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Heroes

For Pits Sake is a volunteer run non profit organization that has been a leader in the community for over a decade in both human and animal rescue efforts, safety programs for children, therapy programs, and humane education. The For Pits Sake pit bulls are true embassadors for the American Pit Bull Terrier breed, demonstrating that these dogs are capable of being important members of society.

Wallace is a rescued American Pit Bull Terrier.  He was found as a stray and turned into the humane society.  Wallace is one of the highest drive dogs I have ever come across, so it was no surprise that he did not do well in the kennel environment.  Unfortunately, the “low kill” shelter that is set up to help him, started targeting him for euthanasia because he was a “liability”.  He wasn’t an angel by any means, but what do you expect from an off the chart working dog that was bored out of his mind after receiving no training for the first year of his life.  The organization does some good things.  It was just eye opening to the amount of misunderstanding there is regarding this breed among the people that are supposed to be there to help, and how much politics can affect the lives of the animals that are in a shelter’s care.

With the help of some others, Andrew Yori and his wife were able to pull him out before he was put down.  Since being rescued Wallace has surpassed any expectations anyone could have imagined. Andrew’s mission now is to use Wallace’s story to inspire other bully owners to get out there and show off their fellow breed ambassadors, and to educate as many people as we can about the truth regarding these dogs.  Since taking on this mission, Wallace has earned the respect of people from all over the world, and competes right along side the best disc dogs on the planet.  A list of accomplishments is listed below, however Wallace doesn’t care if he gets a trophy or not.  He just knows he’s alive and having fun chasing a piece of flying plastic all over the country.  At each competition Andrew and his wife have been to, whether they take home the gold or just end up back at home, they have changed the mind of somebody and opened their eyes to think differently about the “Pit Bull” breed.  That’s what it’s all about!

 

2005
Skyhoundz Open Qualifier – 2nd Place Pairs Freestyle – Qualified for World Finals
Skyhoundz World Finals – 2nd Place Pairs Freestyle

2006
Skyhoundz Local, LaCrosse, WI – Distance/Accuracy Champion
Skyhoundz Local, Rochester, MN – 3rd place Freestyle
Skyhoundz Local, Jordan, MN – Freestyle Champion, 2nd place D/A
Skyhoundz Local, Highland Park, MN – D/A Champion
Skyhoundz Local, St Charles, MN – Freestyle Champion
Skyhoundz Local, LaCrosse WI – Freestyle Champion
Skyhoundz North Central Regionals – Pairs Freestyle Champion – Qualified for World Finals
Skyhoundz World Finals – 2nd Place Pairs Freestyle
MN Disc Dog Club Cup – Freestyle Champion
AWI Classic – Open Division Champion – UFO Major – Qualified for UFO World Finals and AWI World Finals
AWI World Championship – 4th Place Open Division
UFO World Finals – 4th Place Open Division
FDDO Western Leg – Pro Division Champion
Cynosport Games World Champion

2007
Animal Farm Foundation Achievement Award
Rochesterfest Open Division Champion – UFO Local
AWI Classic – Open Division 9th place – UFO Major (not associated with AWI series)
Skyhoundz West Coast Open Qualifier – 3rd Place Distance/Accuracy – Qualified for World Finals
Skyhoundz West Coast Open Qualifier – Pairs Freestyle Champion – Qualified for World Finals
Skyhoundz West Coast Open Qualifier – Expert Freestyle Champion – Qualified for World Finals
Skyhoundz World Finals – 8th Place Distance/Accuracy
Skyhoundz World Finals – 2nd Place Pairs Freestyle
Skyhoundz World Finals – Tied for 4th Place Expert Freestyle – tied for highest single round score
Only large dog in 2007 to qualify for all three events
AWI East Coast Qualifier – Open Division Champion – Qualified for AWI World Championships
AWI World Championship – 7th Place Open Division
FDDO – 4th Place overall Pro Division
Cynosport World Games – 2nd Place Overall
Purina Incredible Dog Challenge Central Regional – 2nd Place
Purina Incredible Dog Challenge Freestyle Flying Disc National Champion

Wallace has also appeared in the magazines – Bully Breeds, The Bark Magazine, Fully Bully, Rochester Magazine, St Mary’s University Magazine and a couple international online magazines.  He’s also appeared on ABC, ESPN2, Animal Planet, multiple newspapers, local ABC and NBC news media,  numerous online blogs, FetchDog.com, Animal Wise Radio, and The Pawz Cauze.

And they say pit bulls have no other purpose than to cause trouble….

For more information on Wallace and his busy schedule, please visit

K9 Neville has quite a story. When Ontario, Canada, Attorney General Michael Bryant used his position to harm and kill the breeds he fears so much, all bull breeds were at risk. The law Bryant enacted meant all unclaimed bull breeds in Ontario shelters were to be killed – or worse – sent to research laboratories. A dedicated group called Bullies In Need started working frantically (and still are) to find homes outside of Ontario for the “refugee” bulldogs.

With the help of an anonymous donor who paid his airfare, a veterinarian clinic which let him stay a week for free, many volunteers who helped transport, and a kind woman in Washington state (Carrina Collard) who took him in, Neville was saved. Once in Washington and looking for a home, Neville tried out for the LawDogs program and was a huge success!

Nev is a working explosives K9 for the Washington State Patrol, the state’s premiere law enforcement agency. He regularly screens vehicles on the Washington State ferry system – currently rated the United States most “at risk” transportation system. He is also called upon to do such varied tasks as search for spent bullet casings at crime scenes, respond to bomb threats and search for explosives at Seattle-Tacoma International airport.

Neville’s handler, Trooper Dave Dixon, can’t say enough good about his partner who lives in the house with a male Labrador and a male beagle. K9 Neville is very popular with ferry riders, and has even been kissed by Gray’s Anatomy star Ellen Pompeo! K9 Neville could not have gotten a better handler! Trooper Dave Dixon takes awesome care of this partner, looking out for him, keeping him comfortable and giving him a lot of love.

Canada’s loss is the United States’ gain! One country kicked him out due to racial profiling, fear and prejudice – and now he proudly works for US Homeland Security!

Update – 04.07: K9 Neville has become a favorite with regular ferry riders and continues to make finds of guns, fireworks, bullets and other “explosives”. Bomb dogs don’t rack up “finds” like dope dogs – yet their work is even more important. Let us hope K9 Neville continues to do his job – and never does find a bomb!

More Pit Bull Heroes

Pete was dual registered as an American Pit Bull Terrier and an American Staffordshire Terrier. He is most famous for his role in the family movie, “The Little Rascals.”

RCA is 15 years old and in quite good health, considering her advanced years. She came to Alaska from Alabama. Because the housing market was tight and there was pit bull-hysteria in the air, her owners couldn’t find a place to rent that would allow pit bulls and she was eventually sent to the Alaska SPCA in Anchorage. RCA became Alaska’s first certified hearing dog.


History

The following information courtesy of:

American Pit Bull Terriers – All About America’s Favorite Dogs (Popular Dogs Series)
From the Editors of Dog Fancy Magazine. Volume 45, pp 5-11.

Bully Breeds – All About America’s Favorite Dogs (Popular Dogs Series)
From the Editors of Dog Fancy Magazine. Volume 21, pp 55-11.

Bully Breed Roots
In the family of dogs, most members were developed for a specific role: some to be hunters, some comforters, some herders, some pullers. Now versatile show dogs, workers and companions, the bully breeds were once bred to be the stern enforcers, developed primarily to keep livestock in line for farmers, butchers and auctioneers.

In one form or another, the bully breeds have been around for centuries. Their true beginnings are blurry, but most dog experts agree that the Bulldog type descended from the mastiffs of Central Asia and reached its modern development over central centuries in England. Bulldog-type breeds are a large group, encompassing the American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Bull Terrier, Miniature Bull Terrier, Bulldog, American Bulldog, French Bulldog, Pug, Boston Terrier, Boxer, Bullmastiff, Dogue de Bordequx, Neapolitan Mastiff, Tosa Inu and Dogo Arentino. Pit bull-type breeds (bully breeds) are a branch on this family resulting from the 18th-century crosses between bulldogs and terriers and include the American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Bull Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, American Bulldog, and Miniature Bull Terrier.

The Bulldog Base
The Bulldog that fathered all these diverse breeds was a very different animal from today’s English Bulldog. It was tall, with a smaller head than today’s bully breeds, and was quick and alert. The original Bulldogs were used as a combination guard dog and catch dog, including a vermin hunter for rats and other small pests. Its day job of keeping bulls at bay for farmers by pinning and holding the bull by the nose had entertainment value for people without books or movies or television, and the Bulldog began to be pitted for sport against bulls and sometimes other animals. Bullbaiting, as this popular diversion was called, was a common sport as early as the 13th century. According to beliefs of the day, it had health benefits as well. The meat of a baited bull was considered to be more tender and nutritious, and butchers could be penalized for not baiting bulls before slaughtering.

The physical characteristics needed to be successful at bullbaiting included a thick, strong, overshot jaw to aid in grasping the bull; a short, flat muzzle to help air pass through the nostrils while the dog was clamped onto the bull; and a hard, rangy body, able to take a beating and survive being tossed into the air by the angry animal. Just as important as strength were courage and tenacity. Crosses with terriers gave Bulldogs additional ferocity and gameness. Human nature being what it is, people found pleasure in pitting the dogs not only against bulls but against each other. Although they might be ferocious towards other animals, the bully breeds learned to turn a gentler face toward people. Those that didn’t were ruthlessly culled. Dog fighters did not want to be at the receiving end of a dog bite. By the late 18th and early 19th centuries, Bulldogs were a recognizable type. Among the well-known Bulldogs of the time were Crib and Rosa, who were depicted in a painting by Abraham Cooper, R.A. (Royal Academy). Another was Lord Camelford’s Bulldog, Belcher, who was fought 104 times and never defeated.

It was during the 19th century that the Bulldog’s appearance began to evolve, a result not only of new humane laws but also of the rise of dog shows. Dog fighting was outlawed in England in 1835, making the bully breeds some of the earliest beneficiaries of the burgeoning humane movement.

With the decline in dog fighting, it seemed for a time that the bully breeds would die away with it, but fanciers stepped in to save the dogs from extinction. They began breeding the dogs for exhibition instead. By the mid-19th century, it was clear that Bulldogs were becoming shorter in leg and developing larger heads while retaining their strength and tenacity. By the end of the 19th century, the Bulldog had come to much more closely resemble what it looks like today; the head was larger, the legs shorter, and the body stockier.

During this time, the Bulldog’s temperament changed as well. It softened considerably as the dog became less of an outdoor farm animal and more of a show animal and family pet. The modern Bulldog is almost unrecognizable compared to its progenitor. The Staffordshire Bull Terrier, the American Pit Bull Terrier, and the American Staffordshire Terrier have probably changed the least. From the Bulldog, other breeds were created as well. The French Bulldog and the Pug are miniaturized versions of early Bulldog types.

Enter The Terrier
As Bulldogs evolved to become powerful fighting dogs, terriers were busy evolving as well, shapming themselves to various climates and terrains all over Britain. Although the British terriers varied widely in appearance, they all specialized in one important activity – vermin control. When bull-baiting and dog fighting became illegal, many Bulldogs were crossed with terriers, including the now-extinct Old English Terrier and the Black and Tan Terrier (similar to the Manchester Terrier of today). In England, these crosses eventually became the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, the Bull Terrier, and the Miniature Bull Terrier. In America, they became something else.

American-Made
The American Pit Bull Terrier and the American Staffordshire Terrier developed in much the same was as bully breeds in England. People emigrating to the U.S. brought their ‘Bull-and-Terriers’ with them in the 1700s and through the 1800s. The dogs shared the work of the people they came with, working as catch dogs and farm dogs to drive semi-wild cattle and hogs and hauling carts for miners. The bully breeds were an extremely versatile working dog.

Early American life, as it did in Britain, also included bullbaiting and dog-fighting. These types of dogs – which went by numerous names including pit terriers, pit bull terriers, half and halfs, Staffordshire fighting dogs, old family dogs, Yankee terriers and Rebel terriers – became today’s American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, and American Bulldog.

The United Kennel Club (UKC) was formed in 1898, solely for the purpose of registering American Pit Bull Terriers. The first APBT registered, Bennett’s Ring, belonged to Chauncey Bennett, the founder of the UKC. A little more than a decade later, the American Dog Breeders Association (ADBA) came into being, also with the purpose of registering APBTs. The ADBA was founded by Guy McCord, a friend of John P. Colby, which is the grand old name in American Pit Bull Terriers. The Colby’s have bred APBTs for generations, their dogs being originally bred for fighting. Colby dogs are still being bred today.

When fighting became illegal in the U.S., some owners of the APBTs wanted to legitimize the breed and distance it from its fighting roots, so they took on the name Staffordshire Terrier and gained AKC (American Kennel Club) recognition in 1936. According to the American Staffordshire Terrier Club of America, although ancestors of the AmStaff were fighting dogs, selective breeding since the 1930s has been away from the fighting heritage. Today’s AmStaff is a companion and show dog rather than a gladiator.

APBTs, too, have taken their talents to less violent arenas of competition. They’re a versatile breed that competes successfully in conformation, obedience, tracking, agility, protection work and weight pulling. In temperament and appearance, the modern APBT and the AmStaff are identical. Hence, many APBTs registered with the UKC are also registered with the AKC as American Staffordshire Terriers. The Staffordshire Bull Terrier, a smaller version of the APBT/AmStaff, also originated in a similar manner, but was bred for a smaller appearance. All three breeds, the APBT, the AmStaff and the Staffie Bull are hence the same “type” of dog, all originating from the Bulldog,