Apple, the dog with no label, unpacks her bags

Today we celebrate the adoption of "Apple."

While all of our adoptions are always special and very meaningful to us Apples adoption brings us a little bit of extra joy-

We don't like to focus on her past or what the intended purpose was for her , we can only speculate from this;

Muncie man charged in dog fighting

Updated: Thursday, 05 Apr 2012, 3:57 PM EDT
MUNCIE, Ind. (WISH) - A Muncie man was arrested Thursday after more than two dozen pit bulls were seized from a mobile home last week.

Muncie Police Department confirmed Rahsaan Johnson, 36, 1703 N. Brady, Muncie, was arrested Thursday morning in connection with the seized dogs. He faces preliminary charges of purchase/possession of animals for fighting, neglect of an animal, possession of animal fighting paraphernalia and animal cruelty.

According to the probable cause affidavit, MPD said they were tipped off March 20 to Johnson’s alleged involvement in dog fighting when the U.S. Customs Department and Indianapolis Airport Police officials alerted them that he had picked up pit bulls shipped from the Dominican Republic.

Then, on March 29, the Muncie animal shelter called MPD regarding animal abuse at a mobile home on North Blaine Street. Police took away 25 pit bulls from the home. Many of the dogs had injuries consistent with dog fighting. One dog had to be put down Tuesday due to severe injuries and a skull fracture.

Also removed from the property that day were items used to train dogs to fight, including weighted dog collars, pet supplements and special treadmills, including documents in Johnson’s name, according to court documents. Police also spoke with the owner of the property, who leased it to Johnson.

Since then, MPD had been looking for Johnson, and arrested him Thursday.

End news story -

Apple, having come from the situation above, automatically puts a label on her " A dog from a Dog Fighting Operation". In some places, this label would be her death sentence,point blank, no questions asked. Some people would fear that she might "snap" or "go crazy" - Instead of evaluating her like the individual dog that she is. [ That prehistoric closed minded thinking has been the death of thousands of dogs]

In Apples case, she was very lucking to not have landed with a shelter,rescue & foster that would place a label on her.

Apple would be given the same chance to be evaluated as an individual dog , placed in a proper foster home that would give her the proper training schedule of any dog of her age.

Apple passed her evaluations with flying colors and flourished in her foster home  engaging in many activities that would satisfy a dog of her age.

On Thursday July 12,2012 just a few months from the time she was removed from the suspected dog fighting operation , Apple has found her place in this world. She is finally HOME.

She was given this chance because she was lucky enough to not have had a "label" pinned on her that screamed "DO NOT ADOPT"  "DANGER DANGER"! RUN FOR THE HILLS!  or the infamous statement we hear alot " GASP" [ as they step back after having petted her for over 5 minutes], shes a fighting dog?Step back! shes going to attack you!!"[Rubbish!] - Instead, she had landed with qualified,knowledgeable  people who know that every dog, no matter what breed or origin, should be evaluated as an "individual" dog. A plan was made for her and implemented from the beginning- She was not lost in the cracks, she was not euthanized because of her breed or because of the original purpose for her.

Dogs that are labeled bait dogs or fighting dogs etc etc  can actually lose their lives because of "unintended consequences" of placing  these labels.

We as caring human beings who want to see them have a chance often times think that if we give them these labels people may look at them and say "poor dog" - maybe someone will feel sorry for the poor soul. In all actuality this can work against them -

As much as we do not want the dogs euthanized for these labels, we also do not want them adopted just BECAUSE of these labels. One thing we can agree on is that we want them all to have the same opportunity as any other dog in the world to have a fair chance at adoption.

Labels could be the reason why , if a shelter is full and has to euthanize for space, one might choose the dogs from " A dog fighting operation" or "the bait dog"  thinking, they are the least likely to be adopted-  This doesn't mean that we should not be cautious, we should always be cautious of any dog of any breed from any situation-Dogs are animals- we should always be cautious of animals we do not know- but we do not have to label the dogs- Instead, we evaluate each one of them as individuals and go from there.

The reality is, not all dogs are going to make it to the adoption floor- but these dogs, no matter what situation they came from should have the same chance as the dog in the kennel next to it , we should  be more conscience of what label we are giving the dog when it enters the shelter.

Its such a false statement to make that a dog with scaring on its body is indeed a bait dog- One rule of thumb we have here is " If we indeed do NOT know for sure that is what happened, it is pure speculation" and we will NOT label that dog- and even if it were to be the truth what actually does that mean? I mean really? think about it- "this dog was a bait dog" , Does that mean we are to treat the dog with "special considerations"? No. that means the dog no matter what, is evaluated exactly the same as any other dog- So if we put it through the same evaluations why is it necessary to deem it with a label? the short answer is. It isn't.

Do not judge a book by its cover.

If we ask them to show us "who they are" They will tell us- Its then up to us to make sure that we "follow thru" with a plan for them.

To set them up to succeed and not to fail.

In the end, we were able to help Apple & 8 others from this situation  move on  to the next step of their lives.

Today, we celebrate Apple- and we celebrate the rest of the shelters,rescue & people around the world who refuse to "label" these dogs in any way, shape or form.

We hope to see more of this "Makes Total Sense" thinking happen in years to come-

I'm reminded of a very old Sioux Indian saying that goes :

All birds, even those of the same species, are not alike, and it is the same with animals and with human beings. The reason WakanTanka does not make two birds, or animals, or human beings exactly alike is because each is placed here by WakanTanka to be an independent individuality and to rely upon itself.

Congratulations Sara & Apple, for showing the world that a "label" is something we should place on the inside collar of our shirts- not our dogs!