Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Shelter Procedure...Part I

Since becoming active in fostering pit bulls my eyes have been opened and my heart heavy.  The first foster was a breeze Sasha and Krusher met Champ who was a confident 4 month old pup.  Upon hearing that Sasha & Krusher were comfortable and a perfect match the organization I’m working with was contacted and Champ was pulled from the shelter and all was well.  Well this time around my eyes were opened and my heart heavy.  There was a pup that needed out of the shelter; I followed the procedures as before however, the outcome was much different and left me feeling a certain way.

Initially, I wanted to conduct the meet and greet Thursday, considering this would’ve been my second foster I wanted the experience of another volunteer to evaluate Sasha& Krushers’ behavior to ensure nothing was overlooked or misinterpreted through their body language.  Unfortunately, Thursday was not a good day and the shelter was closed Friday due to the holiday so the next best day for all involved was Saturday.  All went well at the meet & greet with the dogs including Sasha (she’s my diva pittie who’s very picky about her doggie friends).  The volunteer who assisted with the evaluation didn’t have a good feeling about Wednesday being placed with us because an outside application had been placed on her through the shelter.  I told her to think positive and we’ll speak with the shelter employee to see what our chances were in getting Wednesday placed with us.  As she told me she’s been down this road before and experience tells her we’re not going to get Wednesday.  After the meeting we spoke with the shelter worker and askedabout their procedure, her response was “If someone is interested in a dog or any other animal at the shelter all they have to do is complete the application and pick up the animal.”  I asked when we will know if the adoption goes through or not, the shelter worker told us by MONDAY, this was Saturday! Where’s the process? I again asked under what circumstance will the adopter not get Wednesday or any other animal(s) what I heard next flabbergasted me; “ifthe person doesn't show up or change their mind then we’ll contact you.” We were excited for Wednesday but not happy about the process or the lack thereof.

The shelters lack of process is for an interested person to fill out the application and they’re approved! Really, fill out the paperwork, pay and take your animal home.  No screening, no home visits, no evaluation, nobackground investigation.  Everyone wants to know where the system fails; one of the reasons is lack of sufficient policies and procedures.  Yes, itsunderstood money is needed to fund these duties however, if I’m not mistaken many folk volunteer which means more can be done with less.  Having someone complete an application and turn it in, no wonder the shelters are full of dogs being returned, the dogs are not being “matched” with the “right”person, people or lifestyles.  One can visit numerous shelter /rescue organizations websites and folk see a puppy or dog has sad look on their face which pulls on the heart strings of folk and they complete the application without knowing much about the dog.  What most folk don’t know many animals that are taken to the shelter are euthanized due to overcrowding. There are several reasons for the overcrowding, one being breed discrimination, families losing their homes and the list goes on.  Many animals at the shelter or returned to the shelter for several reasons the main because theycan’t or don’t want the animal anymore.  Folk who adopt from a shelter many times are not aware of what they’re getting.  Most get puppies because they’re cute, adorable and playful not realizing at some point that puppy is going to grow up.  Once the pup grows up its destructive because no one plays with her/him anymore so they have pent up energy so the dog runs away, terrorizes the members of the house as well as friends because he/she is not socialize probably so now they’re a liability etc. now the dog is bought back to shelter and the shelter can do but so much.  In the end it’s everyone’s responsibility to be honest about their intentions, what they’re looking for in selecting and adopting an animal and to know their limitations in order to minimize the return of animals to shelters/rescue organizations.  Shelters need to have adequate policies and procedures in place to ensure the “right”dog and human are close to a perfect match as possible again to minimize their return of adopted dogs.  Shelters many times are associated with rescue organizations; it is my opinion uses these resources when it comes to breed specific dogs (when possible).  Rescues if used probably can help shelters however, when you allow profit to be the bottom line you are sure have issues in the long run. Not all shelters fall into this category however, after my experience last weekend it makes one ruminate as to what are other shelter(s) procedures or lack thereof and how much of this lack of procedure compound the problem of overcrowding.

Again, thinking the situation through prior to adopting an animal can be the difference between life and death of an animal and even ease the overcrowding in shelters.  As we all know life has its way of doing things and unforeseen circumstances/situations occur which is understandable and that’s when shelters and rescues come into play.  Lets be responsible, do your research prior to choosing to adopt and heaven forbids should your situation changes for the worst and you have to return your forever family members don’tbe afraid to ask the shelter or rescue about their policies and procedures to adopting and re-homing your forever family member.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


When people sit around the dinner table prior to saying grace or shortly after saying grace everyone goes around the table saying what they’re thankful for.  Most say they’re thankful for family, friends, being employed, food on the table, the preparer of the food or the Cowboys sweeping the Redskins etc. however, this year we at The Pretty Chic with the Pits are THANKBUL for more than the usual.  We’re thankbul for our pitties (Sasha & Krusher),our son, Animal Planet (Pit bull & Paroless & Pit Boss) and most importantly Michael Vick.  We are especially thankbul for our son who took the blinders off of us when it came to pit bulls.  It was his passion and desire to help pit bulls and show us as well as the world how loving this bully breed is.  We are very thankbul for MichaelVick for bringing to the forefront the plight of pit bulls; educating the public as to why this bullybreed receives the negative publicity they do because of ignorant behavior that Vick displayed with his dogfighting ring.  We’re going to focus on the positive. Many positive things have come out of the Michael Vick.

 Some of the good deeds include, The Pretty Chic with the Pits, our family being active in volunteering, educating, advocating and fostering pit bulls.  Other good deeds from Vick's case are organizations receiving the notoriety, funds and volunteers needed to save the lives of this bully breed.  Also, police and animal control officers, current pit bull owners, new and potential pit bull adopters are being educated as well as receiving training on how to handle pit bulls or pit bull type dogs.  Laws banning pit bulls/pit bull type dogs are being  repealed or abolished and the list goes on and on.   Most importantly we’re thankbul for the love Sasha  has shown our family.  Sasha bullied her way in our hearts, she has given our family a new perception of what a pit bull type dog is and what they’re capable of.  Sasha & Krusher have open the minds of many and bullied their way into the hearts of family,friends, the vet tech at their veterinary clinic who told us “getting a  pit bull was a bad idea” to the trainer at PetSmart & Colonial K9 who was unsure of how “they would respond to training” and ending up being the top dog in their class.  Krusher was all the trainer at Colonial K9 spoke about "how he was poised and unfazed by the insecure dogs around him."  The trainer spoke so much about Krusher he had people who were normally petrified of pit bulls (because of what they heard or saw on TV) petting him and showering him with love.  So this Thanksgiving we’re BLESSED, grateful and thankBUL for every pit bull/pit bull type dog, fosters, organizations that help to rediscover pit bulls and their loving nature, the nay sayers and owners of this lovely bullybreed!  As you sit around the dinner table this Thanksgiving expressing what you’re thankful for do not forget to be thankbul/thankful for your beloved furever family member. ENJOY this holiday season...remember to love someone and a Pit BULL!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Michael Vick vs The Dog World

Michael Vick vs The Dog World

When we decided to start a blog it was difficult which topic we wanted to tackle. There are many blogs, postings, social media outlets in the stratosphere; we didn’t want our blog to be “another” blog. We wanted to standout, not mere words but words with subsistence so we decided to blog about our passions. Which passion(s)were we more passionate about was the next question? Hence The Pretty Chic with the Pits arrived on the scene. There were topics that needed to be covered and others we would leave alone. One topic we did not want to cover was the Michael Vick case. Why one might ask? Pit bulls are ya’lls passion and you’re writing about it so why shy away from it? There are many reasons why were not going to blog about it however, the topic can not be ignored anymore. We will probably lose a few followers and that’s ok this is America and we have “Freedom of Speech.”

Lets get into our opinion about the Michael Vick vs The Dog World. Do we agree with what Michael Vick did?...NO! Do we understand what Michael Vick?......NO! Is he the only one that has participated or ran an illegal operation?....NO! Will Michael Vick be the last person to be caught?....NO! Will the average Joe receive the attention Michael Vick did?...NO! This is where our issue come in. Vick’s illegal dogfighting was wrong on many levels however, many in the communities we reside who participate or run operations such as the one Vick are not treated, persecuted the same. Many have said it’s because of his “stardom.” That’s foolishness, that mans job was to make plays on the football field, not appease or be a role model to anyone. Once society realize folk like Michael Vick are human beings and prone to making mistake(s) (as many of them have) the world will be a better place. Yes, a jury of his peers “judged” him however, God is the ultimate judger. Until any of us have lived a SIN FREE life do not throw one stone. Instead of continuously condemning this man look at the brighter side; the brigther side is that there are laws in place now to save these animals (not just dogs or a specific breed of dog), authorities are being trained how to handle those foolish enough to continue to indulge in such harmful behavior, authorities are being educated and trained on how to evaluate animals (dogs) that are/have been saved from the dogfighting rings; dogs lives have/are being saved. Not long ago it was thought the best way to handle these dogs that come from such an environment was to put down/euthanizethem; now authorities are calling in local shelters and rescue organizations to assist in the evaluation process of whether a dog can be rehabilitated. Everyday members of society are being changed by Michael Vick's dogs stories. Society wishes to kick a person when they’re down and continue to kick them while they’re down. That’s not the way it’s suppose to be. The law states once a person has paid their debt to society they are free. Of course each situation is different and should be treated as such. The same folk who love these animals and see how they’re discriminated against are doing the same thing to Michael Vick. Let me challenge each person who buys the Michael Vick chew doll, who bash him and send nasty messages to him via social media or among their friends and family if your dog had an opportunity to meet Michael Vick we’re 99% positive your beloved pit bull or breed of choice would lick, jump and want to play with Michael Vick. Your dogs do not know that Michael Vick ran an illegal dogfighting ring not even the dogs that were part of his ring .We’re sure many folk will read the beginning sentence and delete the blog, some may have choice words for us and that’s fine that’s your God given right. Remember this “dogs live in the now” what happened two seconds or three years ago your dog does not remember, take a page from your beloved pitties “live in the now!”

At this moment we would like to personally thank Michael Vick for bringing awareness to the plight of pit bulls and other breeds that are used for the dismal purpose of entertaining ignorant folk by dogfighting or indulging in other harmful/neglectful behavior. It is because of Michael Vick, we exist and decided to no longer sit on the sideline,s turn a blind eye to what the misery and abuse many of these dogs face daily. How they have to literally fight for their lives because of a few ignorant folk. It is because of Michael Vick we adopted two beautiful pit bulls, it is because of Michael Vick we are fosters for pit bulls, it is because of Michael Vick we educated ourselves and our loved ones, it is because of Michael Vick members our family as well as members of our community changed their “perception(s)” of pit bulls/pit bull type dogs, it is because of Michael Vick a community proposed banning pit bulls however, decided to abandoned the legislation due to the information we (The Pretty Chic with the Pits) provided, it is because of Michael Vick laws are overturning and these dogs are being looked at with prestige again. Everyone wishes to focus on the negative; here at The Pretty Chic with the Pits we are not focusing on the negative...only the positive because that’s the way our dogs view us....POSITIVELY!!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Pet vs Family Member

Since becoming a pet owner or pet parent whichever one prefers my eyes have been open to the plight of animals...especially pit bulls. Speaking with a friend over the weekend that is having a life altering situation (a good one) nonetheless its life altering mentioned she was thinking about giving her dog away after having him for 3 years. She mentioned it was heartbreaking for her to think about it but she’s thinking that might be the situation. Of course I listened and offered to help where ever I could however, my mind kept reeling around one question.......why people say they love being a pet parent and their pets are “family members” but when a situation arises the “family member” is the first one to go. Are animals that expendable? Its’ ok we’ll get them back or we’ll get another one just like him or her. If you did it one time it’s safe to say you’ll do it again. 

Some will ask, what is the difference between a “pet” vs a “family member?” This is my take on the question. A pet is animal that is not cared for or loved much; they’re seen as an object and not a living breathing creature. Most people or families get a “pet” when he/she is a puppy and so cute and everyone loves the puppy to pieces and is called a “family member” until the puppy is no longer a puppy. The floppy ears are gone, the full features of the breed are well defined, the cute little bark is now louder and deeper than the man of the house and the cute little teeth are now adult teeth, no more puppy toys or food but adult toys (if they still get toys) and adult food are now in the house. All the walks that used to take place are now limited, play time is limited and the “dog” now needs to be out back chained up because he/she is has gotten too big and makes a mess. A “pet” in my opinion is expendable. A “pet” takes up time that could be used for other things.   A “pet” is no longer welcomed on trips to grocery store, family vacations etc.  NO matter how long a family has had a “pet” the moment “life” happens that “pet” is now in shelter. Usually little to no homework has been done about the shelter; whether it’s a high kill shelter, the hours of operation etc. Many “pets” are dropped off at the local shelter or sometimes abandoned on the side of the road or parking lot and not thought of again. The family the “pet “ once knew as family has abandoned her/him. No one has taken into account how that “pet” may feel. “Pets” don’t have feelings; he/she is a good dog someone will adopt her/him and all will be well. That’s not always the case...in many cases that’s not the end of the story. Many of the “pets” dropped off die in a shelter or worse tortured and killed by those that find them just for kicks. Some die of broken hearts many because there’s limited space in the shelter and rescues/foster homes are full which leads to the “pet” being put down or euthanized. Millions of “pets” meet this fate daily. There are many organizations that do their best to find these lonely, brokenhearted “pets” forever homes where they are thought of as “family members” and not “pets.”

A “family member” is just that...a family member, part of the family. No they don’t pay bills however; they do assist in decision making. An example of this would be where to go on family trips, which area is “dog” friendly, which insurance company to spend your hard earned money that will protect not only you, human member, house but also your furry family member. A positive experience educates family, friends and the community. Someone seeing you with your “family member” may strike up a friendship encourage someone to get involved in plight of your “family member” or adopt a similar “family member.” “Family members” are made time for, provisions are made for “family members,” “family members” are not disposable. You care for a “family member.” When a member of the family is sick the other members tend to care for or do what they can for that member, when a family member is in need of something someone in the family ensures their needs are met. A family is well taken care of, thought of highly, always made time for (which include(s) walks, play time, annual vet visits to ensure the health of your “family member”) and more importantly LOVED! As we all know there are exceptions to every rule. 

Morale of the story think before you or family decides to adopt....ask yourself and family this one question. What do we want...a “pet” or “family member?” if your answer is a pet maybe it’s not time for you or your family to adopt however, if your answer is a “family member” you may be ready for your forever family member

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Why so Cruel?

Beatings, shooting, stabbing, thrown off bridges, being ranover intentionally, forced to eat gun powder, fighting, chained to a tree, forced to live in filth with little to no human contact, set on fire, starvation to name a few are what many animals face.....why? all for someone’s pure unadulterated pleasure. Hearing horror stories of animal abuse makes me think why so cruel? What has happened in one’s life for them to be so cruel to anyone or anything living? Studies have shown most serial killers started their crimes against small animals and eventually escalates to humans.  Animals were put on earth to be companions not for brutality.  Although all animals are abused across the board unfortunately, pit bulls are far more abused.  Why is this? We all can think of a reason but none of them are make sense...it should happen. As an owner of two pits as well as a foster to pit bulls it bothers my spirit to know these animals are targeted not only but the ignorant individuals fight and abuse them to the uneducated law makers who want to ban them.  Since their inceptionpit bulls have been abused and misused for blood sport.  While other breeds were bred to be along side of man hunting, herding and protecting valuables and livestock pit bulls were breed to bait and fight.  How unfair is that? These dogs appeared to be doomed from the beginning. As I have mentioned before I was one of the less educated persons who thought pit bulls were demons and were incapable of love and compassion; thank God for my son who took the blinders off and showed me what this bully breed really is about. 

These abused, scared and neglected animals are at adisadvantage from the beginning because of the type of breed they are.  They did not have a say as what breed they are.  Just like humans don’t have a choice as to who their parents are, what nationality they are however,with proper education humans are able to make rational decisions.  A decision of what’s right and what’s wrong,what brings joy, love and pain is made by humans; these animals don’t have the mindset to rationalize these emotions.  They adapt to their environment because they want to please. They are extremely eager to please and for this they’re abuser(s) use this against the animal.  What’s sad is that the animal/breed is charged not the abuser(s).  Hearing and reading their stories sends various emotions through the body they range from anger, tears of sadness, frustration, helplessness, chills and the one question no one seems to be able to answer....why so cruel?

Should you see or know of ANY animal being abused please report it to the appropriate authorities. We do NOT recommend you take matters into your own hands...however; there are exceptions to every rule!