Changing The Image Of The Pit Bull Breeds
Bradley Smiling by Melody Chen
Roger L. Cotterman: Dog Rescuer and Investigator
Good morning readers. I'd like to introduce you to a remarkable man. His name is Roger L. Cotterman and he's changing the way we see the pit bull and other bully breeds.
I totally agree with his message. It's not the breed that's a threat. It's the way a dog is both trained and treated that determines the disposition. These dogs are NOT born mean. The ones who are mean were made that way through abuse or improper training. I invite everyone to study this site. http://unitedapbt.ning.com/.
Many are being rehabilitated through programs specially created for dogs who have been made mean by human abuse. For more information on this please see my hub article at http://hubpages.com/hub/Rehabilitating-Dogs-After-Abuse
It's time for the public to understand this issue and that is the reason behind this story I'm doing on Roger. He not only rescues this breed from death row shelters, he's also leading the way in educating everyone on how loving pit bulls really are.
The pit bull is not a breed into itself, but several breeds. These include the American pit bull terrier, Staffordshire bull terrier. http://www.thedogpark.com/articles/dog-breeds/pit-bull-breeds/index.php
I personally love the breed because they always have a smile on their face.
Roger L. Cotterman has a long experience record in investigations. Over 29 years worth of private investigations and private security. He's also an animal investigator who looks into animal abuse including backyard breeders and dog fighting rings. Roger is based in Dayton, Tennessee.
I emailed Roger a few days ago asking for information on how he ended up in the animal investigation profession. The following is based on the reply he gave me. So I feel the need to give him credit for this article.
I'm filing this article under "animal abuse and neglect" because the treatment of these dogs is what makes the rescue organizations and rescue individuals necessary. Pit bulls are fought and bred and fought and bred again until the dog is used up and dumped out on the streets for the rescuers to pick up. Those taken to the pound are almost always given a death sentence.
I'm pleased to tell Roger's story as it is such a positive step in educating the public about the breed.
Two years ago, Roger was ignorant as to what was going on with pit bulls in this country. Then on November 22, 2008, as he returned home from the store, there was a white female pit bull standing in front of his building. His wife was scared to death and carried their then 12 1/2 year old lab/chow mix Ginger into the house. He tried to chase the dog off thinking that someone had allowed it to run loose, or it had broken loose from it's owner. She had a collar on and there were no tags or identification on the collar. The dog would not leave, regardless of what he did to get her to leave, she was determined that she was staying there.This was on a Saturday. On Sunday he took her inside. They contacted the sheriff's office and the officer said the animal control officer was off until Monday, and if they didn't want to keep her to call them on Monday. Now he's glad they were closed.
On Monday they took the dog to the vet and found out if they hadn't brought her in, she would have died in 5-7 days from a uterine infection. That is when they found out that some of her teeth had been gnawed off where she had chewed on stone or wood to try and get out of where she was being kept. She had pups 6-7 weeks prior, and the pups had been dragged away from her on the 22nd. She threw up grass and twigs for a week. The vet told them she'd drank her own milk to try and survive. He also estimated that she was around 18 months old and had 2-3 litters of pups. They decided to call her Blanca, because she was all white and had seven black dots on each ear.
They took her home and Roger held ice in his hands to re-hydrate her. All the while he was wondering "how in the hell can someone treat a dog like this." The dog would get as close as she could to him and she had to be touching him when she slept or she would move around till she was. His wife was terrified of her so he slept with the dog on the sofa bed. After a few days his wife realized the dog only needed love and affection and was not the demon the media had made Pit Bulls out to be.
That is when he searched the internet to find out what he could about Pit Bulls. That is when he learned the media was clueless about the breed. They were demonizing a dog that had been a war hero and Hollywood movie and TV star. It was then that he learned that 99.9% of the Pit Bulls that wind up in a shelter are euthanized. He also learned that the media in many cases were mistaken about the breed, and in many cases could not pick a pit bull out of a photo array of 20 dogs.
Since November 22, 2008, Roger and his wife have been involved in a local rescue, as well as several Pit Bull rescue groups. They are doing everything they can to help this breed, including educating people that these dogs are not the demons that they see on television. They also currently have Shekina, a 2 year old red female they saved from a shelter on September 9, 2009, where she was scheduled to be euthanized that day. They are still looking for a forever home for her. They make sure that every pit bull is either spayed or neutered before they are placed up for adoption.
Roger explains his belief in saving the pit bulls as follows: "The key to saving pit bulls is that we all have to network together and help all the dogs that we can. We need to work on getting more foster homes, so that we can help more dogs, the reason that many Pit Bulls are euthanized is because there are not enough foster homes to help these dogs. Almost every rescue that I have spoken with is either full or above full and cannot take another dog. However, as we search and find more foster homes, we need to scrutinize these people more than we do normal fosters, for obvious reasons."
I'd like to thank Roger for all of the work he does for the dogs. This country could do with a couple of thousand like him. I wish him and his rescues the best of luck in finding furever homes.
And I hope everyone comes away from this article with a better understanding of the breed.
Elisa Black-Taylor is a regular contributor to www.pictures-of-cats.org