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Chesty, Pit Bull Ambassador

Story ID:11165
Written by:Suzana Margaret Megles (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:- Ohio usa
Year:2013
Person:Steffen Baldwin
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Every morning I keep on telling myself that today I will spend time to get some
semblance of order in my house. Everywhere I look -there are piles of magazines
and printed materials. All right I say to myself, its about time to unload.

But then I turn to the internet and find a story like Chesty’s and think – okay this
won’t take long. I want people who love pit bulls to read yet another instance of
proving that these much maligned dogs should be rid of the unfair stigma which
for so long have been attached to them.

Somehow when I think of them, I always recall the story of Mindy – a pit bull who
was mistreated in the Pennsylvania shelter she was brought to. No, I don’t remember
the particulars and I know that I can find her story on the internet, but tears have
already welled up in my eyes from just saying her name. Yes, man can be cruel, and
sadly she was probably only one of hundreds – maybe thousands of pit bulls who
have been so cruelly maligned and mistreated for years during a period of their cruel
and often unwarranted victimization.

So, it was with joy that I read about Chesty, a pit bull who in 2013 was a homeless one-
year old stray dog in Ohio. He was just simply living day by day- trying to keep hunger
at bay and find enough water for him to survive. This day he was finding shade under
a bush which gave him some protection from the heat of an Ohio summer.

This would not be an ordinary day in his young life as a police officer found him taking
the nap. He nudged him with his foot. Naturally, being jolted awake, he began to bark
loudly and charged. The officer responded by whipping out his weapon and shooting
Chesty at close range.

Luckily, Chesty was taken in by the Miami Valley Pit Crew, a local animal rescue organization.
They took Chesty to a vet for immediate surgery. Over 50 bone fragments were removed
from his shoulder. His rescuers were amazed. Clearly, Chesty was a trooper.

Steffen Baldwin came forward to foster Chesty and give him a second chance at life. Though
Chesty would require a lot a care, Baldwin was undeterred and ready to take on this
responsibility.

It was obvious that Baldwin loved dogs because he had others of his own and hoped that
Chesty and they would get along. They did. Chesty also came to know Baldwin’s human
family and there too he had no trouble fitting in with them either.

After Baldwin ended up adopting Chesty, he brought him along for several dog safety
demonstrations with his non-profit organization, Animal Cruelty Task Force of Ohio.

Baldwin wanted other people to learn more about Pit Bulls and how to interact safely
with dogs in any situation. So in 2015 -Baldwin began working with a fellow animal welfare
advocate and Pit Bull owner – Gordon Shell. Together they developed a class to teach police
officers how to interact with dogs While it is unclear how many dogs are shot by police
every year, anyone who cares about dogs finds any number much too high and needless.

So now Baldwin and Shell collaborated and began teaching police officers how to act in
certain situations involving dogs. There have been cases where police entering a home
have shot family dogs simply because they started barking. How many innocent dogs
were shot this way needlessly causing untold pain for their human family? Hopefully,
other police officers nationwide will also undertake such a program.

Well Chesty, your work is cut out for you- but I am sure that you, Baldwin, and Shell
will succeed in teaching police officers re dog interactions so that none of them will again
shoot at a poor little Pit Bull who only reacted when awoken from sleep.