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Pit Bull Rescues Woman From Burning Village!

We have some amazing dogs here at DF. I mean, total star quality, fantastic, Grade A family dogs. But, there are a lot of things you don’t actually know about our dogs.

For instance,

Did you know that Tega saved an entire village from an out of control fire?

How about Chance’s extensive military training? He was a helicopter pilot and flew injured soldiers to safety.

I bet you didn’t know Ruby was a clown in the circus until she broke free and we swooped in to rescue her from her life of glitter, makeup and torment.

We can’t forget dear Gertie who was a midwife in a third world country, helping deliver thousands of babies while discovering a new crop that will end world hunger.

Too much? Ok. You got me. Some of these stories may be fabricated, but it perked your interest, right?

Here’s my point; All of our dogs have stories! Some are more crappy than others, but the one thing they all have in common is this…. Ready?


Yep. That’s right. Even the ones that weren’t thrown down a garbage shute, or the ones emaciated and dumped at a local hardware store. Don’t get us wrong! Our hearts mourn for the agonizing torture and neglect these dogs encountered, but we’re puzzled as to what it is about these dogs that make people go nuts when there are identical ones in local shelters.

Take Harper for example, our swimmer puppy that was dumped in a garbage bag. Once her story went viral, I received 600 emails in 5 hours. Some of them were thank you letters for saving her, but most were begging to adopt her. We got hundreds of applications from all over the world. We got emails from someone in NYC offering a “healthy donation” for Harper and even offering to fly down on the weekends to visit her until they could adopt her. We got emails from people in Canada willing to drop everything and make the drive down to Florida to come get her. Our friends at Louise’s, Hip Dog, and Flyin Fur were contacted and asked to “put in a good word” to whomever had Harper because they wanted her. We explained to each and every one of them that Harper wasn’t available, but showed them the dogs that were. No interest. It’s the sensationalism of having a dog from the Today Show.

What is it about “famous” dogs that makes people lose all sense of reality? Do people realize there are healthy dogs in their local shelter that will die by the end of the day? These dogs wont require the weeks of rehabilitation Harper did. Not to mention, she’s got $$heart and brain abnormalities$$ Maybe people want a special needs dog? I guarantee if they walked into their local shelter asking to rescue a special needs dog, those shelter workers would nearly take flight at the opportunity to help rehome some of these special case dogs.

Anyway, it wasn’t until I started Dolly the Pit Bull, that I realized how much marketing work goes into rescuing dogs. For instance, BAD RAP had Atomic Betty available for adoption. Atomic Betty is a Super Hero and who wound up in a shelter and used her super powers to send a message to BAD RAP, telling them to come and save her. Betty is “also a Galactic Guardian, dedicated to interstellar peacekeeping and law enforcement. As Atomic Betty, assisted by her friends, she confronts the evil Breed Bigots of the world and other intergalactic supervillains.”

Ok, seriously BAD RAP? Genius. Sheer genius. Betty’s real story? She found herself in a shelter and was amazingly lucky to have been picked up by one of the best rescue organizations in this galaxy. Her current status? Adopted. Who wouldn’t want a stellar Super Hero watching over their home at night?

For those of you reading this, I have an extraordinary secret for all of you. One that no one knows. Ready?

I, Erica Daniel run Dolly the Pit Bull’s Facebook page. That’s right. Her fingers are too fat, so I agreed to do it. My point? YOU CAN TOO. I adopted Dolly from the shelter I worked at because of an incredible bond we had. She wasn’t a FB star, never been on TV, no magazines, no one interested in adopting her. She was just another abused pit bull in another county shelter. There is nothing different about Dolly than any of the other dogs waiting to cross the threshold and become a pet, rather than an ID number.

So, to all of you faithfully applying to adopt Patrick, Harper, Ace and any other dog with a horrible history who’s story has gone viral; I encourage, if not beg you to adopt from your local shelter.  Talk about how bad their gas is, or how much they like baby chicks. Maybe your new shelter dog would make a fantastic disc dog, or maybe it really had a rough start.  Save a life.  Make a difference in not only their life, but yours!

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8 Comments Post a comment
  1. Erica – you are an amazing voice for change. I care for Lux, american bulldogX and The Worst Guard Dog in the World (yes, that is his official title). I have had people on the street ask me if they can buy him. I routinely get asked where they can get a dog just like him – he’s so ‘gentle, friendly, and well-behaved.’ I lean in and whisper, ‘Go to the pound, adopt a dog, walk him twice a day every day (rain, shine, snow or ice), provide training and socialization.’ He is the superstar in my life; who cares if he’s never been on TV.

    November 10, 2011
    • That’s awesome! Thanks for the support, Heather! Keep advocating for these shelter dogs! I have faith in humanity that one day, Dolly’s Foundation will no longer be needed. Then, I plan on taking a long vacation ;)

      November 10, 2011
  2. kw #

    Fantastic article, Erica!! A message that needs to be shouted from the rooftops! I was one of the 600 who emailed you after I read Harper’s story to thank you for the amazing work you do for these dogs (didn’t ask to adopt her though, my condo is full with my two rescue dogs!). When I saw all of the pleas to adopt Harper on your facebook page, I too wondered where all these loving homes were for the hundreds and thousands of other “non-celebrity” dogs were, and why so many doors open only when a dog gains some notoriety. Not that anyone in this world is immune to Harper’s adorable little face – but there are thousands of dogs out there, waiting in shelters, who are surely every bit as cuddly and as in need of a good home as little Harper!

    I am completely and totally all about my plain old rescue dogs – they bring me joy each and every day!

    November 10, 2011
  3. Gayle #

    Erica, I so love and support what you do. I too was caught up in the cuteness of Harper and Bruno and others. At this time I realize our lifestyle will not do well for a dog, but we have a rescued cat and also provide support for our 4 rescued grandpuppies..2 pitties, a beagle and a lab/wiener dog mix. You and Dolly make a great team. Kepp on getting the word out. I wish I could have seen you in Raleigh, but I was there from PA a week later than you. Maybe someday….

    November 11, 2011
  4. Sarah #

    way to tell it like it is!!! =) If only people truly understood how many “Patricks”, “Aces” and “Harpers” there are out there. I work at an open door shelter and to be honest, we probably have 2-3 emaciated dogs right now that are part of our investigations dept., will everyone come fighting over them?!?! nope. it’s so sad really…

    either way…great article!

    November 11, 2011
  5. Katy #

    Great article, it is sad how many people are willing to adopt a “celebrity” rescue but never go to their local animal shelter to adopt. What people need to realize is that the Pit Bull breed in general is full of celebrities, some you just have to train yourself. I have had many dogs in my life but the breed I have stayed with is the Pit, they are the most loving, intelligent dogs out there, they are more like humans. I have wanted to start my own rescue, but my overly spoiled pit, Tank, does not like sharing his mom with other dogs so I am unable to. I do try though to put a word out when I know of a dog in need. I have been able to rescue one so far who was left in a pen and the owners moved. I went and picked her up and she was the sweetest thing ever, like I said though Tank doesn’t like to share. Luckily I found someone to take her, it has been a year since then and they are doing great.
    Keep up the wonderful work you are doing, someone has to be the voice for these wonderful dogs!

    November 21, 2011
  6. I absolutely agree and full encourage/advocate EVERYTHING you say on your website! I’m so glad there are more people who think this way out there! I adopted my first dog who was a mom who had all of her puppies adopted but no one wanted her. She had many many behavioral issues but that was because she was a puppy mill rescue. WIth love and positive reinforcement she is hands down the BEST DOG ever (in my eyes). Everyone compliments her now that she’s well trained and knows right from wrong but no one even took a second look at her when she was in the shelter bc she was a mommy dog.
    I foster for a local shelter Pet Rescue by Judy (maybe you’ve heard of it?) They’re also in Sanford and I have gotten the LUCK (yes, LUCK) of being able to foster 4 pitbull dogs. They have all been such a pleasure to have in my home! They are playful with my small dogs who are literally 25% of the pitbull’s size and they are amazing with guests, they shower them with love, and they’re so happy and willing to please. I have NEVER had a bad experience with them. I can’t tell you the amount of people that I have had over and they say “omg a pitbull, they’re dangerous!” I tell them “spend 5 minutes with him/her and TRY to tell me those words again”, they NEVER can!
    I already told my boyfriend that as soon as we buy a house (we’re renting now), I’m adopting a pit. I’m going to adopt the least “Adoptable” one: black, adult….wonderful and they will get walks and nothing but love! They will end up being the best dog bc they will have a buddy to teach them the way.

    I love your website, the photos are beautiful, you rly have a great team. If you are ever in need of a foster, I would love love L.O.V.E to help out in any way I can. Actually, if you need help with ANYTHING, I would love to help out.

    Thank you for what you do!! I will always support it!

    (Oviedo, FL)

    December 6, 2011
  7. Amy Calleja #

    Erica, I applaud you in everyway… I thank you for what you did for Harper and all of the Bully’s that might not have gotten the chance had it not been for you and your orginazation, I would like to share the story of Bailey…
    On February 2, 2008 we took my youngest daughter to a “Free” Museum Day in Sacramento California All day we wondered the different museum’s and at the end of the day my husband looked at me and said, “Hey honey, the pound is right across the street, why don’t we take the her over to see the dogs?” My first thought was, the pound isn’t like the zoo, and then the second thought came, I don’t know if I’m ready for a dog right now!! By now my daughter is jumping up and down saying in her little girl voice… “PLEASE MOMMY, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, we won’t get a dog, I just want to visit them”, so I surrendered and off to the pound we went.
    As we entered the kennel area, dogs were barking, jumping and whining as if to say, “Please take me home”, but I put my blinders on and walked the kennels. My daughter would stop at every kennel and say “Oh mommy, this one is so sweet” or “Mommy, look, this one is so pretty”, but my blinders stayed securely up and I thought I was home free… until I got about 3/4 of the way down one row and made the error of looking to my right…There in a kennel all by himself, was an 8 month old blue nose pit puppy. His “roommate” had been adopted the previous day and he just laid there on his blanket and looked at us with bleak eyes as if to say, I know how this works and you’re not going to take me home so why bother. His name was Squirt. We called him up to the side of the kennel and he picked himself up and came over to sniff our hands and let us pet him, yet there was still no barking, whining, or jumping from him. So we walked around to the other side of the kennel that was outside, but it was raining, and as we would soon find out, Squirt (Bailey) did not like the water. He would come as far as the interior exit and no farther, no matter how we called him. By now my daughter was bouncing all over the place, “MOMMY, we need to adopt him,” I took one last look at the sad little puppy in the kennel and went in to fill out the paperwork so we could meet him.
    When the kennel attendant came out and took us to the “Meeting” area, Bailey was suddenly alive, yet still no barking, no bouncing, and no whining… I was falling in love with him, but I also knew that a Pit Bull, especially a puppy is a HUGE commitment, so after our meeting I asked them if they would hold him for me to let me think about it. The pound was more than happy to accommodate and they put him on a 3 day hold since this was a Saturday and they wouldn’t reopen till Tuesday. As we left the pound, I had already named him… Bailey. The nights that followed were almost torture, as I kept thinking about that sad little puppy sitting all alone in the kennel, in the cold, with it raining and how he should be sleeping in a nice warm bed, comfortable and secure.
    3 sleepless nights later and it was finally Tuesday!! The day had arrived and as soon as the pound opened I walked in the front door. They had told me on Saturday that if I was going to adopt him I could come in a pay the fee and they would schedule him to be neutered, so I was prepared to live without him ONE more night, but when I arrived, I was informed that the vet had nothing to do the previous day and in hopes that Squirt (Bailey) would have a new home, they had already taken care of it an I could take him home right then.
    I remember the walk back down the kennel with collar and leash in hand and shiny new tags for him, the kennel door was opened and Bailey came straight to me and looked at me as if to say “You did come back for me”, gone was the sad bleak look, now replace with one of joy. How I loved this puppy
    Bailey has been a member of our family for almost four years, and with absolutely no regrets. To this day, Bailey still doesn’t bark, unless there is danger, I’ve only heard him speak a handful of times, but it’s always warranted. Also, the water thing, well we’re working on that one, he finally agreed to swimming lessons this summer at the lake!

    Every Pit Bull deserves to be loved, you just have to give them the chance to love you back!

    December 16, 2011

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