Half Men,” “CSY: NY”), a natural-born animal lover who barely survives a ferocious, life-threatening attack by an abused pit bull but learns to overcome her new fear of dogs and move forward in the most unexpected way – by adopting and caring for a brutally abused, abandoned pit bull-mix puppy named Susie.  Susie’s Hope premieres exclusively on UP on Sunday, August 3 at 8:00 p.m. EST / 7:00 p.m. PST.

Susie’s Hope is an inspirational, hopeful movie about unexpected second chances and compassion,” said Sophia Kelley, senior vice president of programming, UP.  “After almost losing her life, Donna Lawrence finds the strength to face her newfound fear of dogs and motivate a state to pass legislation to help prevent cruelty to animals. Susie’s Hope is a truly touching film that’s guaranteed to uplift all who watch it.”

Screen shot 2014-07-30 at 1.00.12 PM

Susie’s Hope recounts the story of Donna Lawrence (Emmanuelle Vaugier), a long-time dog enthusiast and caretaker, who warily observes the neglect and deterioration of a nearby neighbor’s pit bull and volunteers to help.  When the owner moves and abandons the dog, Donna is left behind as the animal’s caretaker.  Every day, she places a bowl of food in the doghouse and walks away.  During a routine visit, the fearful dog attacks Donna without warning, pinning her to the ground, viciously clenching her at the throat.  Donna calls out to God and finds the strength to throw the dog off and roll away.  After being rushed to the emergency room by a neighbor, the doctors tell her that she is lucky to have all of her limbs as well as her life.  Donna receives 45 stitches in her leg and spends the next two months learning to walk again.

With the help of her husband Roy (Burgess Jenkins), Donna heals physically but the emotional scars of the traumatic attack leave her shaken and frightened until she meets Susie.  Donna’s close friend, Ramona (Andrea Powell) is who initially comes across Susie, a pit bull-mix puppy that had been beaten, set on fire, and left to die by her former owner. Both having experienced vicious attacks, Donna and Susie share mutual fears and learn to conquer them together.  Donna makes peace with her wrongful attack and Susie forgives humans for hers. Spearheading a group of like-minded individuals, the pair ultimately inspire and move an entire state to take a legislative stand against animal cruelty through the passage of “Susie’s Law,” which strengthened North Carolina’s penalties for animal abuse into a Class H felony.

Screen shot 2014-07-30 at 1.00.34 PM

About Donna Lawrence and Susie:

Donna and Susie have worked to overcome their mutual traumatic experiences to inspire and minister to others (human and canine).  Donna and Susie visit schools, nursing homes, churches, burn centers and organizations, and attend pet adoption fairs and fundraisers to motivate and educate people surrounding animal cruelty.  Captivating the hearts of those that learn of Susie’s story, Susie was recently recognized as the 2014 Therapy Dog winner for The American Humane Association Hero Dog AwardsTM. The commendable recognition has placed Susie in the national finals (as one of the eight finalist contenders) of the 2014 American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards™.  To vote for Susie, visit: http://www.herodogawards.org/vote?nominee=35549916.  Voting ends Monday, September 15, 2014 at 12 p.m. EST.

For more information about the Susie’s Law and the Susie’s Hope™ non-profit organization, which promotes education and awareness of the care and responsibility required in owning pets as well as animal safety around unfamiliar animals:

·        www.susieshope-nc.org/susieslaw.htm

·        www.susieshope.com/nonprofit

Leave a comment

Filed under adoption, animal abuse, animal books, animal stars, bigotry against dogs, canine rehabilitation, dogs, pet care, pit bull, politics, Uncategorized

Be the Change: Speak Out

Animals cannot speak so it is important for us to be their voice

If you see a hurt, abandoned, neglected, abused, dying animal, please stand UP and speak OUT for them and keep on speaking and standing until Justice is served.

A few recent examples below:

We are strategizing to change the policies of the Denver police department. Harley is a dog that was injured from being hit by a car, the Denver Police Department stood there for over 90 minutes without giving the dog any comfort or allowed any medical help at all as he lay there whimpering in pain. Their claim is that they needed to wait for Animal Control. Animal Control did not arrive for 90 minutes. PLUS, the police threatened to arrest a neighbor who was willing to take Harley to the hospital with the intimidation tactic that he would be interfering with an investigation. There was no investigation. The police didn’t allow this neighbor to help this dog or soothe him in any way, no blanket. Nothing. I am still unclear if Harley died before Animal Control arrived 90 minutes later or while he was being transported to wherever Animal Control was going to transport him. Either way, The Denver Police Department allowed this elderly dog of 14 years old to suffer for over 90 minutes without anyone helping him or showing him any love.

WhyDog_179109360

Harley’s Mom Speaks Out…https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=1411224285810812&set=vb.1411179439148630&type=3&theater

In another case of cruelty towards an animal, because people spoke out the abuser is now in jail,

http://www.examiner.com/article/man-accused-of-burning-dog-is-behind-bars-and-facing-charges

The PIBBLE March on Washington DC is all about ending abuse and discrimination of pit bulls. ‪#‎realmenlovePIBBLES‬
standupforpits.us

Screen shot 2014-03-29 at 12.18.49 PM

1 Comment

Filed under adoption, animal abuse, animal communication, animal rescue, bigotry against dogs, blog the change, breed specific laws, dog rescue, dogs, keep pets safe, pit bull, Uncategorized

Dogcott the Olympics

people make all kinds of stupid, mean and unintentionally wrong remarks on Facebook and the Internet, about gay people, about dogs, about pit bulls in particular and more…

I am noticing that people use pit bull when they want to indicate a mean or scary or even a big dog. for instance, one author I read wrote about her friend being able to wrestle a 160 pound pit bull. this was in a book. i wrote to the person and told her that there ain’t no such thing. that pit bulls, aka American Pit Bull Terriers, Pit Bull Terriers and American Staffordshire Terriers, are average between 40-80 pounds. And to say a 160 pound pit bull makes the dog sound really scary, right. Not good for the breed, thank you very much. She wrote back thanking me and told me that her friend had a chow pit bull mix. Well, a chow can be a big dog. And so can Aussie Shepherds, Labs, Goldens, Rotties and other dog breeds but not pit bull breeds. so if you want to talk about wrestling a DOG, say a dog, or a BIG breed of dog like those mentioned, capiche?

Someone else today wrote about a pit bull tearing apart toilet paper. What that visual was supposed to connote am not sure. But again, why not just a dog or cat tore apart the toilet paper? sounds scarier saying a pit bull and continues the big bad mean myth.

Meanwhile, numerous communities are repealing, overturning and doing away with their breed bans, yay. Mixed bag, right.

Now, what is happening in Russia is a big travesty and people are boycotting the Olympics due to the fact that stray dogs in Sochi are being killed to prepare for the Olympics. They were called disposable waste. Also, Russian treatment of gay people is abominable. And there are other problems going on there, too.

1012045_10152051536648369_1404605883_n

“In a phone interview with ABC News, Sorokin described the extermination as a public service. He described the animals as “ biological trash” and said that Sochi has “an epidemic of rabies”.

“I am for the right of people to walk the streets without fear of being attacked by packs of dogs,” he said.

“The practice of hunting stray dogs has become common in Russia, where they are widely visible throughout many city streets. Sterilisation is not common and many owners simply abandon their pets.”

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/sochi-killing-stray-dogs-in-preparation-for-the-winter-olympics-9105046.html

 

a resscue group is trying to save the dogs that are left.

 

“Hundreds of dogs have already been killed. Authorities have told the organization they have until today, before Friday’s opening ceremonies, and any dogs left will be shot.

“Rescued dogs are being taken to a shelter called PovoDog, outside of the city.  Organization workers say many pets were left behind by families displaced by the construction for the games. And, construction workers attracted the dogs to stick around by feeding them.

“Rescue workers began their efforts this past October. They report up to 300 dogs were being killed a month.

“The Volnoe Deloe rescue is backed by Russian billionaire Oleg V. Deripaska.

Thanks to the New York Times for covering the urgent efforts. Read the full story at NYTimes.com >>

Leave a comment

Filed under animal abuse, bigotry against dogs, boycott, breed specific laws, dogs, dogs around the world, pit bull, prejudice against dogs

Be the change 4 paws

Here we are again… since today is Be the Change October 15, 2013 and this month is Pit Bull Awareness Month, I have decided to combine the two into one nifty little blog post about pit bulls.  Seems like the tide has been turning and myths about pit bulls are being overturned, not everywhere, but in a lot of places, thanks to TV shows like Pit Bulls and Parolees and Pit Boss and movies. You can Be the Change for Pit Bulls through education, fostering, adoption, and through your local shelter.  Show the world that pit bulls are good dogs. Be creative. Share the love and sloppy kisses.

What do you think???

1391787_585677614828674_2009035752_n

Here is a poll about pit bulls… please vote

 

http://specials.msn.com/more-polls.aspx

1378514_377935822309661_732690063_n

A few cool stories about pit bull heroes

http://living.msn.com/family-parenting/pets/off-the-leash-blog-post?post=4b02f282-6652-4b19-8f13-9f02d0ddead1

elle the pit bull named hero dog of the year 

http://www.vetstreet.com/our-pet-experts/pet-scoop-therapy-pit-bull-named-american-hero-dog-orphaned-manatee-calf-rescued?WT.mc_id=cc_msn

You can watch beyond the myth documentary for free on Hulu

http://www.hulu.com/watch/417334

1378502_529667183784348_1034085456_n

 

 

This is a Blog Hop… you can enter here:

http://poochsmooches.blogspot.com/2013/10/blog-change-cool-shelter-policy.html

2 Comments

Filed under adoption, animal planet, animal rescue, animal stars, bigotry against dogs, blog the change, dog movies, dog movies/TV, dogs, keep pets safe, pit bull, prejudice against dogs

Celebrities and pit bulls

beautiful story… we applaud, appreciate and love to hear these tales about celebrities who love their pit bulls and advocate for them. The more that this information gets out into the public arena, the better for us pit bull guardians/advocates and the dogs we love.

http://hollywoodjournal.com/making-a-difference/producing-pit-bulls-and-preconception/20130225/

Last week actor James Gandolfini, best known for his role in the show Sopranos, died of a heart attack in Italy. As people mourn his death, we have been heartened to hear that his last/final film, a crime drama Animal Rescue, is the story of an abandoned pit bull pup rescued from a dumpster. His own dog, a pit bull named Duke, was his companion and it has been said that this film will bring to light the horrors of BSL and awareness to the plight of pit bulls.

http://www.ecorazzi.com/2013/06/20/james-gandolfinis-final-film-will-feature-a-rescue-pit-bull/

1001174_628317493863067_655240980_n

Chicago Blackhawks player Bryan Bickell (@bbicks29) and wife Amanda (@Caskenette dispel five top myths about pit bulls

chicagolovespits.org

can you believe that anti pit bull haters could be so uninformed to think that this dog is a pit bull???

1005132_462599093832256_922792946_n-1

1 Comment

Filed under adoption, animal abuse, animal rescue, bigotry against dogs, breed specific laws, children and dogs, dog friendly, dog rescue, dogs around the world, end dogfighting, pit bull, publicity, Uncategorized

Any Dog Can Bite

“Whom do dogs most often bite? Toddlers. Next, the elderly; and coming in third–you guessed it–postal carriers.”

As a U.S. Postal Service slogan in support of National Dog Bite Prevention Week says, “There are 70 million good dogs, but…ANY DOG CAN BITE.”

…Patterson of the AVMA calls insurers’ singling out certain breeds misguided. The data, she says, do not bear out the contention that one breed is more apt to bite than another, though she allows that big dogs, by virtue of their size and strength, may do more damage when they bite. “A Great Dane, a retriever can do a pretty good job of biting, if they decide to.” But if you look at “willingness to bite,” she says, there’s no evidence that pit bulls, for example, are more dangerous than Pekinese. “Communities with a lot of pit bull bites are communities with a lot of pit bulls.”

…Patterson of the AVMA calls insurers’ singling out certain breeds misguided. The data, she says, do not bear out the contention that one breed is more apt to bite than another, though she allows that big dogs, by virtue of their size and strength, may do more damage when they bite. “A Great Dane, a retriever can do a pretty good job of biting, if they decide to.” But if you look at “willingness to bite,” she says, there’s no evidence that pit bulls, for example, are more dangerous than Pekinese. “Communities with a lot of pit bull bites are communities with a lot of pit bulls.”

http://gma.yahoo.com/dogs-put-489m-bite-home-insurance-industry-141829262–abc-news-topstories.html

Children aged 12 years and younger were the victims in 51% of cases. Compared with controls, biting dogs were more likely to be German Shepherd or Chow Chow predominant breeds, male, residing in a house with ≥ 1 children, and chained while in the yard

If we want better outcomes in our communities, we need to promote responsible pet ownership: the humane care, custody and control of all dogs.

If you’re REALLY worried about dog bites, you should support correcting the things that cause them: like making sure that all dogs are trained & socialized properly, making sure that all dogs are spayed or neutered, making sure that no dogs suffer neglect and/or abuse, and if they do, making sure the dogs are properly rehabilitated.

You should NOT  fixate on one particular factor to the exclusion of all else and which is not determinative in predicting bites – the breed of dog. When you see a web site or story reporting that the breed is the SOLE determining factor, THEY ARE LYING TO YOU! And when you spread their lies, you are doing nothing to help curb the problem you’re concerned about. And when you support Breed Specific Legislation, you’re actually making that problem worse.Why? Because it is a simplistic approach to a complex problem, and it doesn’t address the real issues.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/10022910141

The breeds that scored the average or below average rate of or attempted bites are Pit Bulls and Rottweilers. The breeds that are the most docile with the utmost least aggression are Bassett Hounds, Golden Retrievers, Labradors, Siberian Huskies and Greyhounds.

http://www.petwatchman.com/the-top-three-most-aggressive-dog-breeds-youll-be-surprised/

Prevention

481460_10151416385241892_821512733_n

How to “Be a Rock”. In the Be a Tree dog bite prevention program we teach kids to Be a Rock if a dog knocks them down, or they are playing on the ground when a strange dog comes near. We don’t talk about dogs attacking them, since we don’t want to create a fear of dogs where there is not one. We don’t talk about protecting the throat and internal organs in case the dog rips them out (yes, some dog bite prevention educators actually talk about these things and put terrifying images into the heads of kids and parents – yikes!)

The fact is, that the rock is very rarely needed, because if kids “Be a Tree”, the dog will go away. The vast majority of dogs do not intend harm and they quickly lose interest in a child that is standing still.

http://doggonesafe.com/Be_a_Tree_program

Remember, a responsible dog owner should:

  • NEVER leave a baby or small child alone with a dog, even if it is a family pet. Children are often bitten by a dog in their own household.
  • Make sure your pet is socialized as a young puppy so it feels at ease around people and other animals.
  • Never put your dog in a position where it feels threatened or teased.
  • Walk and exercise your dog regularly to keep it healthy and provide mental stimulation.
  • Use a leash in public to ensure you are able to control your dog.
  • Regular veterinary visits are essential to regulating the health of your dog. A sick or injured dog is more likely to bite.
  • Be alert. If someone approaches you and your dog while out on a walk, caution them to wait before petting the dog, giving your pet time to be comfortable with the stranger.

A dog’s tendency to bite depends on such factors as heredity, obedience training, socialization, health, and the victim’s behavior. There are good dogs and bad dogs within every breed, just as there can be responsible and irresponsible owners of each breed. That’s why State Farm does not refuse insurance based on the breed of dog a customer owns. Under the right circumstances, any dog might bite.

http://www.statefarm.com/aboutus/_pressreleases/2013/nj-sf-lists-top-states-for-dog-bite-claims.asp

Vets in Australia are calling on governments to ditch bans on dangerous dog breeds.

The Australian Veterinary Association (AWA), which has launched a new strategy to deal with dog bites, says the latest research shows banning particular breeds does nothing to address aggression in dogs, and nothing to increase public safety.

The vets say a focus on registration, education and temperament testing would be more effective.

…Veterinary behaviourist and AWA spokeswoman Dr Kersti Seksel argues breeds-specific legislation is not the answer.

“It hasn’t decreased the number of dog bites,” she said.

“Regardless of breed, dogs are capable of biting, just like people are capable of fighting regardless of our origin either.”

…RSPCA Victoria president Hugh Wirth was once a supporter of banning dangerous dog breeds.

He advocated for the breeding out of the American Pit Bull Terrier, saying they were “lethal” and “time bombs waiting for the right circumstances”.

60745_10151509815562363_458831435_n

But not anymore.

“The truth about breed-specific legislation is that it doesn’t work, you don’t decrease the numbers,” he said.

“In fact you send the breeding of that particular breed of dog underground.

Mr Wirth says his change of heart was brought about by the latest veterinary and dog behaviour research.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-08-14/vet-group-calls-for-end-to-dog-breed-banning/4198896

Blog Hop time…thanks to Life with DogsTwo Little Cavaliers and Confessions of the Plume…  grab the blog hop  link

Leave a comment

Filed under bigotry against dogs, dogs, dogs around the world, K9 approved, keep pets safe, kids and dogs, legislation against dogs, pet care, prejudice against dogs, Uncategorized