Tonight’s honoree for National Pit Bull Awareness Month is Laurie Adams, founder of Casa Del Toro Pit Bull Rescue & Education. I asked Laurie how she became so passionate about pit bulls:
My relationship with Pit Bull dogs started in the early 80’s. I began working at the local animal control as a kennel technician and year after year worked my way up to an Animal control field officer, It was there I learned the hard cold reality that loomed over this breed. I was part of several cruelty investigations. In one of the worst cases I had seen, we stumbled upon 2 baby pit bull puppies. Their ears severed off at the skull with a pair of dirty office scissors, the horror of it was hard to bare. Months and months had turned into a year, as the year went by we finally got a conviction. Finally, the case was over and the pups both found refuge in my home.
After that experience, I had decided to take my Pit bull rescuing efforts a step further. I founded Casa Del Toro Pit Bull Rescue in the year 2000. Starting a pit bull rescue wasn’t easy by any means. It took longer time than I ever thought possible. The days were long, the nights even longer and financially I found myself always in the red. I also realized that I had a lot to learn, despite my dedication and passion I DIDN’T know everything about the breed.
I remember reading an article on “starting a pit bull rescue”. Reflecting on that article, I thought to myself, “Wow. They must really NOT want anyone to start a rescue.”, but after investing years in rescue , I know exactly why that article was discouraging in nature. Rescue isn’t something a person should ever enter into lightly. Filling your home with dogs that just sit in crates is not rescue and isn’t doing anything to help this breed, nor is it ethical. You have to have a plan for them- A training plan, an Enrichment plan- those are hard things to commit to- Most people in rescue have full time jobs & their own personal pets so adding more animals to the mix makes “rescue” even more difficult at times- So i can see exactly why the article i read years ago was discouraging in nature- of course it was- it was written by folks who had been there and done that- So since our beginnings we have limited what we can & do pull to only what we can give 100% full attention to- whats fair for the dogs.. Our numbers are not extremely high, we usually have around 8 to 10 dogs in our program. Its more about quality not quantity , although we do wish that we were able to help more dogs- but at this time we just dont have the manpower,or resources. We have a facility in our long term goals, so were happy dreaming about that.
I founded this rescue on the vision that I can and will make a difference. I can dive into the trenches, rolling my sleeves up and cleaning a dirty kennel, or in a court room helping justice be dealt to a dog fighter. I am at home in a classroom educating children on animal issues and have traveled hundreds of miles to sleep on a dirt floor as a volunteer lending a hand in the aftermath of a disaster. Service comes in a variety part for me. I do this because this is what I do, this is who I am.
There are others who’s unselfish deeds far out weigh anything I have done, but together we all make a difference. We all have seen things that are hard to imagine in your most hellacious of nightmares. we have been brought to our knees from the magnitude of the issues we face. Ultimately, there’s a common thread that binds us all together, we know and love the soul of the Pit bull Terrier.
I have had the honor and privilege of knowing Laurie for several years. Her passion for pit bulls is so incredibly fiery, and her every thought revolves around her mission to save pit bulls. She is so creative in her ideas to help bullys and change stereotypes. I admire and respect everything she does on behalf of the breed, and she is someone who I look up.
On behalf of Bless the Bullys and the National Pit Bull Awareness Campaign, thank you for your tireless work on behalf of pit bulls, Laurie. Keep up the excellent job!!