Meet the Most Awesome Pit Bull Who Ever Lived

Bulletproof Sam came out the other side of hell with love in his heart, and now you have a chance to support dogs just like him.



We received a lot of feedback on our February feature, the Pet Lover's Guide. It’s not surprising; people are more than passionate about their dogs. A great deal of the response, though, praised our placement of a smiling Pit Bull on the issue’s cover — after years with a bad rap, folks are finally realizing that the unfairly-maligned breed are victims of a bad reputation and systemic abuse, and make for some of the finest pets a dog lover could ever adopt.

So let me tell you about Bulletproof Sam. Sam, an American Pit Bull Terrier, was a “champion” fighting dog; he fought, and won, for much longer than most dogs exposed to that brutal world survive. Through the course of his abuse, he lost a portion of his face and most of his teeth. He was alternately chained up outside and locked in an underground cage with seventeen other dogs, all fighters or bait dogs, nearby.

What’s remarkable about Sam, though, is what happened when he was rescued. In February 2012, the Humane Society of the United States conducted a raid on the Jacksonville, Fl. compound where Sam was imprisoned. As the rescue workers approached, Sam had no reason to comprehend what was going on around him — let alone trust the unfamiliar people approaching. For his entire life, people approaching always meant bad news.

But when the locks were cut off of Sam’s cell, he tentatively emerged and then joyously embraced the rescuers. Within seconds of emerging, Sam’s obvious desperation for affection and human companionship took over. There was no more fighter, no more fearful victim; only an irrepressibly loving dog, so thankful to be held and cared for. (Be sure to watch the video above, but be warned — it’s a tearjerker.)

Pit Bulls are the dog of choice for the perpetrators of these crimes because they’re so unwaveringly loyal and desperate to please. More than many other breeds, they crave attention and affection; unfortunately, that makes them alluring to people looking to control dogs for unthinkable reasons.

Fortunately, it also makes them unmatched pets. Sam, more than any other dog on the planet, had reason to distrust humans. But today, he’s the gentlest dog imaginable, given to fits of unbridled joy when a new person approaches. Pit Bulls are obedient, loving, caring dogs, healthy and playful. The shameful media attention they sometime attract — wholly, unequivocally, unflinchingly inaccurate — is sensationalism and nothing more. (Between you and me, if you see a member of the media painting these dogs in a negative light, do feel free to ignore that individual and/or outlet henceforth.)

After his rescue, Sam moved in to the Hello Bully Halfway House outside the city. They’re looking for Sam’s forever home — because of his past, he’ll need experienced dog owners, and he’ll need to be an only pet — but in the meantime, he has his own Facebook page, Twitter account and customized collar. He was honored by City Council as they declared February 16 “Hello Bully Day” in Pittsburgh. There's even a stuffed version of Sam — and you’ll have your chance to take it home this Saturday at Hello Bully’s annual Lovers Not Fighters Gala.

The event, held at Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall, will feature a red carpet arrival area, auctions, a lineup of hors d’oeuvres and a dessert buffet and more. And the cost of your ticket will go to finding Sam and his pals loving homes — and changing the lives of Pit Bulls nationwide for good.

4141 Fifth Ave., Oakland; Saturday, 7 p.m. (VIP reception at 6 p.m.); $50 (VIP Tickets, including champagne reception and premium gift bag, $120); info and tickets at hellobully.org

The 412

TIME Magazine Calls B.S. on That ‘Pittsburghers Are Unhappy’ Study

TIME Magazine Calls B.S. on That ‘Pittsburghers Are Unhappy’ Study

Data-shmata, says TIME’s Bill Saporito.
AC Milan Will Hold a Free Public Practice Tomorrow at Heinz Field

AC Milan Will Hold a Free Public Practice Tomorrow at Heinz Field

Get an up-close look at Balotelli, El Shaarawy and company.
The Thunderbolt Now Is a Certified Landmark

The Thunderbolt Now Is a Certified Landmark

Kennywood’s classic all-wood roller coaster is recognized by the American Coaster Enthusiasts.
Underrated Stuff We Love: Pittsburgh’s Porch Culture

Underrated Stuff We Love: Pittsburgh’s Porch Culture

You never know who you’ll meet right outside your door.

Hot Reads

From Field to Fork

From Field to Fork

We put together this dynamic guide to help you find and engage with the region’s sustainable producers of meat, honey, alcohol, fruits and vegetables.
Sometimes Your Best Friends in Life Aren't on Facebook

Sometimes Your Best Friends in Life Aren't on Facebook

PittGirl wonders if it's still possible to raise kids to be big-hearted people in an age of self-obsession.
Review: Café Zinho

Review: Café Zinho

Seasoned chef and entrepreneur Toni Pais continues to impress folks who dine at his longstanding Mediterranean establishment, Café Zinho.
City Guide: 200+ Fun Things to Do (No Matter Where You Are)

City Guide: 200+ Fun Things to Do (No Matter Where You Are)

We explore every inch of Allegheny County (and beyond) for a look at the communities where we live, work and play.

On the Blogs


Everything That's Awesome About Pittsburgh Today
TIME Magazine Calls B.S. on That ‘Pittsburghers Are Unhappy’ Study

TIME Magazine Calls B.S. on That ‘Pittsburghers Are Unhappy’ Study

Data-shmata, says TIME’s Bill Saporito.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
The 8 Best (Not) Restaurants in Pittsburgh

The 8 Best (Not) Restaurants in Pittsburgh

Food trucks. Pizza boats. Bagel Clubs. The best on-the-run food in town.

Comments


Pittsburgh, only cooler
Pittsburgh’s Refugee Children Could Use a Good Neighbor

Pittsburgh’s Refugee Children Could Use a Good Neighbor

Those who eye 8-year-old children with suspicion have more than a self-awareness problem.

Comments


Award-winning sports commentary by Sean Conboy
R.I.P. Corporate Penguins, 2009-2014

R.I.P. Corporate Penguins, 2009-2014

Fire Bylsma? Fire Shero? The Penguins' problems run deeper.

Comments


The '50 Shades of Grey' Menu

The '50 Shades of Grey' Menu

Here’s the top 5 natural foods to keep the, um, “fire” going.

Comments


Bar Exam: Gus’s Cafe

Bar Exam: Gus’s Cafe

Like roomy outdoor booths, acceptable (and reasonably priced) brews and some mean, polished bar grub? Then this spot’s for you.

Comments


Style. Design. Goods. Hide your credit card.
Dog Days

Dog Days

Why should you be the only one with style? Rover deserves the best, too.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
Get Creative at Notion

Get Creative at Notion

Eat artful food and get artsy on Tuesdays at Dave Racicot's East End restaurant.

Comments


This week's buzz from the PM editors
Hit the City for Fashion, Dancing and More

Hit the City for Fashion, Dancing and More

“Project Pop-Up: Fashion” brings a one-time-only bazaar of clothing and accessories

Comments