Midland couple rescue pit bulls from being put down at animal shelter

Amy and Greg are both friends of mine.  I don’t live in Midland, but do live nearby.  I have in the past tried to help their cause (as well as another couple of causes that they have pursued), and truly believe in these two people:

Alvin plays in his cage alone and howls when the other dogs start. The ringleader of the noise is usually Simon, who came to the pit bull rescue from a fighting ring and avoids human interaction with everyone accept his caretaker. Get too close to his cage, and he’ll let out a series of barks.

The third one of the group, Theodore, lies on the ground in his cage across the yard. He was hit by a car and wandered into a woman’s yard south of town. When she found him, she called Greg Clark and his wife, Amy Adams — the only couple in Midland rescuing the dogs.

It started with Looney, a pit bull Clark’s stepson had that no longer could live with him at his apartment, so the couple took it in at their home. When they started researching the breed, they found there was no rescue shelter for them in the county and that the “bully breeds are automatically put down at animal control,” according to Clark.

“We just fell in love with the breed. Then we found out that nobody around here took them in,” he added.

Animal Services Director Paul O’Neill clarified that pit bulls aren’t put down immediately, but the breed isn’t allowed to be adopted out by the shelter. The dogs must wait out their three-day holding period — 10 days if they have on a city license — before being euthanized.

“It’s mainly a liability issue,” O’Neill said. “There are other breeds of dogs that have been involved in more dog bites, but the bully breeds in the past have been involved in more multiple bite instances.

“We don’t know what the dog has been trained to do.”

Over the past year, Clark and Adams have had several people come and drop dogs off at their home. Word of mouth has spread about the pit bull rescue.

But the animals have been coming in faster than expected. Clark had some friends and family help clear off their two acres of property so he has room to build cages for the dogs. Doghouses and kennels have been donated, along with food that the couple usually have to pay for out of pocket.

“They come in faster than I can build,” he said earlier last week as he walked around his backyard. “We’ve been trying to get it cleared before we ever started this up.”

He points to the fence at the opposite side of the yard. He talks about the dreams he has for his property grounds, how he hopes to build a kennel run so the dogs can exercise and a play area where they can get out yet still be contained.

He and Adams are working to file for nonprofit status. They hope to either call the shelter “Snowflake’s Rescues” or “Bully Rescues” but haven’t decided on a name yet. Their first dog was named Snowflake, and they said they would like to honor her.

All their dogs are chipped and spayed or neutered. They’ve adopted several out but choose not to adopt to just anyone, making those interested fill out an application and complete a home visit first.

While they pay for all the food, upkeep and veterinarian bills out of their pockets, they said they are grateful to those who donate to help with their rescues.

“It’s helped tremendously. We couldn’t have this many without it,” Clark said.

And with their rescue, they also hope to change people’s minds and opinions about the dogs. Pit bulls are loyal and protective, Clark said, and the dogs that he and his family have rescued have never bitten anyone or attacked while they’ve been at the rescue.

“It depends how you raise a dog. They are so powerful, and that’s why people fight them and they get such a bad reputation,” he said.

Running the rescue has become a full-time job for Clark, who is disabled and has had 22 surgeries. It’s been stressful also because his wife has also had some health issues, he added.

Still, he calls his new mission a work of love.

“If it wasn’t for these guys, I would not be able to get out of bed,” he said.

In the backyard, Cane continues to play with his bucket, something Clark said he’ll do all day long even if there are visitors. Reese and Pieces and Bonnie and Clyde are in separate cages and howl along with Simon.

Faith, who was rescued by Clark and Adams, had a barbed-wire chain embedded in her neck that left a two-inch deep gash. She lays in her cage near the back of the house as Clark makes the rounds to visit the dogs in the kennels.

As he passes by, Tibo reaches a paw out between his cage and Clark grabs it and gives it a shake. His back fur has been scorched and his skin healed over the spots where someone once poured hot grease.

These are the pit bulls he and his wife have rescued; these are the dogs he wants to give a new future to, a new beginning.

“They all have a story,” he said.


I have met a few of their dogs.  However, many are new.  But “Looney” is one such example.  He is their baby, and has problems with seizures.  Kane, the dog that plays with a bucket, is a pit and great dane mix.  He can literally put a 5 gallon bucket in his mouth, which he will then throw up in the air and chase as it bounces to a stop.

One of the most amusing things I have ever seen was when they let a few of them in the house once while I was there dropping some stuff off.  It was like a box full of bowling balls being shook.  4 “pitties” being let in, more excited than they can contain, and literally bouncing off of everything.  Among the more cute things I have ever seen.

And their weenie dog, Baby, is not intimidated by these big brutes.  Not in the least.  She is every bit the pampered princess, and has no problem barking the pitties back in line.

I was just very proud to see them get some local notoriety, and wanted to share.  I am even more proud that they are someone I call friend.

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