This fall we teamed up with Best Friends Animal Society to do research on rental pet policies in Chicago, IL. Each volunteer made calls to “dog friendly” apartments in the Chicagoland area to see if they were truly dog friendly. This is the story of one of those volunteers.
My Volunteer Experience – By Carol T.
Volunteering to make calls for the Chicago Housing Project for My Pit Bull is Family has been a very discouraging and an eye-opening experience. The majority of the apartments in Chicago do not accept all dogs. I decided to volunteer for this project as next year I am hoping to sell my condo and rent it out! When this volunteer opportunity came up, I thought I would not only help out but I would obtain some insight as to where I might find suitable housing for my fiancee and I and our two litter mate cats and sweet Pit Bull, Lovie.
Lovie was born into a dog fighting operation in Chicago. The police raided a suspected dog fighting operation in the basement of a home where they found dogs tied up to the walls, blood on the floor, treadmills and a 10 month old mom and her eight puppies. It was so bad, the Chicago Tribune put an article in the paper about it. All the dogs were taken to Chicago Animal Care and Control (CACC). The rescue group I support, New Leash On Life, is a 100% volunteer based Chicago organization who intakes dogs from CACC. Quite a few of the dogs at CACC are Pit Bulls. (The number one reason Pit Bull Type dogs are surrendered in Chicago – is lack of housing/ rentals that accept them.) NLOL was able to find a foster who could take the mom and her eight puppies. At one point, the mom had to be taken from her puppies and went for training. Her 10 month old life had not been a good one in the dog fighting arena; she didn’t fare well with training; continued to be aggressive despite training; and, regrettably had to be put down. However, the NLOL foster mom found good homes for all eight of the puppies. My fiancee and I were lucky to receive one of the puppies at 3 months old. He was the runt of the litter, squishy, wrinkly, scared of his own shadow and very sweet. We named him Lovie because of his gentle disposition. His middle name is Marshmallow – also a reference to his unassuming, sweet personality. We are thankful every day that we have Lovie in our lives. He is spoiled rotten, very well behaved and we love him dearly.
Our neighborhood is very dog friendly and there are a number of people who have Pit Bulls. Every Pittie we’ve met has been very sweet and well behaved, living with families that include kids and/or older folks. I hate how they get such a bad rap and must live under breed discrimination.
We are thankful to Best Friends Animal Society for lending us volunteers for this project and will be compiling the data during the remainder of 2017! Be on the look out for results of our research in Minneapolis and Chicago in 2018!