Katie Timber and a Pit Bull / by Matt Clysdale

Katie Timber is the Executive Director of the SW Michigan branch of the SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), and a committed advocate for pit bulls, working tirelessly to de-stigmatize the breed and rescue them from neglect and abuse. 

Contrary to public opinion, pit bulls are very calm, loving dogs, and not genetically predisposed to aggression and attacks. Having said that, they're very powerful animals, bred originally for blood-sports in the United Kingdom. They’ve consequently become a highly desired breed for dog fighting in the United States. They’ve also been implicated in a number of fatal attacks on humans, all resulting in a pretty bad rap for pit bulls and even laws banning the breed in some communities. 

Katie and the SPCA have campaigned against breed-specific legislation and worked to shift the concern and responsibility back on the owner and away from the dog. It’s an extremely controversial issue with the pit bull suffering the most in the end. Pit bulls constitute the majority of dogs entering shelters all across the U.S., with nearly 1 million being euthanized every year. Only a tiny percentage ever find a permanent home because people would much rather adopt the yellow lab over the "pitty".

Working to end this trend is Katie Timber.

Coincidentally, I came across a stray pit bull earlier this winter, wandering down my street with a scared look about her. She was extremely emaciated, and the moment I stopped to check on her she rushed to my car with a loving desperation and wildly wagging tail. She was starved for food and love - and terribly appreciative. I took her in for the night before finally delivering her to Katie and the gang at SPCA the next day. They immediately received her with open arms*. 

Katie and her daughter were immediately drawn to “Della”, and following her full recovery at SPCA plan to adopt her. It would actually be Katie’s very first pit bull as a pet, although she’s taken in hundreds through SPCA, and successfully adopted out every single one of them to a new, loving home. 


*Katie had to get approval from Kalamazoo County Animal Control since all strays legally need to be received by the County.