Launched by Kirsten Knight in 2013 after she had fostered pittie puppies the previous year, Adopt a Pit is Dayton’s largest pit bull rescue, does great work and deserves our support.
Kirsten, now the executive director, found her fostering experience rewarding but costly. She paid for everything the pups needed – food, medicine, toys. You name it, she paid for it.
There had to be a better way, Kirsten figured. So she started Adopt a Pit, whose mission is to rescue and rehabilitate pit bulls and other “bully breeds.”
Most of their rescue dogs come from high-kill shelters, where Adopt A Pit focuses on the ones considered unadoptable due to injury, illness or behavior.
Adopt A Pit has 100-120 dogs in foster homes throughout Ohio. Usually 40‑60 are available for adoption. Those not ready may be too young, have health concerns, are waiting to be spayed/neutered or have behavior issues that need work before they can be released to forever families.
A team of veterinarians, behaviorists, trainers, groomers and volunteers makes sure the dogs are prepared for adoption and, most importantly, go to the right home.
It’s been a huge success. Since 2013, Adopt A Pit has placed just under 3,500 dogs in forever homes.
One story makes me smile whenever I think about it.
Jessica and Collin Helsinger and their daughters. Emma, 10, and Rylee Jo, 4, live on their family farm in Preble County and have two adopted pitties, Maggie and Angel.
Maggie was found as a stray, and her vet believes she’s about 7. But because of health issues, they believed she was in a puppy mill and delivered multiple puppies, so her body’s “age” was 8 or 9. Regardless, Jessica calls Maggie “the perfect dog.” She’s sweet and wonderful with the girls.
Angel is 6 months old. Another sweetie, she’s eager to please and very smart.
When rescued, Angel’s collar was embedded into her neck and had to be surgically removed. Angel is deaf and Jessica surmises the original owner didn’t know that and may have left the collar on as a punishment for not learning through verbal commands.
Emma and Rylee Jo love to play dress up. So do Maggie and Angel. When the four put their “outfits” together it’s a fashion show for Jessica and Collin. Maggie loves the compliments and nudges her parents if they forget to respond.
The family has fostered 42 other dogs.
“How hard is it to let them go to their new families?” I asked.
Without hesitation, Jessica said, “I’m always sad when a dog leaves, but if we didn’t let them go, we wouldn’t be able to say ‘hello’ to another dog that needs help.”
She added that in second grade Emma told a classmate she loves fostering. The classmate asked why, since she had to give the dogs to new families. Emma explained that her family gets to teach the dogs what love and family are all about.
If that doesn’t bring a smile to your face, I don’t know what will.
Karin Spicer, a magazine writer, has been entertaining families for more than 20 years. She lives in Bellbrook with her family and two furry animals all who provide inspiration for her work. She can be reached at email@example.com.
HOW TO HELP
Visit Adoptapit.org. The website has a link for donations as well as a link to select items from their Chewy wish list.