According to ISF’s founder, Ian Somerhalder, “You can close your eyes to the things you don’t want to see, but you cannot close your heart to the things you don’t want to feel”. In the fourth week of our “It’s a Pit Bull’s Life” series as told by our ISF supporters, you will meet Mary and the dog who has her heart, Sylas.
What is Sylas’ rescue story?
“The night I found my dog Sylas was one of the most life-defining moments of my life. I was working as a late night delivery driver and I was out on a typical run. It was about 3 in the morning when I noticed a very beautiful Pit Bull casually strolling down the side walk. He was fairly small, less than a year old, and he seemed to be in good spirits. I noticed he was walking with a limp so I pulled over without any hesitation to see if he was okay. At the time I had never had a dog of my own so I was fairly ignorant about how to approach strays. He immediately came to me like he knew me and was happy that I had shown up. Our bond was instantaneous. I had wanted to adopt a Pit Bull because I heard so many awful stories about how they are treated, but I didn't have a plan or any idea what to do with a stray dog; I just knew I wanted to bring him home with me. I was scared to leave him there in the street knowing he could easily be killed or captured for fighting. When I opened my car door for him he just jumped right in like he was ready to go home. Over the next few days I took him to the vet to see about his leg (it was just a few cuts that eventually healed on their own) and I posted ads to see if anyone had lost him but I never received any responses so I decided to keep him. It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.”
What are some of Sylas’ best personality traits?
“The amount of joy I have in my life is all because of him. Everywhere we go, people fall in love with him and always comment on how happy he is. He always has a bright smile on his face and loves meeting new people. Even those who are initially scared because of misconceptions about Pit Bulls are eventually won over by his goofy personality and childlike spirit. The best days for us are hours at the park and warm cuddles on the couch. He's so loving and affectionate and full of energy.”
What sort of BSL or prejudice have you encountered because Sylas has been labeled a Pit Bull?
“The biggest hurdle with BSL that we've faced has been getting homeowner's insurance. The mere suggestion of him being a Pit Bull disqualified our family from affordable rates and we were harassed about finding out his exact breed in order to move forward. Some companies refused to insure us while others who would gave us ridiculous premiums of over $2,000 per year. Living without him is not an option so it was very frustrating finding insurance to fit our budget. It was more frustrating because I got a new perspective of why people don't adopt them as frequently. It's not just because the general public fears them, it's also because of the hassles you face with finding housing for your family. It’s time to end these stigmas and discrimination so people can be more open to adoption.
I want to thank Ian and his foundation for the love that has been shown to Pit Bulls. If it wasn't for his influence, I would not have been brave enough to bring my baby home and now I cannot imagine life without him. I never have known such pure unconditional love and I will never be the same. Thank you for that gift”!