Double A Pitbull Rescue open house Sunday
By Melissa Kinton | Daily Times Correspondent
Angela Burruss can’t say “no” — to American pit bull terriers that is. She recently opened a pit bull rescue at her Greenback home.
“This has really been a heartfelt decision that I have thought about for the last seven plus years,” she said.
Burruss is in the process of finishing the paperwork to make her no-kill, Double A Pitbull Rescue a 501c3, nonprofit operation. A building that will house seven kennels is under construction at her home at 725 Henry Lane in Greenback. An office is set up in a donated storage shed. She is in the process of securing a second 10-foot-by-10-foot pen to add to the one already set up in her yard.
There’s a pit bull everywhere you look at Burruss’ house, and most of them have come from bad situations.
“They’re not these big humongous monsters who are going to eat you alive,” explained Burruss. Every dog she takes in is tested and rehabilitated by Burruss, her family and her friends before it is eventually adopted out.
“I want these dogs to be homed in a permanent family who understands what they’re getting,” she said.
Burruss began her love affair with the pit bull breed 12 years ago when she adopted her boxer/pit bull mix, Larry, from a local animal shelter. Larry was diagnosed with diabetes and has since passed away. He left Burruss with a lasting impression of pit bulls. She has been taking in dogs since.
“I’m the pit lady on Henry Lane,” she said.
Burruss currently has three pit bulls available soon for adoption. One of them, Zeus, is a full-blood pit. His owner was going to kill him, but another person intervened. His would-be rescuer was not allowed to have pets where he lived. So Burruss stepped in.
When she got him, Zeus had rope burns around his neck. She was told the dog had food aggressions and was aggressive toward children and small animals. So far, she said she has not found evidence of that.
Burruss said she believes Zeus was supposed to have been a fighting dog. Given his gentle nature, she thinks the dog refused and that put him on the path he is on now.
“It’s all in the breeder. It’s all in the owner. It’s not in the dog,” she said.
Burruss plans to become certified in dog obedience so she can one day offer her pit bulls as service dogs. She suffers from a degenerative disease and says her pit bull Ember helps her get going every day. When her son broke his back this summer, his pit bull Brandie lay right beside him while he recovered.
“They’re very, very intelligent dogs. They just need to be understood better,” Burruss said.
Double A Pitbull Rescue is holding an open house from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday at The Thirsty Turtle on U.S. 411 South in Maryville. Burruss will be there handing out adoption applications and information on her rescue. Of course she will also be accepting donations.
“I never turn down blankets and towels — or metal food bowls because pits chew everything,” she laughed.
For more information about Double A Pitbull Rescue, contact Angela Burruss at 865-679-2800. If you have an emergency situation involving a pit bull, call her emergency line at 865-934-7626.