Bronx Man Tries to Save Pitbulls—A Breed That Shares A Negative Reputation Like Our Borough

Rob ended up with not one but 3 beautiful pit bulls.
Rob ended up with not one but 3 beautiful pit bulls.

Bronx resident Rob Vassilarakis is out on a mission: He’s trying to raise $5,000 to support a wonderful organization called Second Chance Rescue that helps Pit Bull Terriers, among other animals, get just that. A second chance.

Much like The Bronx, Pit Bulls suffer from negative stereotypes and are thought by many as being vicious, fighting animals but that’s far from the truth.

Just like any person or creature, they learn what they are taught and sadly the mainstream media hasn’t helped the cause (sounds familiar? Just like our borough) by sensationalizing the worst of the worst cases and scenarios.

Rob Vassilirakis with his 3 babies.
Rob Vassilirakis with his 3 babies.

In Rob’s own words:

“Hi! I’m Rob Vassilarakis. Anyone who is remotely acquainted with me knows that am a HUGE lover of pit bulls (I have 3 of my own). It breaks my heart to know that DAILY, approximately 2,500 thrown away, abandoned, neglected & abused pit bulls are put to sleep in kill shelters across the country. Part of the problem is the neighborhood breeders who make extra cash off of selling puppies. Everyday as I walk my dogs in the Bronx I am asked multiple times if I want to breed my dogs. With much patience I attempt to bring awareness about the staggering reality that for a couple of hundred bucks per pup (if lucky) one is contributing to the systematic killing of this loving & affectionate breed which is truly misunderstood & gets such a raw deal. Irresponsible owners with tendencies for dog fighting, sensationalist news stories, the perpetuation of myths & the stigma that marks pit bulls has also contributed to their rise in U.S. kill shelters & has made them increasingly more difficult to adopt out. Their strong appearance has largely become a symbol of violence, drug culture and gangs. However, if given the chance, pit bulls can be very loving companions that bring joy to any home as an addition to the family. Second Chance Rescue gives them that opportunity.”

Watch this video from The Huffington Post on Pit Bulls where experts break down some of these myths:

According to Second Chance Rescue:

“Second Chance Rescue was formed in 2009 on the firm belief that all animals deserve to be loved and cared for, and no animal should ever be abused, neglected or homeless. Our mission  is to save animals that otherwise would have no chance and to facilitate the adoption/rehoming of these animals that have been abandoned, or given up by their former owners, and to place them in new loving homes.

We are 100% not for profit and to date have relied solely on donations from the public. We rescue dogs and cats from the streets, as well as from “death row” at municipal shelters (predominantly NYC Animal Care & Control) around New York City. Before coming to us, most of the animals that we rescue have been abandoned or abused/neglected; a large number have serious medical issues and require immediate, emergency veterinary care. We protect and ensure the long-term well-being of these rescued animals by placing them in foster homes or private boarding facilities, where they are rehabilitated and cared for until a permanent home can be found.

We are very passionate about our work; loving and caring for these animals unconditionally. All animals are transported to private veterinarians for proper medical treatment prior to adoption. All of our rescued animals are spayed/neutered, vaccinated, microchipped, and heartworm tested before they are placed into new loving homes.
Additionally, we work to generate awareness in the community about the prevention of animal abuse and neglect, as well as adoption of homeless animals and the importance of spay/neuter acting as a liaison.

We hope that through our work and commitments we shed light on and bring attention to the dire situation our companion animals are in in this country.  We know with dedication and care and the help of all our loyal and faithful supporters  there is hope for these animals.”

We have hundreds of thousands of readers out there. If you are an animal lover, please consider donating $1, $2, $5 or whatever amount you want to this organization that gives animals the second chance they deserve.

Learn the facts and myths from 1-800-PetMeds:
Pit Bull Myths and Facts Infographic
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Ed García Conde

Ed García Conde is a life-long Bronxite who spends his time documenting the people, places, and things that make the borough a special place in the hopes of dispelling the negative stereotypes associated with The Bronx. His writings are often cited by mainstream media and is often consulted for his expertise on the borough's rich history.