Thoughts on Montreal’s Pit Bull ban from an ‘aggressive’ Pit Bull parent

Like most other rational-minded people in the world, hearing about the passing of the law to ban Pit Bull type dogs in Montreal has me disgusted.  I am sick thinking of the owners that have to muzzle their best friends out in public, because the government doesn’t get it.  I am even sicker thinking of the Pit Bull type dogs that are currently in the shelters there – who will be killed (not humanely euthanized, they are being outright murdered).  You see, I am the parent of an aggressive Pit Bull and I volunteer at a high-kill shelter filled to the brim with Pit Bulls.  I could never imagine a life without them.


My Caesar

So, with an aggressive dog in my home, how can I not support the ban? Easy. I know every single dog is different, just as every single human in this world, is different. I know that  I didn’t train my dog to be aggressive, nor can I train it out of him.  He came to me, broken and afraid, and I vowed I would never, ever judge him on that based on his breed.   I did not know his past (I adopted him at 4 years old) but I knew his future – his future would be with me , in my home with nothing but love and positivity.

Rewind a few years and I was a single mother that was diagnosed with Depression and Anxiety.  Being a single mom is hard all by itself, but add Depression & Anxiety into the mix and it was a party in my head every day – the kind of party at 4am when everyone is passed out, can’t move and isn’t having fun any longer.  I went to counseling, I took anti-depressants, but I still couldn’t move besides going to work and couldn’t stop crying and I sure as hell couldn’t be a good mother.  One day while browsing Facebook, I came across a page called Philly Urgents, which highlights all of the adoptable dogs & cats in the ONLY intake shelter in the entire city, and there he was, the one that saved me from myself, Caesar.


My Caesar then in his shelter photo

Caesar was a 4 year old black Pit Bull, surrendered by his owner with another dog (that dog was in a bad emaciated state).  If you didn’t know, black dogs are one of the least adopted dogs in the shelters, which made me want one, and I adopted him the same day that I went there “just to look”.  He was exhuberent, they said.  He was fun, they said.  He was dog friendly, they said.  All of this was true.  What they didn’t know, was that Caesar had a fearful, broken brain that showed itself in the form of fear aggression.  He feared everything  – the person walking behind us, the dog in the yard down the block, the plastic bag flying in the wind on a blustery day, his own shadow, being left alone, being around people and most of all, he feared me being harmed.  I was the biggest culprit in his fear, and I couldn’t do anything about it.  Caesar came to love me so much that the thought of someone or something hurting me was/is too much to handle in his broken brain.   His reaction to a person he is afraid of is to bite.  He bites out of fear.


Caesar saved my life, quite literally, and so my love for him is blind.  I am not blind though to what he is capable of – what ANY dog is capable of.  I try to walk him when I know there are less people outside but in a big city, it’s nearly impossible.  I see his reaction to the people outside coming too close to us in his mind (in reality they’re a block away)- the ears back, the hair raised, the frozen state he gets in.  I see the people approaching, already leary of this Pit Bull from their stigma and so I cross the street.  I take my boy and I move out of the direction of the ‘scary people’ and I change the scene.   Caesar forgets about the people because he can no longer see them.  All I had to do was change the scene! Caesar wears a collar that says “I Need Space” to alert passerbys that he’s not a dog you can stop and pet.  Do I wish he was?  Of ourse, but he just isn’t, and I’m okay with that. Because he’s MY dog, and I can pet him and love him and hold him. He’s mine.


I am a responsible dog owner and an even more responsible Pit Bull parent.  I know my boy has his limits and his faults but you know what else he has?  Unsurmounting love for me and my daughter.  No human has ever loved us as much as this dog does.  I am, quite literally, never alone – he’s in the bathroom with me, on the sofa with me, looking in the fridge with me, sitting behind me while I do the dishes and sleeps in my bed with me.  The happiness he has when he sees me – whether it is after a long day of work or the first opening of our eyes in the morning or the opening of the bathroom door on those limited occasions I would like to pee by myself and kicked him out – he wiggles his butt and drowns me in kisses – EVERY SINGLE TIME.  If I get up, he gets up.  If I eat a snack, he eats a snack (usually mine).  If he isn’t asked onto the sofa, he barks at me until I invite him up (on the odd occasion when he is not already on there with me). If I am not paying attention to him, he stares at me.   I am his person.  He is my best friend.

When my daughter leaves for school in the morning, he cries.  He watches her from the window and cries.  When she goes upstairs to bed, he follows her.  When she comes home after a weekend away, he jumps and wiggles and kisses like there’s no tomorrow.  When she is home alone with him, SHE is his person.  He follows her, he snuggles her, he watches over her.  He loves her.  We sleep at night face to face on the pillow or we spoon, and when he does his little huff, I know he’s out for the night – it’s the favorite part of my day.  His little huff shows me he is content, feels safe and can rest easy.  He’s happy.

Caesar doesn’t care for other people or dogs any more.  They scare him & he thinks they’re going to harm him, myself or my daughter.  I know what he can and can not handle and I don’t put him in situations that he can’t handle.  I do everything I can to keep him and the public protected.   Caesar believes his job is to protect us and he does.  I can not fault him for that.  You protect the ones you love no matter what.  And I have a responsibility to protect him.  Should he be banned because of this?  I certainly don’t think so.

In Montreal, I am sure there are other broken-brained Caesars out there that have loving and responsible owners.  Owners that shouldn’t have to hide their dogs or muzzle their dogs outside because the government is afraid of what they know nothing about.  We wouldn’t ban people with red hair because a red-head killed someone else, would we?  No – because every red-head is different just how every dog is different, no matter the breed.  My mom has a Pit-mix and a Chihuahua.  Guess who the one is that will try to bite you if you touch mom?  The Chihuahua.  Should we ban them next? I didn’t think so.  The people and the dogs deserve better.  May all of the killed dogs in the shelters in Montreal find peace and know they are loved.





Yes, I AM a “kill-shelter” volunteer

Yes, Yes and Yes.

Little Green Inn for Wayward Dogs

Originally published as Facebook note on May 16, 2011

I read and posted these links earlier today, and started getting a few such negative comments that I took down the posts. So I’m trying again and asking you to read, then think before you start criticizing the kind of volunteerism the people featured in these stories have chosen to undertake.

Think offering a death row dog some enrichment before she’s killed, knowing you can’t take her home yourself and save her life, is “weird”? “sick”? “a waste of time”? Unsettling, yes; gut-wrenching, yes; provocative of a whole lot of soul-searching about what it means to be human, yes—and it should be. A lot of people I know won’t set foot in a pound or shelter, government, private or otherwise. But if you haven’t got the stomach for it, please don’t criticize those who have found a way…

View original post 1,376 more words

Achilles Needs You!



Achilles was the bravest, handsomest, and greatest warrior of the army in the Trojan War and our Achilles here at the shelter, is also the bravest and handsomest. He may not be a warrior on the battlefield (he’s a lover, not a fighter), but he is a Tennis Ball Warrior! Achilles is brave because he was brought to the shelter upon his owner entering hospice care. He keeps a brave face all along but still longs for his family.


Achilles is the handsomest because he has adorable floppy ears, speckles all over and eyes that show his soul. Achilles is a tennis ball warrior because this boy could play fetch with tennis balls for hours if you let him! It is the one thing that this boy craves and needs to be happy. He will run for the ball before you even throw it and if he has one in his mouth, he will try to squeeze two in there.



Our sweet Achilles is 5 years old (the best age!), approx 70lbs and tries to remain house trained while in the shelter. He is a lover of people and other dogs. He does tend to come off pretty strong when meeting new doggie friends, but if they don’t like it and they correct him, he takes it like a man and will take a step back to relax (usually by just plopping his butt on the ground, he doesn’t just sit, he plops!).


Achilles is an active boy so he is in need of an active home that will give him the mental and physical stimulation he needs (he is a warrior, remember, and warriors are always on alert). In his time here he has met young children and he was a total gentleman, sitting at (and on) their feet so they could pet him. Achilles is a true joy to be around and once he opens up to you, there is no turning back, you will officially have fallen in love with this tennis ball warrior.


Come meet Achilles at Acct Philly, 111 W. Hunting Park Ave., Phila., PA 19140                    1pm-8pm M-F and 10am-5pm weekends/holidays.  Email Achilles’ best friend at



You can stop looking for your new family member now, because once you see Dino, you won’t need to look any further.26604911215_32f6ed3475_k

This extremely handsome 3 year old boy is made up of one part beauty and one part brains. He was surrendered to us when his family had to move, so living in a home is still fresh in his mind and we know he wants nothing more than to be back in one ASAP. Dino likes other dogs his own size & bigger but isn’t a fan of those little dogs or cats. With the bigger dogs though, Dino is very eager to play and would just need some help in learning how to properly play with another dog (No humping, Dino!). (check out the video of this meet HERE )


His sweet and gentle nature would make him perfect for just about any home scenario, plus he’s on the smaller side of around 40lbs. He can come off a little shy when meeting new people, but shortly after he warms up and doesn’t want to leave your side. He’s happiest when he is out on walks with his human friends and since he’s pretty easy on the leash, it’s easy to want to spend time with him outside.26189497783_f992bdfc06_o

Dino did come to us with some skin issues (Deep Pyoderma) due to some type of untreated allergy but with medicine and baths (Dino is such a good boy in the bath) it has been clearing up at a steady pace and is almost as good as new. Also, Dino is an angel in the car so if you wanted to take a beach trip, he’d totally be up for that! Come in to meet the amazing Dino and let’s get him back into a loving home where he belongs!13103454_10154074869115119_6486247010019845621_n

Come meet Dino at Acct Philly 7 days week! 111 West Hunting Park Avenue, Phila. ,PA 19140  Monday-Friday 1pm-8pm and Weekends/Holidays 10am-5pm13138880_10154074869030119_3080011034223907690_n

Sylvester would like a chin-scratcher for life!

This handsome gentleman is Sly (the name his owner’s called him was Sylvester, but we call him Sly). He is a 12 year old man that was surrendered to us after having an allergic reaction to fleas. Luckily for him, once he got here he was treated and is feeling much better now that they are gone!


Sly is a laid back guy that just wants to be loved. Once you start petting him, he purrs so loud that you can practically hear it across the room! Sly’s eyes are the kind that just draw you in and you can’t stop staring (he doesn’t mind because he likes attention).


He would love nothing more than to be to be curled up on his favorite person’s lap getting chin scratches (they are his favorite!). He is just looking to get back into a home and have a family to love, and believe us, he’s VERY lovable! Sly is already neutered so he can go home with you today — which is perfect because his bags are packed & ready to go!!
Come to meet him ASAP at Acct Philly, 111 W. Hunting Park Ave, Phila., PA 19140
1pm-8pm Monday-Friday and 10:00am-5:00pm Saturday & Sunday


Free Hugs From Chug!

Do you like dogs? Do you like hugs? Do you like dog’s hugs? If you answered yes, then Chug is your girl!
This stunning tan and white pit/shar pei-mix loves to hug and cuddle her human friends – it’s her all time favorite thing to do! Chug is around 3 years old and is currently at the shelter waiting for a real family to come and love her forever. She has a two-toned eye: half blue/half brown!

She is dog social but prefers to be around dogs that are calm and gentle (like she is). She doesn’t want to play with them but she can be around them going out on walks, hikes etc. (She recently went on a hike with a male dog and they were great together). It is currently unknown how she is with cats.
She is gentle and is good with kids (she previously lived with them). Chug just has so much love to give out, let’s help get her the home she’s looking for!
Come meet her Monday-Friday 1pm-8pm or Saturday-Sunday 10am-5pm at Acct Philly, 111 West Hunting Park Avenue, Phila., PA 19140

Reply to the ad with any questions!


Why PETA? Why?

Source: Why PETA? Why?