Would You Look At The Flower Power These Pitt Bulls Have!

Would You Look At The Flower Power These Pitt Bulls Have! –

 

For many years, Pit Bulls have been demonized by society for being aggressive toward people and other animals. As a result, they often get abused, abandoned by their owners, and doomed to stay in shelters for the rest of their lives. To destroy this unfair reputation, photographer Sophie Gamandstarted a project called Pit Bull Flower Power. Since 2014, she’s been traveling around the USA to take photos of shelter Pit Bulls in need of adoption and sharing them on social media. Her charming portraits of the dogs wearing flower crowns have completely changed their fate and have helped people to look at these dogs in a new, softer light.

23. Cali

View this post on Instagram

4 years ago today, I shared my first #PitBullFlowerPower portrait (this particular one, Cali from @nyanimalrescue). I wasn't sure it was a good idea, I wasn't sure it was good enough either. I had no idea the journey that would ensue. I am grateful for my old self, back then, who decided to take a chance on that slightly crazy idea (putting flower crowns on dogs I had never met before and who scared me?! What could go wrong!!!). It's been incredible witnessing this project grow wings, save lives, change mine, and transform the world a little. To all the creatives out there who are in a rut (including me! hahaha): trust your instincts and commit to your art, even if it's just for one day, one painting, one image. Nothing happens to those who don't "do". We all have it in us to create great things and become successful. There isn't just one path for everyone. There are millions of paths, but you will only find yours if you take the first step. To all the people out there who are trying to help homeless animals, or fight for a cause dear to their hearts: don't give up! Just like anyone else, I started with 1 like, and for years, I thought I would never make a difference. The only thing I could truly control was my commitment to this project, my mission, my vision. Don't give up. Commit. . #pitbullflowerpower #sophiegamand #commit #dogrescue #photographysaveslives #pitbull #pitbulladvocate #flowercrown

A post shared by Sophie Gamand (@sophiegamand) on

22. Roxie

View this post on Instagram

#PitBullFlowerPower Roxie is about 6 years old and available for adoption at the MASH Unit @mcso_mash_unit. She was seized from a fighting ring in central Phoenix. It is believed that she was a breeder with Scooby, another dog who was seized also. Roxie is a very energetic girl and she loves to please people. She is one of those dogs that really make you appreciate full ears instead of cruelly cropped ones -I'll post a pic of her without the crown, her ears are spectacular! Roxie shows so much emotion and personality with her ears. She is a very special doggy from the MASH Unit, as she was selected go through the Canine Good Citizen program. As I explained in previous posts and an article I wrote about them (see link in bio), inmates care for the dogs at this unique shelter. One of the inmates has been working diligently with Roxie to get her trained and ready to graduate from the program. This kind of work and the bond that the inmates form is what helps them transition from the bad decisions of their past towards a better and brighter future. How amazing is this? She is the first from MASH to go through this program, but hopefully there will be more. There is nothing like being given responsibilities and feeling important to recover from rough patches in life. Btw if you would like to support the work the MASH Unit does, please check the link above, I have listed a couple of options (Amazon Wishlist, donations) at the end of my article. I actually have just bought them a much-needed new camera so they can document their work and the seizures better, and photograph the animals for their adoption portraits! I know they are in dire need of cat litter right now too. — To adopt this fun girl, visit the MASH Unit’s Facebook page for more info (Facebook.com/ SJsMU) or their website (http://www.mcso.org/Mash). The shelter is located at 102 West Madison Street, Phoenix Arizona. Call (602) 876-1212 for adoption info. #PitBullFlowerPower #PitBullFlowerPowerARIZONA #AdoptDontShop #FlowerDog #FlowerCrown #sophiegamand

A post shared by Sophie Gamand (@sophiegamand) on

19. Murdock

View this post on Instagram

RIP Murdock. Yesterday was #DogfightingAwarenessDay, and I had just heard of Murdock’s passing. I’m heartbroken! 😢 . Murdock was seized by the police a few years back, covered in fresh bite wounds (some so severe, he lost an eye). He was held as evidence against his owner for about a year. His owner pleaded guilty to dogfighting, got sentenced with a $200 fine and couldn’t own dogs. A year after Murdock first arrived at the @tohanimalshelter, he was finally released and made available for adoption. The staff was super excited to introduce him to the world, as he was a very sweet dog. Murdock was my first dogfighting survivor. I tell the story of our encounter in my book. Back then, I was still quite nervous around pit bulls, and I had to put a brave face on when the staff brought Murdock into the room… (also because I was being photographed for a behind-the-scenes article about Flower Power!). But as often with dogfighting victims, Murdock was an absolute sweetheart. Later, Murdock was transferred to @lasthopeanimalrescue, where he stole the heart of volunteers. Murdock’s story went viral and that’s when he caught the attention of a couple from Arizona. Long story short, he was adopted and had been living so happily ever since. A few months after his adoption, I happened to be in AZ and I organized a photoshoot with Murdock. Such a beautiful memory. His owners are devastated by their loss, to say the least. I know he is terribly missed. And I am forever grateful that there are people out there who know to look past looks, and who recognize that dogfighting dogs are victims, first and foremost. Pic of Murdock and I by Colby Blount for @ThisDogsLifeSite. #PitBullFlowerPowerMemoriam #PitBullFlowerPower

A post shared by Sophie Gamand (@sophiegamand) on

18. Aden

View this post on Instagram

Aden is one of the boys you are helping by supporting my current fundraiser (link in bio). Aden has been waiting for 4 years at the Calhoun County Humane Society. He came in a young pup, great with everyone, and slowly became bad with other dogs. Now the shelter doesn’t trust him with other dogs, which makes his adoption near impossible for a shelter that relies heavily on rescues pulling dogs. Nobody wants an « only dog » dog. So Aden waits. Every year I hope this is his year, but time is flying and this boy isn’t going anywhere. I am so grateful for your generosity and so hopeful for him now that he will have access to more enrichment. I posted earlier today about my dream goal of raising $5,000 and we’ve already busted that goal and are approaching $6,000!! 😳😭 Add to that the $1,500 matched donation, that’s an amazing gift we are making to that shelter: Supporting their hard work and dedication, financing the wellbeing of their animals, and perhaps more importantly, telling them that we see them. . . Reminder: this is a traditional fundraiser with a twist! You can donate any amount or purchase a shirt or hoodie. All the money will go to the shelter. If you’d rather donate to them directly, visit calhouncountyhs.blogspot.com. The more shirts we sell, the higher our margins are and therefore the bigger the final donation! 🙏✨ so far we’ve sold 88 shirts! Once we reach 100, production costs will drop more and we’ll get a few more dollar of profit per shirt 🙏🙏✨ Thank you everyone!! . . #pitbullflowerpower #pawitforward

A post shared by Sophie Gamand (@sophiegamand) on

17. Brenda

15. Bubba

View this post on Instagram

PHOENIX, ARIZONA: new #PitBullFlowerPower! Bubba has had quite an adventurous life, and now he is ready to retire and settle in a home, the first he’s ever had. Back in 2015 he was seized from a large dogfighting ring in Canada, with a group of dogs. Some became known as The 21 when the local SPCA labeled them a ͞menace to society͟ and asked the judge permission to euthanize them without any attempt at rehabilitation. This was taking place in Ontario, a province with a strict pit bull ban. You can read the whole story in my upcoming book! Thankfully, rescues rallied and an international online outrage saved these dogs. After 2 years in limbo, they were sent to @DogsPlayingForLife’s National Canine Center in Florida, for further retraining and assessment. And now 1 year later, almost all of them have been cleared for adoption (one of them just became a police dog!). Bubba was recently transferred to the @aawlspca in Arizona. In the kennel, he’s been a dream and one of the easiest dogs. He’s won everyone over and got the nicknames of ͞potato head͟ or ͞tater tot͟. He is indeed a small chunk of love who loves every human he meets. During our shoot he was the loveliest, cutest little thing, splooting, happy, and the easiest to work with. He left a charming impression on me! With dogs, despite his past, Bubba is actually playful and appropriate with many, especially the easy going ones and females, and was considered a playgroup rock star. He is recommended as an only dog at home, for now, given his past and the fact he’s never lived in a home before. But I think he deserves it! He had knee surgery and is recommended for lighter activity, which is totally fine as far as Bubba is concerned. This sweet peanut enjoys nothing more than a good snuggle and belly rubs. He is an absolute catch if your dream is an adorable couch potato that will love you to the moon and back. Bubba is crate trained and knows basic commands. To adopt him, visit www.aawl.org or call the shelter at 602-273-6852 x116. AAWL adopts out of state but they do not transport. Meet and greet required. #adoptdontshop #dogfightingsurvivor #pitbullflowerpower

A post shared by Sophie Gamand (@sophiegamand) on

9. Sula

View this post on Instagram

This ADOPTION PUPDATE will give you all the feels! If you own my book, you might have noticed a few dogs with a “Still waiting” label next to their photos… Sula was one of them. She and Creasy (who was adopted recently) were seized in a cruelty case 8 years ago. They were held as evidence for a year, and by the time Sula came out of that state of isolation, she was showing OCD (shadow chasing). She was pulled by @azk9rescue, and even after I photographed her back in 2015, Sula waited and waited. Last February, I received a message from Kendel (@student_doctor_rae). She and her hubby had been eyeing all the “Still waiting” dogs from my book. We chatted and Sula came up, since the couple lives in AZ. They reached out to the rescue, and a meeting was arranged. Well… as you guessed it, everyone fell in love! Kendel wrote: “From the first meet and greet, her goofy lovable nature made it clear she belongs with us. When we brought her home she quickly bonded with Max and Leo (our other rescue pits).” . For the next few weeks, Sula stayed with the family, bonding with them, adjusting, and everything went extremely well! “Sula’s OCD and shadow chasing has gotten better at home. My husband and I are both medical students and Sula loves being a study cuddler, she’s also had a ton of fun going to class with Mom and relaxing on campus in the sun for picnic lunches. Sula’s talents include banging her tail into walls, rolling in the dirt, SNORING LOUDER THAN ANY DOG EVER, piggy snorts, gentle kisses, big smiles, peekaboo tongue… We love her so much and delight in trying to give her a million kisses per day to make up for the years of little to no kisses.” . . I am beyond happy that not only has Sula found a spectacular forever home after 8 years, but that my #PitBullFlowerPower book was the catalyst for that adoption. That makes me extremely proud, and happy for all involved! This weekend, the rescue organized a send off party for Sula (swipe for the video), and all her rescue family showed up, including Creasy. There wasn’t a dry eye at the party! I am not crying, YOU’RE crying!! 🤧🤩 #PitBullFlowerPowerADOPTED #pitbullflowerpowerbook #photographysaveslives #sophiegamand

A post shared by Sophie Gamand (@sophiegamand) on

7. Miranda

View this post on Instagram

WARWICK, NEW YORK: Miranda (9) is a very sweet and quirky senior who just can’t seem to catch a break. She was found abandoned, emaciated, sick and very scared with wounds and old scarring in october 2014 on the Appalachian Trail, and made her way to @warwickhumane. Whatever her past was, it wasn't pretty. When she arrived at the shelter, she had a severe ear infection, mange, worn down teeth and only rocks, sticks and berries in her belly. Miranda is now overall healthy (as healthy as a senior doggie with such hard past can be!), but she was diagnosed with a thyroid condition that needs lifelong, inexpensive, supplements and occasional monitoring. Just as she was getting interest from adopters, after being featured by @SusiesSeniorDogs, Miranda had a cancerous tumor removed, which stopped the adoption process. She now has clean margins and is ready to rock your world! Miranda is affectionate, loves treats, loves to be petted and really, really loves her tennis balls. She is house trained too. If you give this Special Needs pooch a chance, she will melt your heart, entertain you and adore you. Miranda doesn't want to live with other pets or children, she is too old of that stuff! She needs a spa retreat, basically, for the rest of her life! Please, consider opening your heart to this beautiful, soulful senior cutie. Call 845-986-2473 for more info, or visit www.wvhumane.org. . #pitbullflowerpower #photographysaveslives #seniordog #adoptdontshop #sophiegamand

A post shared by Sophie Gamand (@sophiegamand) on

4. Holiday

View this post on Instagram

AMAZING adoption story! A couple of weeks ago, my friends at @mrbonesandco asked if I could squeeze Holiday in for a #PitBullFlowerPower shoot. She'd been with them since February. She came from North Carolina, where she had spent her life being used by a backyard breeder. "Her body was neglected, bore many babies and her health was poor, but what was most heartbreaking about her was her deep sadness. During her assessment, Holiday pushed herself as close as she could get to Mr. Bones' mom, side by side, taking in human contact and allowing herself to be held while looking downwards, unwilling or unable to make eye contact". Holiday had a long road to recovery, but through it all, her faith in humans remained. I met her the day of Flower Power’s third anniversary. I had created a large crown weeks prior, a crown I was keeping for a special occasion, a quite challenging crown! It had a big, vibrant #sunflower on it, something I never really use. Holiday was the one. I knew she could pull it off. And she wore it like the queen she was meant to be. That weekend, the rescue gave Holiday all the social media exposure they could. Cute pictures and video showcased this sweet girl’s wonderful personality. On the other side of the screen, Sherry started to notice Holiday. She had recently lost three dogs, two in the previous year. She felt almost ready for a new companion, but was waiting for a sign. And there it was. On Holiday’s crown. The sunflower shining like a lighthouse, grabbing her heart through the screen. Sherry’s and her family’s favorite flower (I believe they used to grow them). The sunflower was the sign Sherry was waiting for, and she immediately contacted the rescue. Holiday went for a meet and greet, and as soon as she was out of the car, she ran to her family as if she had belonged there her entire life. . . I sometimes wonder if my photos really help, and how much they do. Then this. I don’t know why I chose a sunflower, or why I kept this crown for Holiday. The Universe worked, in its mysterious ways, and after months – and a lifetime – of waiting, Holiday is finally home. . #adoptdontshop #artsaveslives #endBSL #pitbull #pitbullflowerpowerADOPTED

A post shared by Sophie Gamand (@sophiegamand) on

2. Creasy

View this post on Instagram

ADOPTION PUPDATE! I have been jumping up and down with teary eyes over this news!!! If you have my #PitBullFlowerPower book, you know that some of my models have been waiting for a while for a home. The pictures don’t always make a difference. As I put the book together, it hurt me to type “Still waiting” next to some of my models. There was Creasy in AZ, who waited 8 years before he was adopted right after my book came out! And now Walter… I photographed him in June 2015, and he finally just got adopted! Walter initially came from the city shelter, where he was pulled by a rescue. The group had come in to pull a few seniors, and, taking a chance, told the shelter staff that they would pull one more dog, whoever was up next to be euthanized. And that dog was Walter. He was already on the euthanasia table, getting prepped. Once safe, Walter was transferred to Redemption Rescues (@hemiverse). After he received zero applications, despite being pretty much perfect, Walter settled into the rescue and became a helper dog, assisting with newcomers, a pro foster brother. Recently, the rescue realized it was time for Walter to find his true home. With a heavy heart they decided to push again for him. Soon, an adopter was in sight. When Walter met his potential new big brother Apache, he was incredibly intimidated by the dog’s gargantuan size. It’s crazy because Walter himself is pretty big (about 60lbs), but he looks like a mini-Walter on the pics! At first, Walter snapped at the big sweetheart whenever he would get too close. But nobody gave up. With the assurance of the rescue’s trainer and the constant dedication of Walter’s new foster parents, slowly the dogs became more comfortable, and now they act like brothers who had been separated at birth!!! And just like that, Walter is now officially, finally home (follow him at @4leggedbrothers218). Many people took part in his journey, and I am so grateful I get to be a tiny part of these stories, and witness the best humanity has to offer. Now I have to go because those damn onions… BRB . . #pitbullflowerpoweradopted #sophiegamand #photographysaveslives #adoptdontshop #pitbull #pitbullmastiff #mastiff #rescuedog

A post shared by Sophie Gamand (@sophiegamand) on

Have you changed your opinion about Pit Bulls after reading this article? Are you ready to adopt one of them right now? If so, check the hashtag #PitBullFlowerPower on social media to find a dog for yourself.

 

Facebook Comments

If you liked this, leave a comment!

↓