Meet Gracie the Pittie
Who is Gracie?
She is a dog, a pit bull mix.
Where did the name Gracie come from?
Actually, the rescue chose her name. Since it was probably the only name she’d ever been given, we kept it. She had gotten to know her name as “Gracie” and it really seemed to fit her.
Is Gracie a full pit bull or is she mixed with another breed?
Gracie is likely a pittie mix. No idea if she’s a full pit bull, but she sure is adorable!
How did Gracie come into your life?
Gracie was called in to Animal Control as a dead dog on the side of the road. When Animal Control showed up, they found her very much alive, but unable to stand on her own. She was taken to BARC in Houston. Her intake photo made its way to Treat ‘Em Right Rescue & they sent out a plea for an immediate foster, as she was set to be euthanized within the hour. Her picture tore at my heart & I emailed to see about fostering her. Every bone was showing, hardly any fur… We are currently undergoing heartworm treatment right now. She weighed 31 lbs at intake. Less than a year later, she currently weighs 76 lbs!
Does Gracie have any training?
Gracie has not been formally trained. Luckily, her rescue group offers basic training with with CGCC at the end of the 6 week course. We plan on signing her up.
Does she have other furry siblings, if so how do they get along?
She has 2 sisters that are both Dachshunds. Gracie is bossed around by our mini Dachshund. Overall, they all get along very well with each other. They snuggle together on the couch.
How is she with people?
Gracie LOVES people! If we are walking and we pass someone who doesn’t stop to acknowledge her, she will stop and stare, almost willing them to turn around and pet her. She loves the dog park; she loves meeting other dogs.
When did you get involved with animals ?
I grew up with dogs and cats, so I’ve always had a love for animals. I honestly had never been around a pit bull before Gracie. We had our Dachshunds and that was it. Gracie totally changed our perceptions. Not just mine and my husbands; but both of our families and friends.
What research would you recommend someone to do who is looking to adopt a pit bull from a shelter?
If someone is looking to adopt a pit bull, do the research. Make sure that if you live in an apartment, that they are ok with it. You don’t need a large yard, but you need to be mindful that any dog regardless of breed and size need space to run & to play. Training is also important. Many that own pit bull try to be great examples of responsible owners and ambassadors of the breed. Treat ‘Em Right Rescue in Houston loves volunteers! (http://www.treatemright.org/)
Almost any and all rescue groups appreciate any aspect of volunteering. From adoption events, fundraisers, helping walk the dogs, cross-posting information… If you fall in love with a pit bull online, meet your love first. Sometimes, it may not be a match. Keep looking. There’s a pit bull out there for everyone.
Anything else you would like to share about Gracie?
Gracie was also fostered by Kathy Smith & her awesome family. Treat ‘Em Right Rescue is amazing. We are truly lucky that everyone stepped up to save her. She’s wonderful!
What are your thoughts on BSL and why do you believe it should end and what would you say to those who are scared of pit bulls?
Pit Bulls are not evil, bad dogs. Quite the opposite! BSL serves to only punish innocent animals, rather than dealing with irresponsible owners. If someone is scared of pit bulls, try volunteering with a local pit bull rescue. They deserve a chance, home, love… They just may change your mind.
What is BSL ?
Breed-specific legislation (BSL) is a law that bans OR restricts certain types of dogs based on their appearance, usually because they are perceived as “dangerous” breeds or types of dogs.
**It is a common misconception that BSL refers only to breed bans. BSL is seen in two forms: bans and restrictions.**
(Taken from http://stopbsl.org/bsloverview/)
What dog breeds are affected by BSL?
- American Pit Bull Terrier (Note: Laws dealing with “pit bulls” also state any mix of the 3 breeds AND the MOST important line, anything that has the characteristics or appearance of these breeds. There are 20+ breeds that are commonly mistakenly identified as “pit bull” dogs. ) (Denver, CO)
- American Staffordshire Terrier (Note: Laws dealing with “pit bulls” also state any mix of the 3 breeds AND the MOST important line, anything that has the characteristics or appearance of these breeds. There are 20+ breeds that are commonly mistakenly identified as “pit bull” dogs. ) (Denver, CO)
- Staffordshire Bull Terrier (Note: Laws dealing with “pit bulls” also state any mix of the 3 breeds AND the MOST important line, anything that has the characteristics or appearance of these breeds. There are 20+ breeds that are commonly mistakenly identified as “pit bull” dogs. ) (Denver, CO)
- Doberman Pincher (Fairfield, IA) (Sisston, SD), (Westfield, IL), (Travelers Rest, SC)
- Shar Pei’s (Smithfield, UT)
- German Shepard (Fairfield, IA)
- Belgian Malanois (Fairfield, IA)
- Siberian Huskies (Fairfield, IA)
- Alaskan Malamutes (Fairfield, IA)
- Great Danes (Fairfield, IA)
- Irish Wolf Hounds (Fairfield, IA)
- Scottish Deerhounds (Fairfield, IA)
- Mastiffs (Fairfield, IA)
- Boerboels (Fairfield, IA)
- American Bull Dog (Other dogs in excess of 100 lbs – Fairfield, IA), (North Little Rock, AR)
- Akita (Ulyssas, KS)
- Chow Chow (Travelers Rest, SC), (New Port, RI)
- English Mastiffs, (Yale, IA)
- Tosa Inu (Aurora, CO)
- Presa Canario (Aurora, CO)
- Dogo Argentino (Aurora, CO)
- Cane Corso (Aurora, CO)
- American Bulldog (Aurora, CO / North Little Rock, AR)
- Bull Terrier (Grandview, MO – Akron, OH, Arkansas City, KS)
- American Bull Dog, (North Little Rock, AR)
- Presa Canario (Lanett, AL, Arkansas city, KS)
- Wolf Hybrid (Huntington WV)
- Canary Dog ( Akron, OH)
- Perro De Presa (Akron, OH)
- Old Country Bull Dog (Akron, OH)
- Bull Mastiff (Arkansas City, KS)
- Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog (Arkansas City, KS)
- Perro De Presa Mallorquin (Malheur County, OR)
- Fila Brasileiro aka Brazilian mastiff (Malheur County, OR)
- Neopolitian Mastiff (Fort Knox Army Base,KY)
NOTE: These are breeds that are typically over 100lbs. If your dog is less than 100lbs than they are safe in Fairfield.
- Bull Mastiff (Other dogs in excess of 100 lbs – Fairfield, IA)
- Neopolitian Mastiff (Other dogs in excess of 100 lbs – Fairfield, IA)
- Tibetan Mastiff (Other dogs in excess of 100 lbs – Fairfield, IA)
- New Foundland (Other dogs in excess of 100 lbs – Fairfield, IA)
- Anatolian Shepherd (Other dogs in excess of 100 lbs – Fairfield, IA)
- Greater Swiss Mountain Dog (Other dogs in excess of 100 lbs – Fairfield, IA)
- Great Pyrenees (Other dogs in excess of 100 lbs – Fairfield, IA)
- Komondor (Other dogs in excess of 100 lbs – Fairfield, IA)
- Kuvaz (Other dogs in excess of 100 lbs – Fairfield, IA)
- St. Bernard (Other dogs in excess of 100 lbs – Fairfield, IA)
- Tosa Inu (Other dogs in excess of 100 lbs – Fairfield, IA)
- Dogo Argentino (Other dogs in excess of 100 lbs – Fairfield, IA)
- Cane Corso (Other dogs in excess of 100 lbs – Fairfield, IA)
- Fila Brasileiro (Other dogs in excess of 100 lbs – Fairfield, IA)
- Spanish Mastiff (Other dogs in excess of 100 lbs – Fairfield, IA)
- Italian Mastiff (Other dogs in excess of 100 lbs – Fairfield, IA)
- Dogue De Bordeauxs (Other dogs in excess of 100 lbs – Fairfield, IA)
- Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog (Other dogs in excess of 100 lbs – Fairfield, IA)
- Akbash (Other dogs in excess of 100 lbs – Fairfield, IA)
- Leonberger (Other dogs in excess of 100 lbs – Fairfield, IA)
That’s a lot of dog breeds, but why is BSL bad?
Breed specific ordinances are quick fixes and not a sufficient long term solution for the following reasons:
1. Dog problems are generally problems with owner responsibility and are not limited to breeds. When breeds are singled out as dangerous or vicious, responsibility is removed from the dog owner which is where it belongs. Irresponsible people are also less likely to follow the law – and as a result, everyone has to suffer.
2. By limiting the ability of citizens to own certain breeds, responsible law abiding citizens will shy away from those breeds. These are the types of owners that communities need to encourage, not drive away.
3. Communities that have instituted such bans often find that the irresponsible owners and the criminals who use dogs for illegal purposes simply switch to another breed.
4. Breeds and mixes are hard to identify and often dogs are mis labeled and destroyed based on paranoia and prejudice and also punishes those that are good canine citizens. Many breeds function as assistance dogs for handicapped owners, search and rescue dogs, drug-sniffing dogs, police dogs, etc. and drives them out of the community.
The American Veterinary Medical Association and several state veterinary medical associations oppose breed-specific legislation for just this reason.
5. The dog most restricted is the “pit bull.” A pit bull is a type of dog, not a recognized breed. See the breed information page for more detail.
6. Passage of laws that are only enforced through complaints cause two problems: 1) they create disrespect for the law if authorities require compliance only upon complaint, and 2) they provide ammunition for neighborhood feuds.
(taken from http://www.pbrc.net/breedspecific.html)
More reasons why BSL is bad:
- BSL does not improve public safety or prevent dog bites .
- BSL ignores the plight of victims and potential victims of non-targeted breeds.
- BSL is costly .
- BSL requires each and every dog to be identified as a breed —something that has proven impossible to do accurately and objectively.
- BSL makes targeted breeds more desirable to irresponsible and criminal owners .
- BSL does nothing to make irresponsible dog owners accountable .
- BSL punishes responsible dog owners .
- Not a single canine welfare organization supports BSL.
(taken from http://stopbsl.org/bsloverview/)
Lennox was a victim of BSL.
Despite his owners stating that he was not a pit bull nor related to a pit bull, he was taken from his family in 2010 for simply looking like a pit bull and was subsequently killed because of BSL.
Here are links related to Lennox:
Further Pit Bull Related Reading :
http://stubbydog.org/ – a website dedicated to undoing the public perception of pit bulls
http://www.twopittiesinthecity.com/ – Two Pitties in the city – a Website, Blog & Facebook about two adopted pit bulls and their life in Chicago
Here are some links to petitions related to BSL and pit bulls:
This is to get a pit bull named Piggy released in California (she did not attack anyone, just scared a jogger) – http://www.thepetitionsite.com/371/418/762/save-piggy/
This is to end the discrimination of pit bulls https://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/us-representives-introduce-a-bill-to-ban-discrimination-of-pit-bulls
This is to save Dre a pit bull who escaped his guardian’s house thanks to a kid- http://www.thepetitionsite.com/366/919/230/save-dre-a-pit-bull-in-brighton-co-who-has-never-hurt-anyone/
To the loving memory of Lennox and other pit bulls that have been wrongfully killed thanks to BSL.Author’s Note: The author would like to thank Gracie & her guardian for answering my questions as I was writing this article and for providing me with lots and lots of links about BSL, petitions and educating me further about pit bulls. Photos were used with permission. On a more personal note, for those that don’t know, as a child I was petrified of dogs, little ones, big ones, medium ones, didn’t matter. I was able to get over my fear thanks to some wonderful dog owner friends of mine. Not only do I love dogs, but I’ve had the chance of being the guardian to several, I currently have cats now as I don’t have the yard for a dog, but I am a strong believer in educating people it’s not the animals that are a problem, it’s the owners. This article is a part of the Pittie Love Theme, please click on the badge for more pittie interviews and information.