Monday, March 23, 2015

Hello Bully said it best...

For the last few weeks, since the story of the 175 lb "pit bull" went viral, I have been thinking that I needed to talk about it here. As someone who has worked extensively with dogs labeled as pit bulls, I can honestly say that the story made me feel more than a little sick to my stomach.

1. Hulk is NOT an American Pit Bull Terrier. 
2. These breeders are raising 'Protection Dogs,' which immediately raises the hairs on the back of my neck. 
3. It's all about the money - $20,000 for 'stud services'. Seriously, this is disgusting!

Photo from the Dark Dynasty K9's website.
Dark Dynasty K9s actively advertised 'protection dogs' and
promotes aggression in the dogs they sell. These are not
dogs trained for police work, as most breeders do,
they sell them to anyone with a checkbook. I love dogs, but
aggression in any breed is dangerous.
So, as I have been following the story, I came across the reaction from a rescue that I adore and felt that I truly could not say it better, so I am sharing their thoughts and publicly saying THANK YOU to this wonderful organization for putting my feelings into words! It saves me a lot of time and gives me the opportunity to share this great rescue's work!

A little background on Hello Bully, they are a Pittsburgh, PA based rescue that began in 2005. This rescue is a 501(c)3 non-profit and has no paid staff. With a group of dedicated volunteers, this organization has been a great influence and savior to hundreds of pit bull type dogs. In addition to their rescue program, they have started a free spay/neuter program for pit bulls in their area. 

Tyrion was rescued from a suspected
dog fighting operation and is now
safely cared for with Hello Bully.
(Photo credit:
The pup featured here is Tyrion, a pit bull that was rescued by Hello Bully from suspected dogfighters. In April of 2014, Tyrion started his new life and journey as pit bull advocate. Despite a sad background where he, as you can see, was terribly mistreated and disfigured, he is a loving, wonderful dog. 

From the Facebook page of Hello Bully:In the wake of the latest “Pit Bull” story to go viral, Hello Bully would like to address the media in regard to Hulk, the 175-pound “Pit Bull.”

We certainly appreciate the sentiment that Pit Bulls are not bad dogs. Of course, we already knew that. There are, however, some big problems with this story. For starters, there is simply no such thing as a 175-pound American Pit Bull Terrier. The breed standard is 30–60 pounds, and while there’s wiggle room for sure, that’s too far a leap. The American Bully is a “designer breed” (mutt) developed in the 1990s — a cross of an American Pit Bull Terrier and Mastiffs/Molosser dogs. The APBT has never been known for being a good guard dog because its original roots in dogfighting has a silver lining of being incredibly people-friendly. So Hulk, a 175-pound protection dog, is not a Pit Bull.

But what if he was? Wouldn’t it be great to have such good press? Of course, but digging a little deeper, it should not be this particular dog. The Pit Bull community is overwhelmingly made up of people who rescued or adopted our dogs. We are your neighbors, family, and friends. Many of us volunteer. All of us have known and loved a Pit Bull, and have been inspired to put our passion into action and stand up for a breed that has been grossly misrepresented. So, even if Hulk was a Pit Bull, he is not the face of our movement.

While some of us believe that there is such a thing as responsible, ethical breeding, none of us will jump to defend someone who is exploiting animals. Breeding protection dogs and selling them for $20,000 is not ethical. Breeding for weight and head circumference is certainly worlds away from responsible breeding. Ear cropping, completely illegal in some countries, seems to be the cherry on top of an exploitation sundae. Hulk may be a lovely dog. He is not the face of Pit Bulls, and his breeders being the face of our movement is insulting. They are a part of the problem that we are working so hard to fix.

We have to wonder if the reporters responsible for this at its inception did any fact checking at all. If they had looked any further than Facebook, they would have quickly found Dark Dynasty K9, a family-owned and operated operation in rural New Hampshire (a state known for lax laws for dog breeders). This couple and their money-maker, Hulk, have been splashed all over Good Morning America, every news outlet, and social media sites. The reporters may have seen the protection training rates, all including a free shock collar, done by a trainer (the breeder/owner) with no visible credentials. They may have even checked New Hampshire’s state info and looked for a business registration — we couldn’t find one, but maybe the media with all of their clout, knows something we don’t. Or maybe it’s the complete opposite.

We appreciate feel-good stories. There are thousands of great breed representatives and ambassadors out there in rescues and families across the nation, thousands upon thousands who would have been a great face for a movement seeking to set things straight for Pit Bulls, and save lives. Next time, if you need a good dog for a good story, feel free to reach out to Hello Bully or one of the hundreds of reputable Pit Bull rescue organizations. I’m sure we’d all be happy to share our stories.

I could not agree more! Thank you Hello Bully for being a true champion for dogs!

Stephanie Conrad
Pet Studio Art | Owner | Artist

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Here are just a few of the beautiful pups available for adoption with Helly Bully, a true advocacy organization for our amazing pit bull type dogs!

Pia - learn more about adopting this cutie pie here!
(Photo credit:
Veda - learn more about adopting this beautiful girl here!(Photo credit: