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In a word, we're humbled...

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It was a late January night, and I received the following email...

Hi my name is Jillian and i am with a non-profit animal rescue out of Alexandria, Louisiana. We rescue dogs from kill shelter and bring them to our shelter where we vaccinate and care for them until we find forever homes. We normally bring all of our rescued dogs to humane societies in Ontario, Canada, however we have 4 pitbull/boxer mixed puppies, that are illegal in Canada, which is why we were bringing them to the Buffalo rescue (they are 3 1/2 months old with all vaccinations, 3 male, 1 female) We are stuck in the Buffalo, NY area with no place to bring them. A humane society in Buffalo had agreed to take these 4 puppies however upon arrival there shelter had been filled with local unwanted animals so our 4 were turned away. We really hate for them to make the 30 hour trip back to Louisiana. If there is ANYTHING that you can do please call my cellphone tonight if possible,

Thanks, Jillian

and after a phone call and some driving, I met up with this...

Inside, we met Jillian plus her Dad, and an empty trailer --

-- well, that is, except for the 4 tux pups, Leeto and Superman!

My first question to all of this was, "how in the world do you pull all of this off? and WHY do you do it?"

Here, you can see the now-empty trailer, that held 60-70 lives now at Northern rescues, all because of Jillian and her Dad.

Well, Jillian's response to me was, "The dogs have no hope down in Louisiana, so our whole family pulls together to get them vetted and to great rescues up North."

The whole family, indeed, does pull together! While Jill's husband and Mom man the homestead down in Louisiana, Jill, her Dad and Jill's 9 month old baby truck around helping these pups!

I asked her, "How in the world do you pay for this?" She said through the family, they gather the funds necessary to make runs every 6 weeks, and they're never empty on the drive out of the South.

Mind you, there are no short-cuts here -- the dogs are vetted, vaccinated, and they even have a kennel her Dad built back home! Jillian reviewed with me their protocol for preventing parvo in the kennel, and she's very happy with its results.

With some of the pups, like the tux-pups below, they dock their tails upon birth, so they DON'T look so much like pit bulls, in hopes that they'll get great homes down South. She says the "look" of a pit is so damaging in her area that dog fighters will scoop up the pups and abuse them to no end in a fighting life.

How tragically sad.

And what a savior they've found in Jillian and her family.

So, here's Jillian again with Ame, the girl of the litter.

I was almost speechless during this whole transaction, except when I said, "Of course we can help."

How could we not? Again, what a humbling experience -- what selfeless people doing something totally for the animals.

To prove how well these pups are vetted, just LOOK at Leeto's vetting page --

-- daunting!

And then, for Superman --

-- again there's no corners cut here!!!

And now for the pups!

Due to some kind SPBR fosters in Buffalo and Rochester, NY, we're proud to have helped the 4 "tux-pups" below.

These loves are great dogs -- very playful, very adolescent, and mixed with another breed -- likely a lankier, larger breed.

As mentioned, their tails are docked -- nubs are CUTE, y'all!!

And, as with all SPBR dogs, they're spayed / neutered, microchipped, vaccinated, wormed and fed a great diet.

Now, for the babies! Ame is the girl, the others are lads, and they're all AVAILABLE for ADOPTION!

And next, the adults...

Next are Superman and Leeto, who went home with Jill and her Dad.

They are available for adoption through SPBR, and if you apply for them, we'll put you in touch with Jill for discussion on their temperament, cat friendliness, etc.

They're both great pups and are both neutered males.

And, of course, they are both blessed to have had Jillian in their lives.

So, there we go.

As I bade farewell for Jill and her Dad, I thanked her Dad for all his generosity, and complimented him on raising such a caring and kind daughter.

All he did was look away and say, "Well, there's a lot of folks doing a lot more than we are, and we help where we can."

How humbling.

And with that, Jillian and her Dad were gone.

What an experience that half-hour was. To meet people actually DOING something to save these poor animals in a totally selfless manner -- what an honor.

To meet people not MAKING EXCUSES about "Well, that sounds nice, as long as someone else is doing it and it's not on my nickel" -- how rewarding.

And to meet people treating these "throw aways" like the most important dogs in the world -- how motivating, and humbling.

So, by adopting one of these lovely 6 pups, you're not just getting a dog --

-- you're rewarding a process of perfect living -- in my eyes.

You're supporting human beings at their best -- giving back, living selflessly, and helping save lives --

-- all while they look away upon being given compliments, and simply say, "We're doing what we can."

Absolutely humbling, and oh-so-rewarding. Their reward will certainly be in heaven -- and until then, they're blessed every day by the loving lives they save!

May God bless you, Jillian and family, and we'll get these loves only the best of homes!


Things I like in an application:

- Applicants who join our pit bull forum, at There, you'll find a small army of pit bull lovers -- 3,500 at the present -- !! For you, the adopter, you can learn about canine diet, pit bull temperaments, multi-dog households, and you can meet a nice group of people. For us, the rescuers, we can see your baby as they grow with you, hearing your stories about them and seeing pictures you post of them in their news lives -- win-win, right??!!
PLEASE DON'T IGNORE THIS PRE-REQUISITE -- it means a lot to us here -- !!
- Adult adopters, ready to be adults. People aware of the responsibility of a puppy, and aware this puppy will become an a medium-sized dog, with its own temperament and personality. Adult adopters who are ready for a 15 year commitment. This puppy does not have a depreciating "useful life" that is over when it becomes an adult -- instead, this dog's whole life is useful -- !!
- Owners who are aware of and who respect the pit bull temperament. This means people who know you can't "love" dog aggression out of their dogs -- instead, owners who are RESPONSIBLE with their pups -- crating them when unattended, supervising them with children, never leaving them outside unattended, and those who are ready for licks and lovin' in return! For more on dog aggression, click here.
- Adopters who treat their newest addition like a member of the family, realizing that this isn't a "dog in the box" and that its little life must be encouraged to go the right path and that obedience, socialization and training will get her there -- !!

- Financial commitment. Adopters willing to spend money on their new investment, including premium foods (like Candidae, Wellness, Nutro or raw food), plus adopters who will invest in pet insurance or a "dog fund", lest vetting be required, which may get expensive.

The adoption fee is $295 per dog. This is reasonable, considering the premium services that each pup gets. Each dog, before placement, is examined by a licensed veterinarian, spayed or neutered, wormed with premium wormer, given vaccinations on a regular basis (not just a one-shot deal), microchipped with a premium Home Again chip (made by Schering -Plough), fed premium raw food (not 'Ol Roy, or some other filler-laden junk) and has spent it's puppy fosterhood in a wonderful, attentive, CLEAN environment. There are 4-5 homes fostering these babies, and that is a LOT of logistics, driving, CARE, etc. -- but it's entirely worth it! Also, each puppy is accompanied by a personal home visit to YOUR home at placement, to ensure they're going to have the life of a king or queen -- !! If the home visit doesn't pass, puppy doesn't stay. This isn't some parking-lot-of-a-pet-store adoption scheme, instead, it's the highest-quality service I can provide for these young souls, as they journey off in to their lives. Note, too, we have had a recent increase in adoption fees, due to increased veterinary surgery rates.

- Smart and informed adopters, who research this breed and who realize that these pups are not for everyone. Pit bull temperament can be Googled, and a great start can be found here.


Things I shy away from in an application:

- Youth -- sorry kids -- this is a living being, not an iPod!! Young peoples' lives change a lot, and the first thing to get dumped is usually the dog, whether it be on their parents, a friend, etc., who are oftentimes ill-equipped and disinterested in this four-legged life -- then, the dumping or neglect begins.
- Renters. I get calls all the time saying, "Please take my dog -- I moved in to an apartment that doesn't allow them." Ummm -- did you fall asleep in an apartment that allowed them, and then wake up at a new address, in an apartment that doesn't allow them? This isn't magic here -- it's responsibility, and dogs come first. Please don't lie on the application, either -- this will show up in the home-visit -- !!

- Multi-dog households. While I love having many pit bulls, quite a few people aren't ready for the commitment and responsibility it takes to sometimes crate their dogs, rotate them out of the crates and generally own them responsibly. When that happens, I get calls saying, "I have to get rid of one of my dogs ASAP." I can never understand why these people think their lack of planning is all of the sudden my emergency.

- Busy households. Sure, puppies are cute, and they're cuddly, and after they're bathed, they smell nice. But when they grow up in to dogs, and the busy household moves on to their new obsession, the dog, now needing obedience, love and affection, is dumped in the suburban sense. The dog may even live "out on the porch" -- people mention that to me like it's acceptable -- dogs are social beings, and will not flourish in situations of neglect!
- People that call me sounding like gangsters. It happens a lot -- and they never want a spayed or neutered dog. Sorry folks -- this is rescue, not a puppy mill, nor the "syndicate". Also, please don't bother me with requests for "papers" -- last time I checked, no people I knew had "papers", and that didn't make them any less a "person" -- !!