When I thought about how to honor Pit Bull Awareness Month (and how to Blog the Change), it occurred to me to do an update about Ginger… one of the three former M. Vick dogs I met in Monterey at the SPCA. I was hoping to also get stats on pit bulls in Monterey from the SPCA but so far nada. There are about 8 pit bulls available for adoption on their website. They are inundated with a large number of chi’s right now.
But in many many shelters across the country, a majority of the dogs up for adoption and the dogs that are euthanized are pit bulls and pit bull mixes due to human ignorance about the breed. Pit bulls are abused across the board, in all ways, starved, neglected, abandoned, made to fight so humans can make money and tortured for no reason other than how they look and human fear and hatred of dogs. Every year 4-6 million healthy pets get euthanized in shelters across the USA and a high percentage of those are pit bulls and mixes.
(Updates about Patrick, the starved dog in NJ and Lennox, a dog that is not even a pit bull, who may in a week be euthanized in Belfast, Ireland …)
Ginger and her mama are very special and fabulous ambassadors for Pit Bulls everywhere. LOVE is the KEY factor that MAKES the difference in a DOG’s Life. And Ginger personifies how great pit bulls are… goofy, loving, sweet and loyal… Even after being fought, tortured, abused, ALL of the former Vicktory dogs are a great example of the breed. Eight of the former Vick dogs are now therapy dogs. And most of the dogs are now spending time in loving homes with other dogs, kids, cats and humans. Several have their own facebook pages… Hector the Pit Bull, Handsome Dan, Cherry Garcia, Jhumpa Jones, and others. Clearly, it is NOT the dogs that cause problems, it is the humans that make a difference, one way or another.
From Stacy Dubuc, Ginger’s wonderful adopter aka doggie mama:
After being rescued from Michael Vick’s Bad Newz Kennels, Ginger made the long journey from Virginia to The SPCA for Monterey County. Two years old at the time, she had spent most of her life in a kennel and had had very little positive interactions with humans. She quickly went into a foster home to provide her with a quiet stable environment where she would hopefully come out of her shell. Her early months in foster care were not easy, she was incredibly timid and would cower and hide whenever approached. The timid shell of an animal I brought home needed way more than simple material items – she needed compassion, patience, love and some sort of understanding after the ordeal she had been through.
Our early days and months were not easy – her clinging to the back of her crate for hours on end as I cried and wondered if we would ever be friends, her fleeing from any attempt at a gentle touch, refusing to eat for days as I tried a variety of techniques to prevent her from wasting further away…it goes on and on and has probably been experienced by many a person fostering an abused animal. We worked through those tough times and eventually became friends.
It is hard to believe but November 6th will make four years since Ginger came home with me. It has been such a pleasure watching her evolve into the confident, happy, and incredibly loving dog she is today. She loves running about the yard, going for long walks along the rec trail, naps, treats, etc. The dog that used to cower from people is now curious and willing to meet new people. While, she will still shy away from being petted by most strangers, she will eagerly sit and take treats from them. Most of the people we meet will never know her past…they simply see her as a beautiful happy dog passing by them on the trail.