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Cover 05/08/2013

A Punk Rebel's Defense of the Pit Bull

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Saturday's Pitty Party show benefits a local pit bull rescue organization

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Petey, one of America's most famous pit bulls

But critics of the studies, mainly pit bull advocacy groups and animal rights activists, claim that many dog attacks are not reported and the figures cited in the media are misleading.

“Chihuahuas bite all the time, but they’re tiny, so you don’t see that in the newspaper,” says Rebel.

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), “despite this bad rap, a well-bred, well-socialized and well-trained pit bull is one of the most delightful, intelligent and gentle dogs imaginable,” something any responsible pit bull owner knows well. Pit bulls were well loved here in the early 20th century, with Our Gang’s Petey becoming an icon and Sergeant Stubby the most decorated dog in World War I (his military rank is actual, not symbolic). Other pit bull heroes (like Weela, who saved 30 people, 29 dogs, 13 horses and one cat during the 1993 Southern California flood) even have their own “hall of fame” at Breed Specific Legislation News’ web site.

Dávila’s plan with the nonprofit Heaven Sent is to train pit bulls as companion animals and, most importantly, as “service animals, [for] search and rescue, therapy, public education, or any other special needs that are requested.” She then adopts them out for $150. She’s turning her Judson area house into a training facility and remodeling will be finalized in late May, thanks to donations of time, skill, and funding.

Dávila, who suffers from a seizure disorder, is a true believer. “I had Pluto trained to be able to tell me eight to 10 minutes before I have a seizure,” said Dávila. “Now that I have him, me and my kids can go to the grocery store or the movie theater, things we couldn’t do before I had him. We wanted to share that with the world, especially with that long waiting list of disabled people who can’t pay the $15,000-$20,000 that it costs to get a trained dog.” At Heaven Sent, certified volunteers train the pit rescues.

The benefit concert at Hi-Tones has a $3 admission, but you can also buy a $1 raffle ticket to have a chance to win gift certificates from Vegeria, Green Vegetarian, movie passes, concert tickets from Twin Productions, and more.

“Christine came out of nowhere,” said Dávila. “She wrote me on Facebook telling me she wanted to do a benefit for us. When people do that it’s the greatest feeling in the world… Christine has a heart of gold.”

Pitty Party feat. Langton Drive, Dance Like Robots, DJ Terpsi (benefiting Heaven Sent Pit Bull Rescue)

9pm Sat, May 11
621 E Dewey

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