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DeLand, FL 32724
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Last Updated:
9/10/2014 11:05 AM


Pit Bull. There is no other breed of dog—or arguably, any other animal at all—whose mere mention can elicit such strong opinions. Try a word-associate game with your friends. Ask them what they think when you say “Pit Bull.” Chances are their responses will be more negative than positive. And it’s no wonder. No other type of dog is as widely banned from housing, legislated against, or incorrectly vilified by the media.

How did we get here?
Pit Bulls were once widely considered ideal family pets—affectionate, loyal, and gentle with children. But in recent years these dogs have suffered tremendously from a combination of overbreeding, bad publicity, and irresponsible owners. In reality, the overwhelming majority of Pits and Pit mixes are sweet goofballs who have gotten a very bad rap.

Learn the truth.
National Pit Bull Awareness Day October 27 is a day of appreciation and education designed to change perceptions and stereotypes about Pit Bulls and their responsible owners. Please take a moment to learn the truth about these wonderful dogs and consider rescuing one of them from a shelter.  ASPCA

belle and tuxedotaylor and his petashlies dogkimmie in sink


francis with child


Bell and Tuxedo, top left, were abandoned. Bell, staring you down, was taken to Halifax to be killed. ARK rescued her and the owner of Tuxedo. Kenneth, fostered her. When he moved to Georgia he returned Tuxedo to the Center. But Tuxedo became terribly depressed and destructive. In desperation we called Kenneth and asked him if he would adopt Tuxedo. He agreed and our transport delivered Tuxedo to his dady. Now the two best friends snuggle every chance they get and Kenneth calls with updates and sends photos.

Thumper, (middle with his "pet" poodle), was rescued by ARK. He was named Thumper because his tail never stopped thumping. We could not find a foster or anyone to adopt him so he lived in an outside kennel for 3 months, becoming more and more aggressive. We worked with Thumper while he stayed at FloridaWild Veterinary Hospital in DeLand. But the longer he was kenneled without a loving home environment the more aggressive he became. Finally we were warned that he may have to be euthanized. Desperate we advertised "FREE to TERRIFIC HOME - Inspections and references required."  Within the week lovely Ginger visited Thumper with her two small granddaughters. Thumper took an immediate dislike to Ginger, growling and backing away. But he loved the girls. We suggested Ginger remove her wide hat and sunglasses and sit on the ground at his eye level - and sure enough Thumper became her friend. An hour later off she went with this thumping maniac. He arrived "home," met his little buddy, and proceeded to nestle in. His mom called a month later to say he was tearing up her house when she left. We got her a kennel and she put a warm bed in it, closed the door, and went to work. When Ginger returned Thumper, now renamed Taylor, was outside the kennel, peacefully waiting. We had failed to secure the back of the kennel when setting it up! Funny thing though, he didn't destroy one item in the house. All he needed was the assurance he had a special place. Soon he learned he was never going to leave home.

Kimmie, resting in the sink in an outside kennel at ARK's Center, refused to mess up the concrete. She always waited patiently until we took her for a walk. She was pulled the week she and her 6 pups were to be exterminated at the Orange Co. Animal Shelter. Kimmie was a terrific mom but she didn't want anyone near her except one man, ARK's caretaker. Two pups lived and were adopted but no one wanted Kimmie. Month after month she lingered sadly in the sink, waiting and watching. Finally the right person came along. James, and fell in love. Kimmie went home with her new dad and mom and has been spoiled rotten ever since. She sleeps in their bed, demands special foods, and in general rules the home.

Francis, sleeping peacefully with his little pal, Tori, was an abused dog ARK rescued. And Tori, with neurological damage, was also one of ARK's rescues. Both love each other dearly and love their best friend too. Ask Ashlie's little girl if pits are bad. And what do you think the answer will be????