Dolly, Orlando, FL

Hi! I’m Dolly the Pit Bull.

I came into a shelter in Sanford, Florida, originally as a stray. After months of waiting patiently in the kennel for my forever home, a seemingly nice family decided to take me home in June 2009. I was so happy! Little did the shelter know that this “nice” family was using me as bait dog in the local dog fighting ring. I endured months of pain because this was my human family and I only wanted them to love me.

One busy Saturday in March 2010, a shelter worker who was working in adoption had gone to the front counter to hand a family a new pet they had proudly adopted when she saw this dirty, bloody, mangled pit bull standing in the front lobby. There was a small crowd gathered around and a few were crying. It wasn’t until she saw the skittish dog raised her head for them to see when they all realized it was me. So many questions flooded their heads: Who would do this? Why?

The shelter workers slowly walked me to the back of the kennel to give me a bath, a warm blanket, and some much needed TLC. They immediately started me on antibiotics to fight the infection in my muzzle that was torn to shreds. Some of my teeth were knocked out and my mouth was so swollen I was unable to eat. As I was being bathed, blood flowed through the tub. Although I was swollen from the trauma and barely able to open my mouth, I began to lick my rescuers’ hands to say ‘thank you’: I knew I was safe. I knew I was home.

I stayed at the shelter for about a month until I had completely healed, and I was ready to head back over to the adoption building. The shelter worker who found me at the front lobby couldn’t stomach the fact that I’d be waiting in adoption for another home after my previous horror story. She kept envisioning in her head that the same type of monster would walk in, see my scarred face and want to adopt me for the wrong reasons.

So, she did what any normal person would: She took me home. She decided to find a family for me on her own, one that would be hand-picked and simply perfect. Her intentions were to rehabilitate me with other dogs and train me to become a Canine Good Citizen. Well, I accomplished all of that and more. She found me a wonderful home; I’m sleeping under her chair as we speak. :-)

She realized that I was too special to pass on; she had too many big plans for her life ahead. I am now an AKC Certified Canine Good Citizen and am a part of the SPCA’s Pet Visitation Program where we visit nursing homes and children’s hospitals. My mom is my soul mate, and half of my heart belongs to her.

My story made a lot of people sad but happy for my happy-ever-after. It made me pretty recognizable too so I’m very busy these days, making appearances as an advocate to my breed, and keeping up with all of my fans on my very own Facebook page (over 5,200 international followers as of Sept. 2011!).

I was invited to meet Pit Boss Shorty Rossi and his dog Hercules at an event held by Pinups for Pitbulls. I’ve been featured in American Dog Magazine (not once, not twice, but three times!) and I even won an award from American Dog Magazine for Spokesdog for a Charitable Cause. I was invited to walk the red carpet at the Beyond the Myth premiere in Tampa, FL.

Our proudest moment was when I was invited by Best Friends Animal Society to attend a committee meeting for Senate Bill 722 which passed and was signed into law on June 21st, 2011. My mom and I were fortunate enough to meet Senators as well as Representatives from various areas in Florida.

My mom also decided to start an organization in my honor: Dolly’s Foundation. Our mission is to rescue, rehabilitate and rehome homeless, neglected and abused American Pit Bull Terriers and other bully breed dogs, as well as preserve, promote and bring positive awareness to the breed and the negative stereotype bestowed upon them.

So that’s my story. And now I’m spreading awareness everywhere I can so I can help save other dogs just like me. I will change the world’s negative perception, one person at a time.

I will change your mind too….if you let me.

Parent: Erica Daniel

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