News Item | PAWS Chicago

PAWS Chicago’s Bully Breed Alumni

by Emily Marron | Jan 27, 2016

Many bully breeds have passed through PAWS Chicago on their way to loving, permanent homes. We checked in with a few to see how they are doing.

RED Overcoming Adversity

Seven-year-old Red tried to protect his owner when burglars invaded his home in 2009. His owner was beaten and Red was shot in the back, losing the use of his hind legs. The wounded owner was unable to care for Red and he landed at the city pound. PAWS couldn’t let this hero perish and took him in, knowing it would be challenging to find the right family. But in 2012, Dawn, the perfect adopter, came forward. At 13, Red is thriving and loves to play in his huge fenced yard. Red recently made a surprise appearance at a PAWS volunteer appreciation party, where he kept himself busy greeting everyone and hustling around looking for cake crumbs and affection. “Our family loves him dearly and I am eternally grateful to PAWS for allowing me to adopt such a wonderful soul!” Dawn says.

CHIEF The Gift that keeps on giving

On Christmas Eve 2014, a bully breed puppy was found wandering the streets of Chicago. That same night, Karina was giving her fiancé a “dog package” filled with toys and treats, letting him know she was ready for their first dog, something he’d wanted for a while. About a week later they received their first foster email from PAWS, and there was Chief. It was meant to be. Chief had pneumonia from being out in the cold and needed a foster home as soon as possible. Karina and her fiancé stepped in, and they’ve been one happy family ever since, adopting Chief in January 2015.


Joanne and David came into PAWS to adopt a dog and left the proud owners of Piglet, named after her adorable snorting. The couple heard that she had a puppy available for adoption, and after some “wouldn’t it be crazy if...” discussions, decided they had to meet him. Piglet’s puppy, Kingston, is a beautiful white bully breed who had to have both eyes removed due to a serious condition present at birth. It didn’t take long for them to realize they were going to be the proud owners of two bully breeds. It’s been over a year now, and the family of four couldn’t be happier. Kingston loves to follow his mom around and even nap right on top of her. Piglet is a loving mother who helps guide Kingston and give him the extra confidence he needs. “Today, we have two amazing best friends, cuddle monsters and our daily reminder why rescues are the best dogs in the whole world,” Joanne and David say.

BUBBLE Hairless to Happy-go-Lucky

In October 2014, Bubble was found in a trashcan, hairless from a bad skin infection and weighing a mere 5 pounds. After he was diagnosed with severe Demodex mange, a treatable, noncontagious condition that can take months to heal, the PAWS shelter medicine team and his foster mom, Maggie, ensured that Bubble received the love and socialization he needed. Today he’s a happy 1-year-old who loves romping around on the beach with his dog buddies. His foster family was won over by his happy demeanor and sweet temperament and couldn’t let him go: “He was literally picked up out of the trash and given a shot to live. He really does live every day like he is so happy to be alive,” says Maggie. His happiness is evident to everyone he meets, dogs and humans alike. While it’s too cold to swim now, keep an eye out for a smiling Bubble on the beach this summer. “The love he has to give is just so special. It’s truly amazing to own such a wonderful pup!” Maggie says.

NABBI Surprise, you have a pit bull

Nabbi’s family knew she was the dog for them the moment they saw her. They adopted Nabbi from PAWS in January 2014, after losing their 14-year-old dog to a brain tumor. It wasn’t until a couple months and one DNA test later they discovered their sweet, gentle dog was half pit bull. This came as a shock to Nabbi’s mom, Gina. Like many others, she had been led to believe pit bulls were aggressive and dangerous. “I had always been terrified of the breed because of the stereotypes I was led to believe. Nabbi changed every perception I ever had about pit bulls,” Gina says. “She is the best dog we have ever had. I thank God that we walked into PAWS that day and found her.” Gina and her husband have developed a love for the breed and have opened their home to three more rescued pit bulls, including a three-legged dog named Larry and another dog who was surrendered at the city pound and was scheduled to be euthanized. And it’s all thanks to Nabbi. “Nabbi is the opposite of everything I thought pit bulls were!” Gina says.

Read the PAWS Magazine Special Report on Bully Breeds >>