Melvin the pit bull spent almost two years waiting for his perfect family. In March of this year, he found it.
Melvin is almost four years old and was initially a lost dog bunking at Long Island Animal Care Services. He was transferred to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles (spcaLA) and has been there for nearly two years since that move.
But his wait is over — he now has a brand new home with Patricia Nevi-Maguire, her family, and his two new pit bull siblings, Tibbs and Luna.
SpcaLA’s director of animal behavior and training, Sara Taylor, spoke to Good Morning America. She told them that breed part of why Melvin took so long to home.
Erroneously, pit bulls are seen as violent, aggressive dogs …though this writer can attest that: oh gosh, they sure are not:
Still, that stereotype seriously hurts their chances of adoption. A study done by PLOS One showed that dogs who were named as pit bulls took three times longer to be adopted than similar-looking dogs without the label.
“He was also pretty high energy — in a friendly way,” Taylor explained. “But to the average person looking for a dog, that might be a bit too much energy. And the way he greeted people was he would jump out toward our body to say hello.”
During his long stay at the Long Beach location, Melvin was trained and received attention and play.
Taylor said that the dog “didn’t really need behavioral modification… He just needed some basic training.” The combination of a high-energy and highly-intelligent dog meant he needed more attention, which he received.
Nevi-Maguire, who is from California, has had eight pit bulls and really cares for the breed.
“I love them to death and they have such a bad rap,” she told “GMA.” “And it’s unfortunate. They’re such great family dogs.”
When one of her pit bulls passed over the holidays, Nevi-Maguire took some time to grieve before contacting shelters to find a new dog to bring home. When spcaLA told her about Melvin, Nevi-Maguire asked to meet him. It wasn’t long before she decided to adopt Melvin, sight unseen.
The staff seemed surprised. “They were like, ‘Well you haven’t seen him or what he looks like.’ And I’m like, I really don’t care what he looks like. As long as he’s a pit bull, I’ll take him.”
“I think so many people are nervous about pit bulls, no one understands them and since me and my family do, that’s why we go to rescue those dogs as opposed to any other dog,” she said. “They’re the ones that are left there last, so I feel like we’re the ones that need to kind of adopt them and rescue them.”
Nevi-Maguire says that most “negative” behavior in pit bulls (high energy, jumping) is pretty par for the course in any new environment but it’s all easy to correct. It just takes time and good socialization.
“I think so many people get a dog and they assume the very first day it should just melt into your home, know all the rules, and know what you like.
“They’re wonderful and they’re so loving and just so happy to be part of your life. They really want to be part of a family and a pack.”
Melvin, who has been renamed Loki, is sleeping and eating with his siblings. He’s happy to have a new home.