The Mighty Pits Rescue
CANTON, ILLINOIS (Canton Daily Ledger) - Janie and Clint Whitmer of Cuba have a soft spot for pit bulls. In 2006, Janie was in a motorcycle accident that left her injured and unable to work or go anywhere for six weeks.
During that time Janie's pit bull, Sadie, sat by her side, kept her company, and licked her tears from her face during her trying times.
Now that Janie is well, she and her husband are starting an effort to help save pit bulls like Sadie from being euthanized in shelters throughout Illinois.
The Whitmer's are working toward the goal of opening the Mighty Pits Rescue sometime this summer and plan on receiving pits and other breeds that are considered dangerous from local animal shelters. "We will be working mainly through the Humane Societies of Fulton County and other nearby counties. Our goal is to take rescued dogs and keep them in a safe environment and rehabilitate them so they can live a happy life," says Whitmer. "Dogs such as pit bulls and a few other breeds are rare to be adopted out because of the stigma that is attached to them. More than likely they will be euthanized before ever being considered for adoption. With the Mighty Pits Rescue the shelters have a trusted place to send the dogs," explains Whitmer.
The Whitmer's have already spoken with and hired a behavioral trainer to work with the dogs that come to their rescue. With the help of the trainer and one on one care and rehabilitation, the Whitmer's hope to be able to adopt the dogs out to loving homes. "We have an advantage over many shelters because in our adoption papers the new owners must allow us a home visit before adoption and after adoption. Many of these dogs are used to fight and we don't want them going back out into a harmful environment. The home checks allow us to see that they are being treated properly and that they have adjusted well," says Whitmer.
Aside from rehabilitating dogs, the Whitmer's also plan on offering training classes for dogs and owner to promote animal welfare.
The Whitmers originally had a building picked out and ready to go but the plans fell through and now they are looking for a new building or land that a building can be built on for their rescue. "We are just average people that love these dogs and want to help them. We plan on being in this for the long haul, so the lack of building is a set back but we will overcome it," they said.
The Whitmers credit the Fulton County Humane Society and staff for a lot of their progress made thus far. "They have been a great help to us. They are always friendly and have helped us reach out to more people. We will be an asset to them as well. No one there (FCHS) wants to put down a dog when they run out of room. Pit bulls are the first to go. When our rescue is opened the dogs can be sent to us. We can make sure they are rehabilitated and put into a good home. It takes some pressure off of them," says Whitmer.
"By rehabilitating these dogs and training them we help to get rid of the animosity toward the breed," says Whitmer. They will accept any breed but are emphasizing pit bulls and other "dangerous" breeds because of the dangerous situations these dogs usually face. Dogs will be accepted from other places than just the shelters but the Whitmers remind that they must be vetted and approved by the behavioral trainer before they take them in.
The Whitmers still need help to fund their rescue and have organized The Mighty Pits Rescue First Annual Pit Bull Awareness Walk on June 2 to help them reach their goal. The walk will begin at Jones Park on Main St. and continue to South Park. They will meet at 10 a.m. and begin the walk at 10:30 a.m. The walk will include an auction, vendors, and music.
The Whitmers are still accepting vendors for the walk and auction items are still being welcomed. Those wishing to participate in the walk can register at www.themightypitsrescue.com or through the mail at 317 N. 9th St. Cuba, IL, 61427. Registration is $15 with a shirt or $10 without a shirt. To set up a vendor table, make a monetary donation, or auction donation contact Janie Whitmer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright 2013 Canton Daily Ledger
Updated 410 days ago Article ID# 1531571
The Mighty Pits Rescue