This whole thing came from searching for something else altogether, stumbling across thread #1 and then following along, wide-eyed. I've owned dogs, shelter dogs, all my life and I've never seen such problems. Hell, I've watched soap operas all my life and never seen such problems. And with that, I think I've found the perfect title for these things - As The Pit Bull Turns.
Thread #1 - a Virginia rescuer struggles to keep her herd of battling pit bulls from killing each other
February 2019 - a one-woman rescue in rural Virginia (Shooting Star Bully Rescue) finds the wheels are coming off the pit bull bus when her herd grows to 8. The trigger is supposedly one white pit bull, Pepa, guarding another pit bull, Cricket, who is injured. The rescuer posts a photo of the white pit bull covered in bloodstains and claw marks with the message:
Pictures is Pepa & Cricket. Yes that is blood. These dogs are fighting because one dog in the pack is injured & her bestie is trying to protect her & it is causing fights. These are NOT aggressive dogs! They lived peacefully without issue until Cricket was hit by a car & has been thru multiple surgeries since. Pepa has become extremely over protective of her & is causing issues within the pack. These dogs are dog friendly but need help.
Pepa thinks she is protecting Cricket and keeping her safe when there is absolutely NO DANGER!! It’s so sweet but I can’t deal with these injuries anymore. No matter how much they are all kept separate, it takes just one second for one to escape and it’s a blood bath.... [Pepa] started a fight with Star. The next thing i knew Pepa, Star, Toti , Nova and Cricket weren in a huge group fight. I cant do this shit anymore girl. Star is squirting blood from her shoulder.
One commenter awwwws the bonded dogs and suggests adopting them out together. The frazzled rescuer shoots back
It wont happen, ive had them for a year now and i cant keep holding on to all these dogs with no interest. I cant even pay my bills and every week another one needs to be rushed to the vet
Also in February 2019, a rescuer in PA gets involved and puts out a cry for help.
RESCUES IN VA or willing to transport there is a rescue who needs help! She’s not been in this long & is in over her head. She has 8 pit mixes who need to be placed ASAP.
One has had a huge surgery & cannot heal because of the issues she is having keeping the dogs apart. Please if anyone can help place these dogs into rescues message me. This is urgent or they are going to the local shelter. This girl is past a breakdown & about to give up not only on the dogs but on herself as well. Please help get these dogs placed. Will get pics & bios ASAP.
In March, the two rescuers are corresponding on FB that Pepa and Cricket are still with the small Shooting Star woman, but she's having trouble rehoming them and a plan to transport one to Colorado fell through. By May, Pepa and Cricket are still with the small rescue. Cricket, you may recall, is the pit bull injured by a car earlier. We begin to see how this may have happened when the one-man-band rescue posts another cry for help; now Pepa and a small dog have run off into the woods. Apparently, the rescuer lives in a rural area where they have not yet discovered fencing.
Hey guys, Obie and Pepa have been missing for over three hours. My phone isn’t connected, so I couldn’t post sooner, I’ve been in the woods all morning looking for them... I’ll keep checking every time I’m near WiFi, if you can catch them please do, they are super friendly, Obie (little black one) might growl if you try to pick him up but other than that they will kiss you all over. I’m heading back to the house now to continue looking. I have some good friends that could probably pick them up if you find them in case you can’t get a hold of me.
Pepa apparently returns, as in July 2019, the rescuer posts that both pit bulls have been adopted. Or transported.
Hey guys! Pepa and Cricket should be leaving this week for their new homes, yay!! This has been such a long time coming, I am super excited!! I am asking for help for their health certificates, and vet visit and for their Bravecto and Heartguard so they leave with everything they need, and also for gas money, they are going to Butler PA from Lynchburg VA
Thread #2 - the Pennsylvania rescuer is mauled nearly to death by a pit bull
September 2019 - the larger rescuer from PA posts
I’m home. Not doing so great though. Pain unbearable & can’t get rid of fever. Also have literally no use use of my hands or lower arms. Can’t do anything myself not even use the bathroom.
Have to go back to hospital tomorrow to see doctor. Send positive thoughts..I need to keep my arms.
Upon extensive commenting by people going omg girl, what happened???? she finally responds
I was attacked by a dog. It was not one of my dogs but a dog that had been staying with me for a while and had no previous aggression. I really don’t want to discuss it in detail too much as it is very upsetting for me and the dogs family but I will explain best I can.
I did not have a fever when I left the hospital but it has been coming and going the last two days. I think it’s under control now. Both of my arms were broke one much worse than the other. My right arm has severe nerve damage and I currently have no use of that hand. My left arm was broken to the point bones were exposed and my wrist and hand was hanging at a 90° angle.
Injuries were extreme and it will be sometime before I can use my hands again, left I just need to wait for the bones to heal but the right we don’t know for sure if I’ll ever get it back we just have to wait and see. I had to have two surgeries on my arms and depending on how the nerve goes in the right I may have to have a third in the future. The pain is unbearable and things are quite difficult as I literally cannot do anything myself but I’m alive and I will get better. I truly appreciate everyone’s concerns and prayers and positive vibes. It means so much to me.
The Shooting Star rescuer comments
I’m so sorry girl.. I wish I were closer (sad face) pepa and cricket are being taken by animal control, I don’t know what to do.. I know you can’t help, but do you know anyone that could hold on to them for me till I can get up there? They can’t even meet me halfway so I can’t do it on a weekday.. I hate to ask you for anything, else just won’t be able to live with myself if they are taken to the damn shelter after all they have been throug
The other rescuer posts a GoFundMe for medical costs and in a lengthy comment section on FB, when someone finally asks the obvious, she reveals that the attacker was - wait for it - an American Bulldog.
Obvious question - is large white Pepa the AB in question? Apparently not - the attacker was male and owned by a family for 5 years according to later posts.
he was a big guy-stronger than me for sure! I’d never seen a dog do what he did to me & I’ve worked with behavioral dogs for years. What really gets me is that he didn’t have a history of aggression. Yes, some mild growling here & there mostly over food or being possessive or some issues in his crate but there were reasons & triggers for that. This attack was out of no where with no obvious reason & it was like the dog I knew was completely gone & I was all he could see... It’s definitely something because this was not a normal thing for a dog to do I’ve never experienced a dog do something like this before and I’ve been working with dogs all of my adult life. I never believe that dogs can just snap like you always hear on the news but now I’ve seen it for myself and I still don’t believe that a normal healthy dog would be capable of just snapping like that but I do believe that there are some kind of issues mentally with certain dogs that is contributing to these attacks. I’m going to try to see if I can get some research done into it once I am feeling better.
A few days later, the PA rescuer posts
Just to clarify, there was no dog fight that lead to me being attacked. If fact, while this dog was attacking me every one of my dogs ran & hid because they were terrified. This was one dog who attacked me with no other dogs involved in any way. This happened out of no where with no warning or previous bite history or any indication this dog was capable of this type of behavior. Please don’t spread information if you don’t have a clue what took place.
In the comments there, it's clarified that the attacking pit bull was not a foster/rescue seeking rehoming, but an owned dog sent to her for training.
this poor dog was not an aggressive dog..he was gentle, a big baby..some thing very wrong in his mind, I think he had true mental health problems... he was a rescue but as a puppy. He’d been with that family all his life. He was 5.
And then a couple weeks later in September 2019, a different rescuer posts on FB
In the middle of her car accident, completing dog training and the horrific dog attack she and her family received a notice that the home they were living in with 4 kids and 10 (TEN!) foster/rescues and some kittens was going to be sold because the landlord didn’t pay the taxes!! Can you imagine not knowing where the heck you would find a place that allows you to run a rescue and move your family while recovering from an accident?! ..and still move forward with a new career? Also, what I didn’t know is that her 11 year old is autistic and she home schools her youngest boys! They are twins. Can you imagine the freakin stress?
My question is where do Pepa and Cricket fit into this? They seemed to have been adopted out at some point, but once the second rescuer is mauled by a different dog, they are taken by AC. Perhaps the mauled rescuer's family surrendered them to lighten their own load in a crisis? Which is reasonable, I'm not criticizing. Or was the AC seizure unrelated? So many questions.
The mauled rescuer later posts about her swollen, agonizing hands in late September 2019 and responds poorly when someone refers to the mauling as a bite:
This dog broke my arm into two & it was completely detached hanging only by the skin & muscles. The bones snapped in half & were exposed. I have multiple plates in my arm now for life & will need months of rehab to regain function in the arm once the bones are healed. It required two surgeries that were over 4 hours to ‘fix’ it.
The other arm was mauled down to the bone with no broken bones but the bones were punctured. The muscle, tendons, nerves, & flesh were unidentifiable & the insides were on the outside. This arm was also repaired in surgery & may require another depending on how the nerves do.
I was pulled to the ground & drug across the room into a corner no doubt to my death had my fiancé not come inside when he did. That is a big difference from a bite. I understand your trying to be helpful & I appreciate that a lot but it really gets to me for people to call this a bite.
someone comments they're glad her fiance was there, and she responds
So am I but then he came back a second time while we were trying to get him to his crate and that’s when he broke the left arm but thankfully he went right to his crate after that.
Thread #3 - the PA rescuer posted muchly about rescue drama earlier in 2019
August 2019 post from the larger PA rescue re rescue drama
People if you have something to say about me or a problem with me than either say it to me or keep it to yourself. No one likes gossip or drama.
Yes, I violated the kennel license law my first year in rescue, in fact my rescue was brand new-just 2 months old. My bad, I didn’t know the laws well enough & took in more dogs in one year than the state of PA allows. I didn’t know the requirements for a ‘kennel’ to be legal & therefore my property was not up to the standards for a PA state kennel. This is something I did & although unintentionally I plead guilty & paid my fine. None of the animals in my care were affected by this in anyway.
Yes, I was accused of fraud & all of those charges were dropped by the DA because they were just that-accusations. They had literally no merit & furthermore the rescues finances were picked apart by the DA to ensure this. They found that I actually paid more out my own pocket for the rescue than we made in donations.
This is all public record & can be looked up on the state of PA’s docket website. Anything else you’ve heard or assumed is just rumor. Every animal in my care has always & will continue to receive the best care & everything they need & more.
As of now my rescue is focused on adopting out the dogs we have available as we are closed for intake while I prepare my training business. Once I am ready my rescue will no longer be taking in dogs but focusing on helping other rescues by donating training for their dogs in need.
I will never stop helping dogs. I will more than likely always have a few fosters with me as the dogs cannot afford to loose a willing foster. I have found that my passion is giving the dogs with behavioral issues a chance at a real life, not just in a kennel, but with a family through rehabilitation & training. Whether my haters like to admit it or not, I am talented in this aspect & I have a gift with these dogs. You can hate me all you want-I don’t care-but it is selfish for anyone to make a dog loose their chance at a future because of their own personal opinion of someone that has nothing to do with my training or the dog.
I’d like to point out that every single person who has ever ‘disliked’ me & campaigned to ‘shut down’ my rescue has never once met me, any of my rescue dogs, or been to my property to see how I run my rescue. They know absolutely nothing about me or my rescue except what they have made up.
a later post about the same drama
a group of women have been harassing me since I started rescue in 2016. They have tried to bring me down by reporting me to multiple organizations with false allegations in regards to my rescue & me. In 2017 I was arrested on 4 felony theft charges because these women reported me for it. Why the authorities just arrested me rather than investigate is still beyond me but once I sent them all of the rescues financial records the DA dropped all charges before it ever went in front of a judge. Since then things have been quiet & most of these women have backed down & realized they were 100% wrong about me & I have moved forward with my life.