Former Bait Dog Survives Abuse and Now Educates Children on Animal Cruelty

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Gunny, an 8-year-old pit bull mix is a dog bait survivor. In May 2008, Gunny was found on the side of the road with multiple injures, including a mangled leg. His scars, open wounds and harrowing state of malnutrition indicated he was used as a bait dog in illegal dog fights.

Amy Cranmer, occupational therapist for Charlotte-Mecklenburg School system and volunteer at North Mecklenburg Animal Rescue (NMAR) learned about Gunny when a friend emailed her to tell her about the injured dog on death row.

Photo Credit: Amy Cranmer
Photo Credit: Amy Cranmer

Even though NMAR was completely packed and had no funds to cover extensive medical procedures they agreed to welcome Gunny, take him to their vet, and at least offer him mercy instead of five agonizing days at the pound before his inevitable death. However, when veterinarians met Gunny they fell in love with him and refused to put him to sleep. They wanted to give him a chance and help him survive.

A lot was needed to get Gunny on the road to recovery. He needed a leg amputation and throat surgery for crush injuries to his neck. Cranmer agreed to foster Gunny while he recovered and during this process discovered Gunny was destined to be part of her pack.

“When they brought the little guy out to me, I thought ‘Oh wow, they put a big, squishy purple wrap on his wound,'” said Cranmer. “But as he hopped closer – with a great deal of agility and a huge ‘smile’ on his face – I saw that there was no cast. That was his leg.”

With the help of the community and other rescue organizations, enough funds were collected to cover Gunny’s medical treatments.

“Gunny received one letter from a fourth grader, with two one-dollar-bills in the envelope,” said Cranmer. “[The fourth grader] apologized that she had already spent the rest of her birthday money, but wanted to help Gunny with what she had left.”

Today Gunny is a dog ambassador for his breed. He participates in local events spreading awareness on the injustices done to dogs – especially pit bulls.

Gunny and the Magical Pack” is a book Cranmer decided to write after she and Gunny spoke about dog fighting to local children in a Charlotte neighborhood. This event made her realized that people know very little about the cruelty  involved in dog fighting rings.

130726-Gunny2“Some of the kids were like, ‘But that’s what they do in my neighborhood,’ ” said Cranmer. “Literally, when a boy came up to me and said, ‘I didn’t know dogs had feelings,’ that was the start.”

The book has been read in many elementary schools. It inspires children to learn more about what they can do to end dog fighting rings and how they can help abuse and shelter animals.

“After we finished the book and our passionate discussion, students wrote about dog fighting: what it is, why it’s a social issue, and how we as citizens can help,” said Gretchen Schultek, elementary school teacher in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Cranmer and Gunny continuously work educating people on animal abuse and the cruelty of dog fighting rings. Copies of the book have been donated to local schools and libraries in an effort to reach children, who are crucial players for changing animal abuse and neglect happening in our country.

To learn more about Gunny you can read his full story, watch a video, purchase  “Gunny and the Magical Pack,” or follow him on his Facebook page.


23 thoughts on “Former Bait Dog Survives Abuse and Now Educates Children on Animal Cruelty”

  1. If you talk to anyone who knows about dog fighting they will tell you that ‘bait dogs’ are largely a myth. It’s just a soft and fuzzy way of hiding the fact the dog was a formerly unsuccessful fighter.

  2. I’m sorry Sandy but you are sadly mistaken. Bait dogs are not a myth, unsuccessful fighting dogs are killed almost immediately or in the ring during a fight. A dog fighter has no use for dogs trained to fight but are unsuccessful. Bait dogs are docile and usually puppies so they wont fight back or hurt the prized fighting dogs. Please do some of your own research before making statements that make you seem and sound ignorant. As a anti-dog fighting advocate and someone who has personally seen the dismantling of a dog fighting ring, I know first hand that bait dogs are not a myth. Stop spreading ignorance, please and thank you.

    • Yes, Amanda, I fully agree with you. People need to stop running the mouth if they don’t know what they are talking about. A little research and actual reading about the situation will help the diarrhea stop.

  3. Go read some dog-fighting forums and get back to me. It doesn’t matter though, you’ll continue to sugarcoat pitbulls regardless.

    • So, I’m confused Sandy, do you train and fight dogs or are you just one of those people who have never own or known a Pitbull who was raised without the horror of abuse? I have owned and known other family members’ Pitbulls and without sugarcoating it, they were and are sweet and very gentle dogs, who love people who love them. Yes, without the training if they are attacked or beaten they can and will suffer without attacking back. The fighting forums are not somewhere I would want to visit any more than a forum for child abuse and don’t you think they are saying whatever just to justify what horrible things they do? It is the same with any abuser.

      • Those forums are for idiots, don’t believe what they say. Apparently, she is involved in that sort of thing, or she is just another heartless poor excuse for a human being.

    • WOW, you ARE ignorant. Pit-bulls are a very nice breed. They are nothing but loving if they are treated lovingly. All dogs have the potential to be vicious when low-life humans treat them with hate and cruelty.

  4. How come I can go on youtube and find hundreds of videos of pitbulls attacking shih tzu’s, poodles, etc. Yet I can’t find one of a golden retriever doing the same?

    • Because Pitbulls are currently the dog to train to be mean and fight. A few years back it was Dobermans, before that the German Shepard and in a few years it will be a different breed. I’m sure I can look up a lot more videos of men and women attacking babies and small animals and actually just look at the news every single day, but that certainly doesn’t mean that all people are monsters…it is all about how you are raised – animals and people!

        • Are you a retard? Shepherds, Dobermans, and Malinois have all been used to fight, but Pitbiulls most of all because they are so compliant. These dogs have historically been household pets, called “nanny dogs” because they cared for children. One of the heroic dogs in WW1 was a pitbull.

          I don’t know what your deal is, but get educated about these dogs. The reason pits have the reputation they do now is because of dumbass humans who have abused them, trained them to be fighters. and yes, other pits are used as bait dogs, as well as smaller dogs which get snatched up from the street by scumbags, who use them as prey, to beat the pits into submission. Educate yourself about the real aspects of dog fighting and the cruelty that is done to fighting dogs, pits and others, every day. What Michael Vick did was not a myth, dumbass, it was real, and it is still happening every day. Get your head out of your ass.

          • And chihuahuas can be used to fight. In that sense any dog can. I could fight Mike Tyson, but I sure ain’t going to win. The dogs used in fighting are pitbulls, tosas, or west asian mastiff types. You know absolutely nothing about this topic and your posts promote ignorance which could be dangerous. You are a danger. It is statistically impossible for all pitbull attacks on other dogs to be the result of bad ownership. If it were bad ownership how come I don’t read about labs or shepherds or boxers mauling and killing other dogs?

          • And I’m talking about dog on dog aggression, NOT dog on human aggression. So don’t CHANGE THE SUBJECT with the ‘nanny dog’ talk that has nothing to do with dog on dog aggression.

    • I have owned a lot of different breeds, including Pitbulls and know that while some dogs, such as Goldens seem to be more of a passive breed than Pitbulls, it doesn’t mean that Pitbulls are naturally mean. It is all in how they are raised. If a Pitbull is attacked and cornered he will more likely try to defend himself than some other passive breeds, but they are not aggressive unless they are taught to be. They are large, muscular dogs, so they are trained for fighting. My Pitbull slept with my cat and got along very well with my Dachshund. He was very sweet, good with children and smart and is missed.

  5. I have a Pit Mix and she is a very sweet dog. She plays well with my Bull Mastiff. They are 2 1/2 and 1 year old dogs. My sister and friends have raised pure bread Pit Bulls and they are sweet too. It is a myth to think that these dogs or any for that matter are mean. @ Kristy- I fully agree that ANY dog can be vicious if treated with cruelty.
    But to all it is stupid to fight with Sandy, she doesn’t know, and its putting her faith in You Tube, which there in itself is a mistake.

  6. We have been rescuing, rehabbing, fostering, training and finding good forever homes for pits for 25 yrs. And we do it w/o funding. Here in southern WV there is no money for dogs, cats and horses and if that dog has APBT hung around it’s neck then what little funds there ARE dry up. Even the low/no kill shelters can’t be trusted w/ the fate of these animals.
    We have a trucking company…one truck (but she brings in enough money to pay
    the bills usually.) But some months it’s tight and each animal I bring in is another strain on our already drained fiances. But I can’t let them go…..not to what I know is waiting for them. We have 2 rescue geldings that were going to slaughter. Young,
    sweet horses that had nothing wrong w/them except that they couldn’t make money for anyone so they were put up for auction and set to be slaughtered. A 5 yr old gelding and a 7 yr old gelding. Very sweet w/ppl….The day I brought them home I told them they were safe. As long as I’m alive anyway. Horses live into their 30 if they are well cared for. As of right now my kids and I rescued 4 kittens that were abandoned in a old house. 4-10 cats left there for 18 months. After finding out about it I called the shelter who informed me that they couldn’t go into an abandoned house… just was against the rules.
    So I broke in and took them. Only 4 of the kittens were left alive. Skinny, dehydrated and feral as hell. The Fayette Co Animal control will NOW come out and get them but to hell w/that. I’ll care for them myself and be damn sure they get a forever home.
    As I’ve said the problem in southern WV is no money. A damn few of us do what we can….spending household, grocery, and medicine money to keep these animals alive and making sure they have what they need.
    My dream for the 25 years is to open up a kennel. I don’t need a lot of money. Just enough to help on the vet bills and purchase a shipping container to house the more aggressive dogs in….until I can train that behavior out of them. And I’ve had luck rehabbing these dogs. They make great service dogs…..with the training and also great hospital dogs.

    If ppl could just SEE the breed. Not the fighting but just as they are as house dogs, service dogs, they are such wonderful animals.

    But here’s the big problem. How do I get any kind of federal/state/government
    money to help save these dogs. We’ve been doing it for yrs…out of our yards,
    a few kennels, but I can only help 1 or 2 at a time and with the influx of out of
    stater. Mostly Detroit….guns/drugs/prostitution have followed them into this
    sleepy little area. And you know where these things come in dogs and fighting
    comes with it to.

    Everyone in the area knows me and they hide what they do from me. However,
    I’ve recently been told of a fight that will be happening. The place will only be told
    to ppl paying 5k “buy in” I guess you’d call it. I’ve had many pits over the years and yes….have done what I told ppl never to do. I’ve got in the middle of a dog fight to stop it. I’ve been bitten dozens of times over the years but to me it’s nothing. But could I pretend to be one of them SOBs, film it and get out w/o being
    caught. They are doing unpleasant things to ppl who talk. Many locals have went missing and not been found. The police in the Upper Kanawah Valley aren’t real cops if you get my meaning.

    I need to do this. But w/o being an actually “Animal Rescue” myself they don’t’ hand
    these dogs over b/c you have yrs of experience. How do I do this??

    Please someone give me the answers I need. I need to know how to become a “Legitimate Animal Rescue” so these dogs would be turned over to me instead of letting them set at a shelter until they are mass euthanized.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for listening.


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