Petey has been through so much and he needs a Foster or an Adoptive Home ASAP and he is under 2 years old! The Rescue has been with him at doggie day care and he does great with groups of big dogs and little dogs. He is a fabulous guy and would be a wonderful foster dog.
Petey was abandoned around December 2011 near Elizabeth. He was estimated to be roughly 10 –11 months old at the time. We thought he was a neighborhood dog who was getting out from his yard and attempted several times to catch him with no success. He was running with 2 other dogs, never causing any trouble, and even attempted to play with our 6 year old Boxer (Diddle). Petey came on the property several times (we have the Invisible Fence) and would leave after a brief romp through our yard. It became common to see Petey 2 or 3 times per week, but he remained elusive if you come too close to him.
Diddle was not very fond of Petey and demonstrated his lack of tolerance by his constant aggression. He would continue to jump on Petey’s back, chest bump him, attempt to push him down, etc. Petey would ignore him for the most part and eventually grow tire of his antics and leave the property. There was only one occasion where Petey attempted to dominate Diddle and mounted him. When Diddle attempted to scoot out from underneath Petey, he attempted to hold him when they both reared up on their hind legs and engaged in their only altercation. It only lasted a minute and they broke up the fight themselves. Petey walked away. Diddle didn’t have a single scratch.
In early March, we had our annual HOA meeting and brought up Petey running loose in the neighborhood, in an attempt to find his owner. Several homeowners stated they have seen him on their property and found him sleeping under their cars, under their decks, hiding in their bushes. It became apparent that Petey didn’t belong to anyone in our community. Later, we received an email that went out to all homeowners in Forest Park that there was a Pitbull on the loose and that the sheriff has recommended shooting him if you see him. This absolutely enraged me, so I contacted the sheriff’s office and found the deputy who actually responded to the complaint. The deputy explained that he never told the homeowner to shoot the dog and clarified that the homeowner asked if he would get a ticket for shooting or killing the dog if he felt he or his children were ‘threatened’ by him. The deputy explained that he told him he would not get a ticket for killing any dog or other animal if he felt they were in danger and felt the homeowner was taking his comments out of context. I knew then we didn’t have much time if we were going to help him. That day I started setting out food for him, attempting to bait him and get him to come around our house more often. After several weeks it finally paid off and I was able to approach him while he was eating his breakfast one morning and put a collar and leash on him. Once he finished he sat down, looked up at me as if to say ‘where are we going?’
On January 8th, our 2 new boxer puppies were born and came home on Friday, March 2nd. Petey was finally caught on Saturday, March 3. The puppies were only 8 weeks old and could not co-mingle with Petey. I kept Petey in the garage (heated) while I attempted to contact anyone who could help us. I called the deputy at the Elbert County Sherriff’s office and explained that we had successfully captured Petey. He explained that they do not have an animal control division, due to budget constraints, and that I would have to attempt to find Petey a home on my own. He did mention that several deputies that he works with like Pitbull’s and he offered to pick Petey up and attempt to find him a home. 3 days later, he called me explaining he was unsuccessful and that I could either pick him up at the Sherriff’s department or he would drop him off at a shelter where he would be euthanized within 48 hours.
I received that call from the deputy while I was at the vet with my 8 week old female boxer. Dr. Bean overheard my conversation and politely asked what was going on. When I explained the situation with Petey, he immediately told me to go and pick him up and bring him back there. He said I could board him at his facility as long as I needed until I could find him a home. He was concerned that Petey was still in-tact and felt that would greatly reduce his chances of being adopted. So I requested a complete vet check and had Petey neutered, all of his shots up-dated (including Bordetella), 3 year rabies vaccination and had him micro-chipped. He was now ready for his new forever family!
The search begins. I have contacted by phone and / or email EVERY Pitbull rescue facility, foundation, organization and society in Colorado and even some in surrounding states. Everyone I have spoke to thanks me for trying to help Petey and then apologizes that they are unable to assist me in any way and refer me to a foundation or facility I have already called. I quickly found out that this was not going to be an easy task. The bans and publicity his breed has endured has made finding him a good home almost impossible, temporary or otherwise.
I decided to post him on Craigslist to give him more exposure. To date I have responded to over 100 emails and phone calls regarding his adoption. We have scheduled several ‘meet and greets’, only to wait for an hour and have no one show up or even call. Unfortunately, we have not found him a suitable home.
Petey has been boarded now for almost 5 months. I visit Petey 2 + times per week and take him on long walks for 2 – 3 hours at a time to get him out of his kennel. I have noticed that over time his personality is beginning to change. I talked to the boarding the staff about my concerns and they also stated that have seen a change in him. He is getting more aggressive with dogs and seems more agitated and impatient. I decided it was time to introduce Petey to our puppies, now that they have had all their shots and have made several trips to the dog park.
I introduced Dausha (our female) to Petey first. Initially, he growled and barked a little at her. After a little intervention from me and another handler, Petey quickly settled down and accepted her presence on our walks. Now it’s time to introduce Dinkleman. He approached Dinkleman the same way, with a little bark and growl and soon accepted him as well. I have attempted on 3 different occasions to introduce Diddle (6 year old male Boxer) to Petey. So far our attempts have failed miserably.
On Sunday, June 17th, I received a call from Melanie from Rocky Mountain Small Animal Clinic. She explained that Petey had gotten out of his kennel and had an altercation with a Golden Retriever service dog. She told me he initially ran past the handler and the dog and that is wasn’t until the dog barked at Petey that he turned and came back toward the dog. They began sniffing each other when suddenly the Retriever jumped back startling Petey which he responded by lunging at the dog and leaving a small puncture wound on her head. Melanie yelled at Petey and he immediately ran behind her and began shaking uncontrollably.
Due to that incident and potential liability, the owner of the facility ask that I find another option for Petey. I called the Boulder Humane Society and explained our situation and brought up my concerns about his change in behavior. They assured me that Boulder was ‘Pitbull friendly’ and felt confident that a change in environment would be a good start for Petey. She stated that several of the volunteers were ‘Pitbull gaga’ and would often time take dogs home to get them out of the kennel for the evening and help keep them adjusted socially (since it would be more difficult for me to visit Petey). She told me they would perform a Behavior Evaluation to determine if Petey fit their adoption criteria, and based on what I had already shared with her she was confident he would pass with no problems. When I questioned her about his dog aggression, she explained that would not eliminate him from being placed, and simply would disclose to any potential adoptee that he would need to be a single dog / pet.
Without having any other option available, I agreed to bring him there in hopes that he would finally meet his forever family.
I was told he would be given a day to settle in to his new environment and that he would not undergo his behavior evaluation until Wednesday. Nancy explained that if he failed his evaluation I would receive a phone call and be given the opportunity to reclaim him. Wednesday arrived and I didn’t receive a phone call, so I assumed he had passed and called to check on Petey and see how he was adjusting to his new temporary home. I spoke to Amanda who explained Petey was not doing well at all and was showing aggression towards other dogs in the kennel. She stated that they were going to give Petey another day and attempt his evaluation on Thursday. She also told me that if he continued this aggression that he would automatically fail the evaluation. When I explained what Nancy had told me previously, she apologized and stated that I had been misinformed. I explained that I had read about the professional trainers they had on staff and requested that one of them work with Petey and that I would pay for all the training charges. Amanda went on to explain that without the evaluation, no one would feel comfortable and felt it best to wait until tomorrow.
Thursday morning at 11:38 AM I received a call from Megan explaining that they were unable to do the behavior evaluation as no one felt comfortable getting into his kennel to put his leash on. She stated that he was in the back of his kennel, barking and standing in an aggressive stance. She told me, by their standards, that he does not meet their adoption criteria and that I needed to come and get him by Friday before 7 PM or he would be euthanized. I again requested that one of the professional trainers take him out of his kennel and attempt to take him to a ‘quiet room’ and work with him a little. I was sure they would see and come to know the same dog I knew. She stated she was a professional trainer and was not comfortable doing that. She again stated that I had until Friday to decide what I wanted to do.
Out of desperation I contacted Melanie at Rocky Mountain Small Animal Hospital and explained the situation. She told me to bring him back and we would ‘sneak’ him in and keep him in isolation.
I immediately made the 2 hour drive back up to Boulder to retrieve Petey. I was greeted by Amanda who apologized that they were unable to help Petey and explained that she has even attempted to work with Petey. She said she attempted to kneel down by his kennel while avoid looking at him and leave her hand up on the kennel wall. She said Petey continued to bark and hold an aggressive stance with every attempt she made. Other trainers in the facility have also tried to ‘calm’ Petey and were uncomfortable pushing the evaluation. I asked her how they were going to bring Petey up to me if everyone was afraid of him and she responded by asking me if I would mind getting him.
Amanda walked me back to the kennel area where I found Petey in the first one. I called his name and he immediately turned and ran up to me and put his nose through the kennel fencing and greeted me with a million kisses. Amanda stood there dumbfounded and commented that this was not the same dog. She was amazed at how calm he was. I noticed his kennel was filthy and asked why he was allowed to remain caged in his urine and feces. I was up-set as I had explained during the intake process that Petey will not relieve himself in his kennel and would need to be walked more frequently. I was assured this would happen. Amanda apologized AGAIN (getting tired of everyone’s apologies!) and stated no one felt comfortable taking Petey out. His run was so filthy that Amanda suggested we use the door located on the other side of his kennel because it wasn’t as dirty.
Amanda explained that I would have to fill out some paper work in order for Petey to be released to me. While we were standing at the desk, Petey walked up to Amanda and rolled over on his back on top of her feet. She knelt down and began rubbing his belly. This excited Petey and he began rolling around and wiggling, happy to finally be out of that kennel. She commented on how different his behavior was and requested that I wait a few minutes before leaving. While Petey and I were waiting, we overheard Amanda calling Megan requesting that she come see Petey, quote “you have got to come and see this dog!”
Petey and I were outside with Amanda when Megan walked up. Megan called Petey over and he immediately went over to her, rolled over on top of her feet and she began rubbing his belly. She was amazed as well at how different his behavior was. Megan had some treats with her and gave Petey several commands, to which he responded quickly. I asked if he could remain here and they continue to help me find Petey a good home. Megan explained that Petey does not do well in a kennel environment and would not do well in the adoption area, making it impossible to leave him there. She apologized that they couldn’t help but stated she would feel comfortable putting Petey on their Facebook page and eligible for adoption.
By the time I had gone to get Petey and arrived back at the animal hospital, Melanie got approval to keep Petey until Monday. I spent the next 4 days re-sending emails and making additional phone calls in a desperate attempt to find Petey a foster home until a good home could be found. Monday came with no resolution in sight, so I moved Petey to my home where is currently residing in my RV, away from Diddle.
Petey is such an amazing dog. He LOVES going for car rides and sticking his head out the window. One of our favorite parks has a creek where Petey will spend hours swimming and playing in the water. He will play fetch until your arm falls off and likes spending time under the shade of a big tree eating grass and rolling around. He loves sitting in your lap and loves any affection you wish to give to which he will reciprocate times three! He has never shown an aggression toward people in general, men or women, adult or children. He is a very affectionate and sensitive dog and have noticed when I correct him and raise my voice; he will cower and attempt to please quickly. Dr. Bean noted how well he handled himself during his examinations, being micro-chipped and getting his nails trimmed. He will allow you to remove ‘undesirable items’ from his mouth (like dead rabbits) without any attempt to reclaim them. Petey is treasure and would make a wonderful companion.
Over the course of this new adventure with Petey, I have grown extremely attached and would like to see if Petey could be part of our family. I am anxious to get a professionals opinion and look forward to receiving your trainer’s information. While our RV may be better than the kennel, Petey is still somewhat ‘neglected’ and deserves a home where he can feel he is part of a family.
Thank you for all of your help. Lisanne (Previous Foster)