The following is the first of a five-part collection of photos and essays from our Facebook family, in their own words…
1. Stuart: This is Max. He was found by good Samaritans injured and bleeding along the side of the road in Southern Florida in July 2009. His wounds indicated that he had been used as a bait dog. We adopted him through Bully Breed Rescue in CT. He arrived all of 35 pounds and scared of everything. He clearly had never seen the inside of a house. Two years later, he is a healthy, happy and confident 50 pounds. Max's story of survival and growth inspired us to get involved in Pit Bull rescue as a way to give back and pay it forward by helping other needy Bully Breeds as those people did for Max.
2. Cara: I saved my luv-a-bull from euthanasia at the local shelter, he is the BEST dog EVER I just love him to pieces!
3. Tracy: This is Bullet, our 10mo."Furbaby" and my 8 y/o, Elise. This was a few days after we got him from the pound. He was found running the streets bloody right before Christmas last year. He would run from us when we first got him, and this day, he decided he wanted to be part of our family and just hopped in the recliner with her!
5. Taylor: This is Diesel. His story is never ending. I pulled him from a shelter after his adoption fell thru and he was out of time. I drove 2.5 hours to pick him up and he has been by my side since. He has a 2 year old pit sister who he bonded with right away. He also has a 3 month old human baby who he loves like his own. He was very sick and extremely skinny but that didnt stop him from jumping with joy the second they brought him out to me. He knew he was going home.
6. Amy: This is my little girl Kila and her daddy. Someone told me about an adorable pitbull puppy they saw on craigslist that was extremely cheap and were worried if about this puppy getting into the wrong hands… …so my boyfriend and I drove 1 1/2 hours to get her and give her a loving life that she deserved. Her and her sister Kula are the loves of our lives and bring us all the joy, love, happiness and silliness that when can handle. I can not imagine my life without them and never want to.
7. Christine: As a 25 year old, first time dog owner, I fell in love with a picture on petfinder (2005) Fudge (on the right in the photo) was a "boxer mix" from Southern Indiana, a far cry from Chicago. He had somehow won over the staff, and lived out 7 of his first 11 months at the shelter. Thanks to a local rescuer, she coordinated Fudge's big city arrival. Since then, Fudge has welcomed a new brother, Blu (left) with open arms and is soon to welcome a new sister in July. He's a one of a kind dog with a personality bigger than his head, and we love him for it.
8. Austin: This is my best friend Franco. He was rescued as a puppy when separated from his mom. He is almost 5 and he loves to be just like me as you can see in this picture.
9. Brett: I found Tuffy Mctufferton on Petfinder.com. Drove from NH to Tennessee Humane Animal League's Pet Placement Center to pick him up. After $500. in gas round trip He's been a great dog and enjoys living in New England. This is my son playing with Tuff.
10. Sandi: My two kids and i rescued our Pitbull 3 years ago just after my son was born. She is the sweetest and most loving dog i have ever owned. My son has always been developmentally behind, then just before my sons 3rd Birthday he was diagnosed with "Dandy Walker Syndrome". Because of this one of his symptoms makes it very hard to walk and he is very off balance. I knew immediately i wanted to train our Pit to be a service dog for him, which of course she is perfect at. My kids love her so much and our pit shows nothing but unconditional love to all of us. It breaks my heart all the time to see the bad rap that they get when there's so much good that they can do. Since rescuing her i am definitely a diehard Pitbull Lover!!
11. Sara: This is me and my little girl Petunia. When Petunia was a few weeks old she was pulled out of a fight ring during a drug bust. A friend of mine sent me the photos of the adults who were seized. I had him track down the three puppies, which I fostered until they were legally confiscated from their previous owner. After the hearing, we adopted all three: one of which was sent to a great family, my friend adopted the other, and I kept my little Petunia. She loves her life with her ten-year-old brother Shady. She is currently training to pass her canine good citizen test!
12. Tiffany: This is blue i got him from a friend that rescued him from a shelter our guess is that he was suppose to be a fighter that had to much will power against it because he was dropped off at the shelter he is the most loving dog ive ever had he loves all my animals as you can tell he lets are other pitbull lay all on him
13. Vanessa: We adopted Cynthia Elizabeth Williams-Sonoma aka "Lizzie" from Carolina Care Bullies, in NC. Jeremy (pictured) and I helped pull Lizzie from a local shelter. We knew immediately that she would never leave our house. We adopted her within 24 hours! She fits so well into our pack. She loves other dogs, is gentle with our girls, and loves our two cats. For us adoption is the only option. Lizzie is a perfect match! with Jeremy Williamson.
14. Kerry: This is Roman. My fiance and I adopted him from the local shelter where he had been for quite a while. He had been adopted a couple of times before only to keep being returned. All I can say is I'm glad they did as he is the most lovable big baby we could ever ask for.
15. Barbara: This is me (Barbara) & my rescued pittie princess, Savannah "My baby girl was abandoned in South Philadelphia, scheduled to be put to sleep at ACCT, SAVED by Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society - PAWS (only NO KILL shelter in Philly) and placed into foster care with Laurel & Kevin. I lost my last dog Dozer 3 weeks before and when I saw Savannah's picture on petfinder I knew she was meant to be mine. I could not imagine my life without her now. She has gotten her Canine Good Citizen certificate, has visited assisted living facilities and a children's hospital, was the mascot for the AWA - Animal Welfare Association in 2011, had a billboard on Route 73, was in a PSA for PAWS, has appeared in American Dog Magazine 3 times, has been in several online articles, is BFF's with my rescued kitty Bianca and welcomes foster dogs of all sizes & breeds into our home. She is the light of my life.
16. Lori: Dylan and Brooke the day he came home from the shelter. A teenage girl and her APBT pup. True Love
17. Rebecca: These are my three "girls," Sami, Sweetums, and Shemeska, all rescue pitties. Sami was a death-row dog who was adopted by a lovely paraplegic lady who couldn't cope with her energy. We ended up fostering her, and then adopting her. Sweetums was abandoned by the side of a country road and left to starve. Shemeska was taken to Animal Control when her owner when to jail. The owner came back and took her puppy, but left her behind when he found out she had been spayed. They now have all the love and care they deserve, and they give all that love right back!
18. Doug: Thrre rescued dogs, two pits. The French Bull Mastiff is Storm, the red pit is Griffin, the white is China. China was rescued from a puppy mill. Storm and Griffin both came from the same shelter.
20. Melissa: This is my 3 yr old pitt bull Nola we rescued from a nearby shelter. She was in the shelter for a year. We actually went to look at another pitt but she was laid up against her kennel being all cute and calm. She has been nothing but a big baby since we got her. Nola thinks she is a small lap dog and just adores our kids. I have referred to her as my four legged child because she has to be at my feet all the time, even taking a shower she is laid at the door waiting for me. I wouldnt trade my pitt for anything in this world.
21. Kimberly: This is my Oreo Cookie !!!!! She is the sweetest girlie ever !!!!! She started out as a foster puupy and then...We fell in love !!!! She has been my constant companion 3 states and 6 years later...she is the best road dawg ever !!!!!!
22. Jennifer: Below is Buster and myself. Buster was a rescued "bait dog" from Loveabull Paws Rescue in Roseville, mi. At first we had agreed to only foster him, but when we realized what a smart, energetic, charismatic and genuinely HAPPY dog he was, we GLADLY became foster failures and adopted him! Buster howls "hello" every morning, his butt wiggles as much as his tail wags--he hears and sees everything and OBVIOUSLY wants to cuddle all the time. We tell people: We didn't rescue him, HE rescued US!
23. Kate: Neely came into our lives almost three years ago and she is the perfect addition to our family. She is the most affectionate, caring and loyal dog. She loves to play and snuggle and she is so gentle with our daughter. We are so lucky to have her!
24. Tracey: Roscoe wants to win the photo Contest !! We went to baseball game where there is Dog Event going on there !! Roscoe had great time !!!
25. Beth: Canela was rescued off the streets of Miami and is truly the sweetest girl I have ever known. She has changed my life (and all those around me) by breaking every pit stereotype with millions of kisses :)