Liam, Rougemont, NC

Hi! I’m Liam. I’m a 3-year-old Pit/Boxer mix that was adopted from the Durham APS shelter in December 2010. When I was found as on the streets of Durham by Animal Control, I was underweight and my back leg have been surgically amputated. My mom says that when she first met me, my eyes were empty and it seemed as if I’d all but given up hope on living in a home again because I’d been in the shelter for several months.

I was a favorite of all the staff and children visiting the shelter and was used to teach outreach classes to school children. But even with my friendly personality and popularity with visitors, I was passed over for adoption and left at the shelter time and time again. My mom says she couldn’t understand how such a beautiful and gentle boy like me hadn’t been snatched up but was actually scheduled for PTS (Put To Sleep) that very week.

When I met my mom, I hopped over to her and curled up in her lap. I was a big boy, yet so thin and frail, that I just melted into her lap as if I wanted to just disappear. She knew immediately that she was going to take me home with her and give me the life that I deserved. Two days later, I was riding in her backseat, with one stop between me and my new home. We stopped at a local pet supply store to buy me a new crate, mat, collar, food and more toys than a boy like me would know what to do with.

It was during that visit, that my mom understood why I have been passed over so many times at the shelter: We passed a young boy walking with his mother. He wanted to come up and pet me but his mother jerked him back and said, “No, that’s one of those pit bulls, don’t get near that dog. She shouldn’t even have him in here.” Today, my mom has a response for such ignorant and unwarranted comments. That day, she looked as sullen and rejected as I did the day she met me. That moment is when it occurred to her that I was almost euthanized because I was “one of those pit bulls” and no one wanted to adopt me.

My mom and I went home in silence, she was just rubbing my head, angry at the world for being so ignorant, but determined to make a difference in OUR world. That night I instantly made friends with my dog family of 3 other dogs and quickly accepted my new mom and pop. My Australian Shepherd sister who is often very bossy and snippy around other dogs—my mom thinks often deserves to be called “that dog”—became enamored with me. She constantly grooms me and checks in with me. I’ve mellowed her to where she is now more accepting of all dogs and no longer “that dog.” My parents often take me out to eat at outdoor cafes and on shopping trips. Being a tripod, I instantly draw attention. I love to greet everyone with a lean on their leg and a nudge of my snout. I LOVE children and cozy right up to them. My mom says that every interaction I have, I dispel the myth of being “one of those pit bulls.” Within a week of living with my parents, school children who had visited the shelter were e-mailing for updates on me in my new home. One of them even came to visit me at my new home and brought me Christmas gifts.

I recently raised over $1,000 for the Durham APS shelter by participating in the annual fundraiser walk for animals. My mom and pop were approached by four individuals during that walk who recognized me immediately and told my mom how they almost adopted me. All were amazed at how good I looked, and commenting on how sweet I was interacting with my Aussie sister. My mom is pretty sure I’m with her today because I was “one of those pit bulls” and that’s okay, because those people looked a little envious that I wasn’t walking with them.

My parents were proud to represent pit bulls that day and every day. They are very grateful to those with an open mind that support me, my Facebook page and my ongoing fundraising efforts. They are proud that I am “One of those pit bulls” and show the world that they and I, are gentle, loving and deserving creatures. I am many things, but most importantly I—Liam Ulysses Charles Kreem (LUCK)—am not a monster.

Parent: Kim