This is the story of a pit bull puppy named "Chief". In March of 2008, I received an urgent e-mail regarding a little pit bull puppy. He had been used as a bait dog and was dumped in a field in suburban Chicago and left to die. When the animal control officer found the pup, he was scared, hungry, and hurt. In fact, the little pup had a broken leg, most likey the result of blunt force trauma from something such as a tire iron or baseball bat. He had puncture wounds to his head and face, torn flesh, and bite marks on his body. Chief had served his purpose for the dog fighters, and was dumped in that field, thrown away like a piece of garbage. It is estimated that Chief had been in that field for several days before he was found. The AC officer, a dog lover and the proud owner of pit bulls, scooped Chief up and took him to the shelter where he would be safe. He lovingly fed the little guy cookies, Chief licking his rescuer's face, tail wagging. If only humans could be so forgiving!
The next day Chief was taken to the vet and x-rays showed that his femur was broken in half. Chief would need surgery, and it was going to be expensive, $2500! A rescue group stepped up and took Chief in, and raised money so he could get leg surgery. Chief was adopted into a loving home, and I had the privilege of meeting Chief and his new family. He is a happy and loving boy, you could never tell that he had such a rough start in life.
The reason I am telling you this story is because I cried when I read his story. Then I got mad, and then I took action. I contacted the office of Illinois representative Mike Boland who sponsored Illinios vicious dog legislation and was a real force in making it illegal for any community in Illinois to have breed specific laws.
AAVENGE was born from that phone call. AAVENGE hopes to be the catalyst to help strengthen Illinios' dog fighting laws, to be the voice of dogs like Chief, to make sure those that fight dogs and attend dogfights are sufficiently punished, and to educate the public about this gruesome practice.
Read below to hear some thoughts from the animal control officer who was responsible for saving Chief, our official AAVENGE mascot:
" I do think about Chief quite often. I just wish that every one who thinks that Pit Bulls are monsters could meet Chief and see his story. I wish that they could have seen him in that field, alone, cold, abandoned and severely injured. I wish they could have seen the look in his eyes when I rescued him, or see him wag his tail when I fed him his first meal in days. A dog doesn't do this to itself. Man does this to the breed.
Because of Chief, I go out of my way to educate people in the neighborhood about Pit Bulls. If I see Pit Bull owners walking their dog, I stop and give them all kinds of tips, from keeping their gates padlocked to keep their dog safe, to making sure they always have a collar with tags on their dog. And most important, micro chip and spay/neuter their pet. Pit Bulls have been abused for far too long, and it is time we realize that it is not the dog that is the problem.
Unfortunately, there are too many "Chief's" out there. It will be an up hill battle, but we will win. With the popularity of the "VICK DOGS" doing so well, I believe that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and the day of the abused Pit Bull will one day come to an end.
Thanks to people like you, and groups like AAVENGE, the grim reality will be put in the face of society, and they will know the truth, not just the propaganda the media wants them to hear.
B.S.L. is a regime too, and one day will be overthrown. If more Animal Control officers will take the time to educate themselves about the breed, this could be stopped. They are the grunts in the trenches, and can help spread the word on these dogs. Together with volunteer organizations, we can put a stop to the abuse of the Pit Bull.
Every night when I come home, and greeted by the cold wet noses and wagging tails of my own Pit Bulls, I can't help but think that just a few years ago, my own Pit Bulls sat on death row, in kill shelters because of their breed, hours away from death before I rescued them.
I am grateful to be an Animal Control officer, happy to be a small part of Chief's story, and HONORED to be amongst friends and organizations like AAVENGE."
- ACO Todd