Richmond Animal League launches pit bull division

By Sunni Blevins - bio | email | facebook
Posted by Phil Riggan – email

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - A rescue group has launched a division dedicated to helping pit bulls. One of the goals is to make sure the dog's owners get them spayed or neutered.

The division called Gracie's Guardians works out of Richmond Animal League. For this event, the group is focusing on low income Chesterfield County pet owners.

On April 25, 2007, more than 60 dogs were seized from a Virginia property owned by now Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick.

The news rocked the nation, and for the first time, many people became familiar with pit bulls and the term dog-fighting.

Gracie was rescued that day from Bad Newz kennels. She is now the namesake for a new pit bull rescue division operated by the Richmond Animal League.

"We are focused on reducing euthanasia rates in pit bulls, pulling pit bulls from shelters and putting them in foster homes and finding them good adoptive homes," said Will Lowrey of Gracie's Guardians.

Gracie's Guardians also hopes to educate the public and allow people to have positive pit bull experiences.

"Pit bulls tend to be dogs that people want for the wrong reasons; you get irresponsible people who want them, and they are breeding them, fighting them, abusing them, chaining them in the back yard, so a lot of the encounters that people have are with pit bulls that aren't in the best of circumstances or conditions," he said.

This Saturday, RAL will introduce Gracie's guardians to the public through a free spay/neuter and rabies clinic. Chesterfield animal control is funding the event, which targets low-income pet-owners.

"A lot of the issues with pit bulls and other animals in the community is overpopulation and so by getting out there and offering assistance and means for people to get their animals in and an easy way to do it for people who otherwise couldn't afford it, that will help a good bit,"

For more information about the spay/neuter clinic call 379-9725. If you are interested in helping or learning more about Gracie's Guardians, you can email

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