07/30/2014 10:31 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

What Does Maryland Have Against My Dog 'Pork Chop'?

My dog, Pork Chop, began his life at the pound in Prince George's County, Maryland. He and his sister found themselves there when they were only two weeks old. However, they are lucky because they made it out alive; many other "Pit Bulls" there do not, because PG County has Breed-Specific Legislation (BSL) in place making his very presence there illegal based solely on his appearance. I don't get upset when I think about how he must have ended up there, I am just thankful nothing bad happened to him and that he's now mine. He was saved by the Humane Society of Calvert County (HSCC), whom I adopted him from in January 2013. He started out known as Tiny Tim at the shelter (it was Christmastime), HSCC called him Peas (his sister was Carrots), but I landed on the name Pork Chop because he reminded me of the dog from the cartoon Doug and because he was so chubby and grunted like a pig.


Pork Chop is still just as goofy as when he was a young puppy, there is nothing he loves more than his sister, Opal but he is also independent and will spend hours outside exploring all the interesting things he finds in my backyard; he has a special interest in turtles and snakes (much to my dismay!). However, he also loves people and when I am laying on the couch, he loves to crawl up and lay on top of me (unaware that he weighs 75 pounds!).

Almost anyone that meets this sweet dog is baffled to think that he could be illegal anywhere, as he is the sweetest, goofiest dog, there is nothing aggressive about him at all. I say almost anyone because I have dealt with my share of negative comments about him; an older gentleman practically stalked us at Petco when we were there for our weekly puppy classes, telling me what a menace dogs like him were. However, 99 percent of the comments I receive are positive, people fall in love with him when they meet him.


I have had numerous offers when we are out in public to buy him and I always make sure to let people know he was adopted and there are countless wonderful dogs like him that need good homes. Probably the most unsettling thing that was ever said came from a boy that was no more than 12 years old; he asked me what bloodline Pork Chop came from. It was a reminder that dog fighting is still a very real and terrible problem and the cause of the negative stereotypes Pit Bull-like dogs face.

When I am able, I foster dogs for the St. Mary's Animal Welfare League and after two hound-mix puppies I was especially attached to were adopted, I knew I wanted a puppy. However, because I live in Maryland and owned my own home, I knew that I had to adopt a Pit Bull because of the discrimination they face from landlords. In fact, our town recently made international news because a guy killed an innocent Pit Bull that was walking through his yard, posed for a picture with the dead dog and posted it on Facebook. Our state has told people that the lives of Pit Bulls are somehow less important and they have set the tone that it is almost okay for sick people to abuse and kills these dogs. Maryland has made a little progress in this area, for which am I grateful, but there is still a long way to go and I also proud to have a wonderful dog to help fight these stereotypes.