Category Archives: pit bull

Dog laws pros and cons

California has now made it legal for people to break car windows in order to break a dog out of a hot car.

“As of August 2016, Vermont joined forces with Tennessee, Florida, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Ohio in passing laws to protect good Samaritans who assist dogs locked in hot cars.”

Palm Springs has made it illegal for people to leave their dogs in their cars.

Many people applaud these measures. Don’t get me wrong, dogs shouldn’t die in hot cars AND there are other issues about this to consider and SOLVE which these laws do NOT DO.

For instance, people like me who take their dogs on trips, who are single and alone and cannot leave their pooches in the motel, and must take their dogs with them wherever they go, sure, these laws are meant to save dog’s lives… but in Palm Springs it is illegal to keep your dog in a car, even if it is COOL weather or night, this goes TOO FAR. if dogs are not allowed in stores, there is NO PLACE FOR THEM TO BE. Where am I supposed to put CICI, tie her up outside a store ????

A woman called the police while I was shopping at Trader Joe’s one cool morning. I usually take Cici inside with me and did not know about the law. She was fine with the windows wide open. As I was at the cashier and leaving, the manager asked if that was my car and told me about the woman and the law.




There are laws that DESERVE TO BE BROKEN or should never have been made to begin with in my humble opinion.  What do you think ?


Speaking of which, MONTREAL’s wrong minded response to an incident and just passed a really horrible BSL law that will put too many dogs lives at stake. Rescues are trying to get dogs out of Montreal ASAP as we speak but families are being torn apart and heartbroken for what ????? outlawing dogs for the WAY THEY LOOK IS JUST PLAIN INSANE and goes against EVERYTHING dog experts agree upon on how to COMBAT effectively dog bites and dog aggression. Breed Specific Legislation does NOTHING but waste taxpayer dollars and has proven to be completely ineffective at curbing dog bites. In fact, in some places, dog bites went up because BREED and dog’s looks have NOTHING TO DO WITH whether  a dog will bite or be aggressive or not.

There are 5 or  red flags that are PROVEN that can lead to a dog attacking or biting.

A dog who is or has been abused, a dog who is left alone in a yard, all day and night and is not socialized nor trained, a dog who is left to roam the streets, a mama with puppies, a dog who is sick and NEVER LEAVE A CHILD OF ANY AGE ALONE WITH A DOG, NO DOG, NONE. These are the RED FLAGS … AND APPLY TO ALL BREEDS of DOGS!!!!!!

“legislators voted in 37 to 23 favor of breed-specific legislation, effectively outlawing any dog that resembles a pit bull — unless owners meet a strict set of conditions.

“Under the ban — which loosely covers American pit bull terriers, American Staffordshire terriers and Staffordshire bull terriers — no dog considered a pit bull can be adopted from Montreal shelters.

“For dogs that don’t have an ‘owner’ on the day of the passing of the legislation, the way the legislation is drafted, the dogs have to be euthanized,” Alanna Devine, of the Montreal SPCA, told The Dodo last week.

“…The legislation was proposed after a spate of dog attacks in the city. Among them, the most notorious resulted in a woman being killed by a dog in her yard last June. But, even in that case, there’s doubt whether the dog that attacked her was even a pit bull.

“Under the law, people who own dogs deemed pit bulls have until March to undergo a criminal background check and pay $150 for a special permit. Their dog will have to be sterilized, vaccinated and microchipped —as well as muzzled and on a 4-foot leash at all times in public.”




What you can do:

Sign the petition, write to the officials, speak out against BSL and adopt a dog from MONTREAL asap.






Filed under adoption, all you need is a dog, animal rescue, around the world, breed specific laws, dog rescue, dogs, dogs around the world, K9 travel, keep pets safe, Palm Springs, pet adoption, pit bull, politics, Uncategorized

Top 3 Dog daddies

This Sunday is Father’s Day. A good dad is one who truly loves his kids, furry ones, too. And he spends time with them, taking care of them, training and having fun. We are inspired by these three dog dads.


Here are our top 3 picks for awesome dog daddies.


  1. Roo Yori

Running to the rescue, Andrew Yori made man’s best friend proud! ‪#‎K9Ninja‬ ‪#‎AmericanNinjaWarrior‬  Cici and I were very excited to see Roo on the show. Dog dad to Wallace, world champion frisbee dog and Hector, former Vick dog (both dogs are now over the Rainbow Bridge), Angus, Mindy and founder of a pit bull rescue foundation named after Wallace, Roo just appeared on the TV show American Ninja Warrior and qualified for the next round. He encourages people to adopt dogs from shelters. Wallace was an unwanted shelter dog once upon a time and Roo and Clara took a chance on him and it worked out great.


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2.  Paul: Cherry Garcia’s dog dad

Cherry, another former Vick dog, was quite traumatized when he was adopted by his parents. And he has absolutely blossomed in their loving care.


What has surprised you most about him?

One of the most surprising things to us is we really thought Cherry would get to a certain point in his rehabilitation and settle in and not change much after that. What we have found is Cherry continuously grows and overcomes the next obstacle in his way. It will be a lifelong journey for him, and he has days where he regresses, but eventually he moves forward. It has been an incredible journey watching him go from a dog who slept with his eyes open to a dog that we can call “normal.” We know that isn’t the most exciting term, but that’s all he wants to be, a normal dog.

The other thing we have found really surprising about Cherry is that stress helps him learn and move forward. We all saw Cherry on “DogTown” and how shutdown he was. We didn’t have a plan of how to handle his fame, but we weren’t going to put him through public events if they didn’t help him. The first event we took him to was a small, kids-only event. He was stressed to the max, and we stayed a couple of hours b

When we got home that night, Cherry took to his normal routine with much more confidence than we had ever seen. He was so full of himself. We thought, “Hmm … maybe this is a tool we can use to help him progress.” We were right!”




3. Jon Stewart

Long time pit bull advocate, he even adopted a three-legged dog named Champ. When he did The Daily Show, the office was dog friendly. When he retired from the show, he and his wife Tracey bought a 13 acre farm in New Jersey. They provide homes for formally abused farm animals.


Happy Father’s Day !!!!

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Filed under adoption, Adventure, Best Friends, best friends animal sanctuary, big dogs welcome, dog friendly, dog movies/TV, dogs, farm animals, pit bull, Uncategorized

It is the pits and not the pits

did it all begin with dogs?

the rancor, recrimination, disdain, and discrimination,

small versus large dogs.

breed discrimination.

breed bans.


talk to any owner of a German Shepherd, Rottweiler, or pit bull (which is not a breed, a bunch of bully breeds including American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrirer, Pit Bull Terrier, and others) are lumped together and called pit bulls, and they will tell you about how their dog(s) are vilified, demonized, shunned, and/or called mean, vicious and/or killer dogs, no matter the dog.

is it any wonder then now we have right here in America:


red vs blue

GOP vs Democrats

conservatives vs liberals

Bernie supporters versus Hillary

men versus women

white Christian evangelicals aka white supremacists against everyone

heterosexuals against LGBT folks

white people versus nonwhite people

rich versus poor and middle class

1% versus 99%

housed versus unhoused

child molesters and rapists versus transgendered

environmentalists aka tree huggers versus climate change deniers and oil companies, big pharma and nuke, coal, industries

vegetarians and vegans versus meat eaters

war mongers versus pacifists

north versus south

didn’t we fight this war before, I seem to recall something…

people divided

a nation in crisis 

fighting each other and the whole world

when will we learn the lessons and stop blaming one another, pointing fingers, spewing hatred?

it is not the dogs, not the people…


a nation gone mad accusing one another for our problems


we are NOT NOT NOT going to solve anything with slurs, epithets, walls and bans


can we just agree to disagree and MOVEO N?????




on a different note, Cici and I are traveling and met with Howard Epstein in LA for lunch yesterday. It was fun and yummy and we grew up in the same neighborhood in NYC, went to the same high school at different times.







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Filed under bigotry against dogs, boycott, breed specific laws, breeds, pit bull, travel with dog, Uncategorized, USA Today, war on women, Washington

Nine years: the good, bad and ugly

Nine years ago today 51 terrified, traumatized, and unsocialized dogs, who had been forced to fight or were used as bait dogs, were rescued from Michael Vick’s Bad Newz Kennels in Surrey Virginia. Normally, these dogs would be held as evidence and eventually humanely euthanized. But in this groundbreaking case, it was decided, due to the request of Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, BADRAP, and other loud animal loving voices and the agreement of the judge, that these dogs would be individually evaluated to see if any of them could be saved and rehabilitated.

From Jacqueline Bedsaul Johnson (she and Kevin Johnson adopted Ray)

“Each dog was to be tested for dog aggression as well as human aggression. It was hoped that two or three of the 49 surviving dogs (two died while in care) would be deemed salvageable. Imagine everyone’s surprise when all but one of the dogs showed at least some degree of ability to be rehabilitated.

“One dog, who had been bred and fought repeatedly, was just too emotionally and physically damaged to try and save. She was humanely euthanized. The remaining 48 dogs were dispersed to 8 different rescue groups for adoption, rehabilitation or sanctuary. 22 of the most damaged dogs were sent to a sanctuary to begin working towards recovery and eventual adoption.

Forty of these dogs have been adopted and are now living in loving homes with kids cats, and other dogs. Dogs like Cherry Garcia, who just had one leg amputated, Handsome Dan, Little Red, Mel, Layla, Curly, Jhumpa Jones, Jonny, Oscar, Uba, Iggy, Audie, Zippy, Stella and Ginger. I was lucky to have met Red, Stella and Ginger and their guardians a few years ago at the Monterey SPCA.

Some of the dogs have become therapy dogs, agility champions and emotional support animals. Others have gone to the Rainbow Bridge including Red, Lucas, Leo, Jasmine, Georgia, Hector (and his brother Wallace, who was not a Victory dog but an unwanted shelter dog who became a world champion disc dog), Ray and others.

“These dogs were victims, not criminals. And because of their bravery and loving nature they have taught us all so much. If dogs like these – dogs who were trained, fought and abused – can become loving family members, how can anyone say that Pit Bull-type dogs are inherently dangerous? It just doesn’t make sense.

“Dogs that are seized are now routinely assessed for rehabilitation. There is no longer a belief that these dogs are somehow responsible for the life that was forced on them. That they are damaged goods, better off dead.”

“In the coming days, many of the adoptive families of the dogs rescued from Bad Newz Kennels will be traveling to Virginia to what is now known as Good Newz Rehab Center. In the field where once our dogs were chained, trees will be planted to memorialize each of the dogs. Each tree will have a plaque listing the dog’s name and their family’s name.

“This is not a media event, but a private ceremony and pilgrimage for the people who have loved these incredible dogs. Vicktory Dog Oscar‘s mom Rachel and artist/writer Levity Tomkinson of the Re51lient Project have designed a t-shirt to commemorate the event, and to help raise money for the families traveling to honor their dogs.

A movie about the dogs called The Champions” premiered in 2015 and has been screened at festivals and events around the country. It’s also available for purchase online. Directed by Darcy Dennett, the film follows six dogs from unlikely survival to adoption. The film has won awards, including People’s Choice for Best Documentary at the Denver Film Festival. Pit bulls are banned in Denver.

A word about The Re51lient Project: 51 Paintings of the Dogs Rescued from Michael Vick’s Bad Newz Kennels. The Re51lient Project is an art advocacy project that combines Levity’s signature style pop-art painting and positive, emotionally driven writing.

She aims to promote a highly positive image for pit bull and pit bull type dogs, dogs rescued from fighting rings and to show others that if these dogs can triumph, love, forgive, continue forward and just simply be happy, then we as humans have the ability to wake up every morning and do the same. These dogs shows us the potential that we all have and provide a palpable inspiration and hope that we can change our lives.

Levity is the proud momma to a pit mix, Rinlee, (who incidentally is the reason that she began painting dogs in 2010). She has followed the stories of the dogs rescued from Bad Newz Kennels. Rinlee is the reason that she began painting “Dog Pawps” which twas the artistic foundation to create The Re51lient Project.

“Dogs are as close as we can get to perfection here on Earth,” says Levity. “They are these little hearts and beings and spirits that every day, they do their best. That’s all they know how to do. They love infallibly  I feel like with these dogs in particular, all of the feelings and traits are magnified even more because they have been exposed to more than any living being ever should, but look at them. They are beautiful, they are happy, they’re forgiving, they love. They’re re51lient. That have changed the world and have the ability to cause more change, simply by being them. They have certainly changed my life.

“These dogs will be remembered with love, with reverence, appreciation. They’ll be remembered with tears, both happy and sad. They will be remembered in every dog rescued from a fighting ring that has been given, is being given or will be given a chance to be evaluated and seen as an individual. They will be remembered by not only their lives, but by the lives of the other dogs that they saved.

“These dogs deserved a chance at life. People finally had the chance to see that dogs rescued from fighting rings have every right, just as any other dog, to be seen as individuals. Because of these dogs, other dogs rescued from fighting rings, both large and small, have been given the chance to be seen simply as dogs and therefore, given a chance at the lives they always should have had.

“These dogs absolutely have set a precedent in how dogs from fighting rings are evaluated. They truly changed the landscape and I am so grateful to the people who so deeply believed and worked towards helping others see that these dogs must be treated as individuals,”  Levity concluded.


The dogs in their own woofs… words …



“Today marks nine years since I was rescued from Bad Newz Kennels. Today I woke up snuggled under a pile of covers with a sweet kiss on my nose from mom…life is good.



For my dog (Uba), on this day he went from being a puppy waiting to be a victim of unimaginable cruelty to a puppy actually being mentally and emotionally tortured. This was the day that his emotional well being was sacrificed. The Vick dogs changed the conversation and so, so many dogs are alive today because of them, so I don’t begrudge the world his emotional challenges. Nine years ago today was not the first day my dog felt love. It was probably the first day he was truly terrified.”



“The time period between their seizure (April 2007) and release to rescue (October 2007) did damage to many of the dogs from the case. The now-timid Ginger scampered back and forth like a scared feral cat in the back of her kennel, Frodo pressed himself to the ground when the shelter clatter finally got to him (he’s still noise sensitive), and the energetic Uba paced in neurotic figure eights to relieve his tedium. Our stomachs were in knots during the months that this set of dogs was in lock down. While we waited anxiously for the courts to allow us to evaluate, and then, okay their release, we knew the damage done by their impossible conditions could be irreparable in some or all of the dogs.

“…We’ve learned so much from the Vick dogs, and their lessons have changed us forever. One of their biggest lessons though tends to be forgotten in the excitement of their adoption success. We’d love it if every time readers hear of a new batch of victims rounded up from a cruelty case, you would consider the Vick dogs’ long and difficult post-seizure experience and ask, “What’s being done to keep this latest set of dogs comfortable, vetted and sane while we wait for help to arrive?” The answer to that question could make all the difference in whether the cruelty they suffer ends for good the moment they’re seized by authorities — not several months later, after they’re finally released to rescue.

“NOTE: With all due respect to the incredible people who came together to seize the “Vick dogs” in April 2007, we will be celebrating the five year anniversary ‘happy style’ in October — on the date that the federal courts finally waved them out of the shelters and onto freedom. What a HAPPY day that was!”


Little Red enjoying the sunshine



Handsome Dan

“Because so many people worked to save us, went to bat for us, took a chance on us, and gave us the tools to learn how to live in the human world, the climate has now changed for dogs like me rescued from the horrific world of dogfighting. They are no longer victims, now they can be survivors. Until dogfighting is no more, we will continue to fight for the survivors.

“I owe so much to my special friends Nicole Rattay (the first person I learned to trust on the other side), Rebecca Huss (my court appointed guardian), Donna Reynolds and Tim Racer (for your hard work and granting me my name), John Garcia (for so much, including advocating for my move to Best Friends and all the one-on-one time), Betsy Kidder (my first mama), Kristi Littrell (for finding my family), Crissa and Damien and all of my other caregivers, Cherry Garcia (my first playmate), Little Red (my first roommate and girlfriend), Ann Allums (for bringing me home) and countless others who helped me find my way. Thank you from the bottom of my big pittie heart, from me and my mama!”



Handsome Before when he was known as Hanover 22



After with his dear friend Cherry Garcia and mama Heather who operates an animal rescue organization named after Handsome





Cherry Garcia now



Cherry’s brother Novi when he saw CHERRY, first thing he did was count his legs ‘1, 2, 3; Cherry has 3 legs now and he is awesome!’

To watch Cherry’s recovery and all of his adventures that will follow, you can ‘like’ his Facebook page.



Filed under adoption, animal rescue, animal stars, badrap, best friends animal sanctuary, pit bull, Uncategorized, Vicktory dogs

Doggie Day books

This week was National Dog Day, ok, we missed it by a day or two… well, here are three VERY different doggie books that you just HAVE TO READ if you love doggies… and you might just pick up a few for your fellow doggie friends for the holidays (which are going to be here sooner than your dog can chew up a dog bone).




The exciting and funny / hilarious new Chet and Bernie book, Paw and Order, which you’ve all been waiting with doggie breath to come out so you can read it. Now you can.

Harry Truman once said “If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog.”

Cici and I were very happy to get our paws on the latest (7th in the series) Chet and BernieL book, Paw and Order because we are always up for another hilarious adventure seen thru Chet’s canine eyeballs. The story begins in New Orleans. And Bernie’s Porsche and a trip to a BBQ joint turns into a fiasco with some motorcycle dudes who have big necks.  But no matter, Chet and Bernie are on the case and a team not to be messed with.

The dog-eat-dog world of Washington DC will never be the same after Chet and Bernie’s Little adventure. They could have gone straight home from New Orleans but what fun would that have been? They instead detoured because well, Bernie’s sometime girlfriend Suzie the newspaper reporter is now working at the Washington Post and she is on a BIG story that she cannot talk about. So of course,  Chet sniffs around the capital city and Bernie ends up arrested. An international conspiracy unfolds and Chet encounters a strange new animal, a guinea pig, who holds the fate of the nation in his paws.

Chet and Bernie are always a winning combination. With Chet’s sharp eyes and cool nose and Bernie’s talents, they cannot lose, although it is always suspenseful along the way. Another great read for dog lovers, guinea pig aficionados, and Washington DC insiders and outsiders.

Off the Leash: A Year at the Dog Park  by Matthew Gilbert

If you have ever visited a dog park and met some strange, weird, quirky, bizarre dog people, then you will relate to this book. It is about an array of dogs and their people who gather at Amory Park, overlooking Boston near Fenway Park.

Matthew Gilbert, a longtime TV critic at The Boston Globe, describes his reluctant trip into the dog park subculture, as the first-time owner of a stubbornly social Yellow Lab puppy named Toby. Like many Americans, he was happily accustomed to the safe distance of TV viewing and cell-phone web surfing, tethered to the digital leash. But the headstrong, play-obsessed Toby pulls him to Amory, and Amory becomes an exhilarating dose of presence for him. The joyous chaos of wrestling dogs and the park’s cast of offbeat dog owners – the “pack of freaks” – gradually draw him into the here and now. At the dog park, the dog owners go off the leash, too.

Meetings at the dog park can be mayhem, chaotic and fun, depending upon  the day. Sort of a daily or weekly canine soap opera. Dogs love/hate one another as do their owners.  When the dogs have disagreements, so do their human companions. And sometimes the human beans are even worse than the dogs when they are off the leash.

This is a very funny, sunny, very right on, portrait of life at the dog park and relationships and encounters between dogs and the dog owners. Dog Parks: Enter at Your Own Risk. Dog parks are not for the faint of heart or skittish. And Gilbert knows right where the fun begins and ends.  His honest and enthusiastic memoir will make you rethink going to the dog park or yearning to find doggie friends and a pack to belong to.


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Dogs Rule, Nonchalantly by Mark Ulriksen is just plain silly. EVERYONE who is ANYONE with a DOG that is KNOWS that Dogs Rule. Of course, my Polka Dot Princess agrees with me on that one. She Rules this household. Of course.  Ulriken has been working for a little publication called The New Yorker, where he has been a regular contributor since 1993. He has achieved more than 40 magazine covers to his credit.   This book offers great illustrations of doggies, and funny lines to go with the images. We were offput by one illustration of what seemed to be a bad stereotype of a bully breed dog. We do not like those stereotypes as you know. Other than that, numerous breeds were represented in hilarious detail. And some of the jokes were VERY funny.  If you live or love a dog, you know how amusing they can be. And this book capitalizes upon canines and their goofyness with refreshing charm and a breath of doggie sunshine. Dogs penchant for stinky things. Dogs and their always sunny disposition (until you are leaving the house).  And you know the rest of their quirks.



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Filed under animal books, animal stars, Best Friends, breeds, dog crazy, dog friendly, dog parks, dog speak, dogs, four paws up, K9 approved, keep pets safe, pet care, pet press, pit bull, shaggy dog story, silly dog, Uncategorized

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!


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.



“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.



“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 for more information).

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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.”

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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.

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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:  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:



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