Pit bull rescue surrenders 14 dogs to SPCA
By Joel Davis | (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The demand in Blount County to find new homes for abandoned or surrendered American pit bull terriers has proven too much for a Greenback animal rescue.Angela Burruss opened the no-kill, Double A Pit Bull Rescue at her Greenback home earlier in the year. On Tuesday, she voluntarily surrendered 14 of the animals to the county authorities after the Blount County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals investigated complaints of noise and animals running loose at the rescue.
Burruss, who was the subject of a Sept. 1 article in The Daily Times on her efforts to open the rescue, said she did her best. “I accept my part in it. I was not fully prepared. I was not ready for the onslaught of need. I hadn’t braced myself for the overwhelming needs of the animals.”BCSPCA President Gino Bachman said there were issues with the care of the animals. “There was no food, no water, and they were in a confined area,” he said. “She was all alone. That’s the bottom line. She put the cart before the horse and took on more animals than she had resources for and she couldn’t handle it.”
The dogs were in good health, Burruss said. “The dogs were not in harm’s way. They were not injured and by no means were they neglected. ... There was no misconduct and no charges, it was a voluntary surrender and when they came to pick up the dogs, I went ahead and surrendered the animals voluntarily. I had no other option at that point.”
According to an email from the Blount County Mayor’s Office, “The rescue seemed to have good intentions, (but was) just perhaps overwhelmed with the number they were trying to help. The rescue had four of the (Blount County Animal Center) dogs they were attempting to find homes for. Those four dogs were surrendered back to the Blount County Animal Center, along with 10 additional dogs by the owner, who was fully cooperative and willing.”
Two of the dogs surrendered to the shelter were euthanized primarily because of space issues at the shelter, according to the mayor’s office.
During the launch of the rescue, Burruss felt there was support for the effort. “Prior to this, we thought we had the neighborhood’s support,” she said. “It was the very neighbors who knew what I was doing who were the ones who were calling (the SPCA) over the dogs.
“... There was a lack of help and resources, and I had been under the impression that (the SPCA) would have to allow me some time to rectify what they felt was an issue. There were no neighbors or anyone in the neighborhood that had been there to offer to help, either. I had expected some support, and that’s what I thought I had in the beginning. There was no time to fix anything, to correct anything That’s the biggest thing I’ve not gotten over with. It’s like they don’t want a pit bull rescue in Blount County.”If Burruss decides to attempt to run a pit pull rescue again, it will not be on Henry Lane. “God has plans for all of us,” she said. “... I accept things. You just move on. You look back at what you did right and what you did wrong and not just focus on the negativity of it all.
“I’m a grown lady, I can take care of myself. The dogs need to have somebody to speak for them. I will continue to try to educate people on the breed. I will continue to speak out for the breed. I will also continue to try to help people get more involved with the BCAC.”Burruss did not surrender all the dogs in her care, but expects those to have new homes within a few days. Pit bulls have an undeserved reputation for aggressive behavior, Burruss said. “They are wonderful. They are very loyal. Don’t blame the wrong end of the leash. Any dog will bite, any dog can bite, and it’s all in what you do to the dogs.”Although she will not be running the rescue, Burruss said she is available to offer advice. “If they need help, they are welcome to call for information about the breed. I can set them on the right path for who they need to talk to. It’s still all about the dogs.”