I'm called the bulldog whisperer, like the book The Horse Whisperer. It means that I can communicate with bulldogs. It takes me a little bit, but I can get them calm. I'm very patient. Some people try to rush it or impede their space. I just go slow and steady. I learned by getting bitten a few times.
I got a bulldog puppy from a breeder. Then, one day, I read in the paper that there was a "must sell" bulldog. I had heard through the Bulldog Club of America that when you see a must-sell, it's usually not a good situation. So my friend and I went and checked it out. It was actually a bulldog tied to a tree with no water and no food, and it was the end of May -- 85 degrees out. Bulldogs are heat sensitive, so we had to do something. We just decided we were going to take it. When we rescue, we don't ask questions. We just ask where we can get the dog. That's how we started looking for dogs in need.
I started rescuing bulldogs five years ago. The loyalty and pure adoration they show is unlike other dogs I've known. It's quite an honor to be loved by a bulldog. But it's not just me; it's a whole group. We travel up and down the East Coast. Two years ago I got a call that there was going to be a raid on a puppy mill in Lancaster [Pa.]. And there were 31 bulldogs. They found me on the Web. People from the USDA and some lawyers were helping. There were bulldogs in rabbit hutches, like five to a rabbit hutch. I ended up with six fosters for a year until the case went to court. I had to foster them for a year because they couldn't be given up for adoption until the court case was settled. They were evidence. Some were in bad shape.
There's not anything that I wouldn't do for a bulldog.
-- Interview by Cathy Areu Jones