I n t e r v i e w
JEANETTE JOLLY, FOUNDER:
THE PITBULL CREW, INC., NAPLES, FL
What was your first EVER experience with a Pitbull?
As Founder of our Pitbull Crew, I know that there are plenty of folks who have loved and owned Pitbulls for years longer than I have.
But I met my first Pitbull through a nun, who was networking tirelessly to save a poor, sick Pitbull’s soul from a lifetime of abuse and neglect. For me, it was love at first sight; I took him in without much of a plan and, of course, named him Lucky.
Lucky came to me with his fair share of challenges: a deeply torn ear that bled like a Hannibal Lector victim for weeks, severe demodex mange so bad that he really only grew 18 hairs (I counted, many times, only 18 hairs), intestinal tumors, and double ear drum ruptures from having been beaten repeatedly.
Lucky’s previous "owner" had reportedly abused Lucky's mother and siblings. One day, Lucky managed to escape and made his way to a neighboring nun's doorstep and she took him in, but could not keep him.
From there, I rescued Lucky, brought him into my home, nursed his poor broken body back to health, and provided him with the love and affection he had never known. Despite all he had been through, Lucky was a very loving dog and enjoyed giving kisses.
After months of rehabilitation, we found Lucky’s perfect new forever home with a wonderful lady named Rebecca. Lucky had an unimaginable and horrific beginning to his life, but his last few years on earth with his new mommy were blissful. Lucky slept in bed, went bicycling, spent afternoons napping near his tropical koi pond garden, and enjoyed daily lunches with his new family and friends. An entire community embraced Lucky, loved him unconditionally, and he loved everyone right back. Lucky was known throughout his new neighborhood as a special breed of Pitbull, a "Pitty Pig" with his little piggy snout, bald skin with grey and white markings that was smooth as suede, and his little cloven hooves.
Lucky is the Pitbull who planted a seed in my heart to do everything I possibly can to promote Pitbulls positively, and shortly thereafter, our Pitbull Crew was formed.
RIP, my dear Lucky, you will never be forgotten by many who loved you.
What made you decide to get involved with rescue?
Yoli Ramirez, Vice President of Gulfstream Guardian Angel Rottweiler Rescue. I met Yoli almost a decade ago, rescuing Rottweilers. Yoli, a highly spirited 70+ year old tiny little Cuban lady, who I respect and adore, took me under her wing, to help rescue Rottweilers years ago. As many of you know, certain dog breeds through the decades, have been discriminated against. First, it was the Dobermans, then the Rottweilers, now, today, the Pitbulls. Thanks to Yoli, I have learned tolerance, patience, responsibility, humbleness, love, and determination to move forward with grace, each and every day in the rescue world. We have modeled our Pitbull Crew message after Yoli's footprint to help bully breed dogs the best we can. It’s not always easy, but you learn to do your best and live with what you cannot change.
What was the most wonderful experience that you had in rescue so far?
This year, our Pitbull Crew was asked to be the very first speaker ever to discuss "Promoting Pitbulls Positively" at the Florida Animal Control Association (FACA) Annual Convention in Orlando, Florida.
Our Shelter Pitties worked diligently, drawing from their past year’s experience at our Pitty Party Adoption Events (our adoption events, all of which showcase dogs available from Collier County DAS, are called Pitty Parties), to highlight their message, that Pitbulls are good dogs.
Funny thing, the panel speaker before us spoke about "Dangerous Dogs" for an entire hour. And, it only took her 30 seconds and 4 slides into her speech to report badly about Pitbulls, and to continue to do so, for yes, an entire hour. Actually, we were not surprised and were quite prepared to make a positive difference for the Pitts.
Our Pitbull Crew invited this dangerous dog speaker to sit front and center during our presentation, and come to find out, a good amount of the FACA attendees actually had their own Pitbulls at home.
I asked the audience how many people were familiar with Florida State Laws Relating to Animals, where right on Page 10, under “Dangerous Dogs” it states: “A dangerous dog should be so classified because of its aggressive behavior, NOT because of its breed.”
Our “Promoting Pitbulls Positively” presentation was standing room only, and we received a standing ovation at the end! Whoop Whoop!!!! This made me so very proud and thankful to all of our Pitbull Crew volunteers, who work so hard each and every day. It is not always easy, but we have come together to make a positive difference for Pitbulls in our community. Stand up for what you know in your heart amd what you believe, no matter what anyone tells you!
Who was the most memorable dog you ever helped to find a home for?
Misty came to Collier County DAS as a four legged brindle Pitbull, and left on three legs when she found her perfect new forever home.
Misty attended many a Pitty Party Adoption Events, always smiling and tail wagging, with a wobbly front leg that was of no use and just plain got in her way, due to a previous front knee fracture that had healed incorrectly. And also, arthritis had set in. Misty received a lot of sympathy, but no adoption applications. After several specialist vet consults, it was determined that Misty would do better, in the long run, without her bad leg.
Having fostered many medical case Pitbulls in the past, I really dreaded going through an amputation case. The vet told me not to worry, that she would be fine, but I was still really nervous.
So, with Trust Fund Donations from Collier County DAS, and the help from Dr. Ruth Eisele at Harborside Animal Clinic, Misty had her leg amputated, and resiliently walked out of the clinic two days later. She hopped right up in the truck, not missing a beat, and still with that big smile, as if to say: “See, I told you not to worry!” Misty turned out to be my easiest medical foster ever.
It didn’t take long, after recovering from her surgery, for Misty to be adopted by a very nice, loving family, who also had a rescued Pitbull, who was named Punch. Now Punch & Misty are best friends, and Misty still runs just as fast as any other dog, always smiling and wagging her tail.
What is the best way any Pitbull owner can help promote our dogs in a positive manner?
Please follow our Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/thePitbullcrew
Each day, we start out our Pitty-loving day with a warm greeting called: "Good Morning Pitty Lovers" meant to inspire our friends and to share our mission statement of:
PITBULL ADVOCACY: Changing the public view of this amazing and misunderstood breed by increasing education, awareness, and responsibility; promoting shelter pitbull adoptions; conveying the importance of spay and neuter; and to hopefully one day, end BSL (breed specific legislation).
From there, we share unique ideas and responsible sources, such as the ASPCA, Animal Farm Foundation, Anti-BSL Pitbull Facts, and spay and neuter websites.
You CAN do the same in your very own community to help promote Pitbulls positively:
Just follow our simple platform of:
If you e-mail me at:
I will be glad to share the Promoting Pitbulls Positively Powerpoint Presentation delivered at this year’s FACA Convention.
Thank you all so much, from the bottom of our Pitty hearts, for Making a Positive Difference! P.A.
Check out our NEW Facebook page!