Update: Happy Ending For Hero Dog

Photo: MirasWonderland/ Getty Images.
Update: 6:00 p.m. The story of Precious the pit bull is finishing on a happy note. Local news reports say that Precious and her puppy have found a new forever home with their owner’s sister, Megan Sanchez, in nearby Montgomery County. Their new person won’t separate Precious from her beloved family, either. Sanchez told NBC Washington that she’ll make sure that the family can visit any time they like.

This story was originally published at 1:00 p.m.
A loyal dog might find herself separated from the family she helped rescue, thanks to a Maryland county law that bans pit bulls from living within its limits.

According to NBC Washington, a fire broke out at a home in Landover Hills, MD, early on Wednesday morning. When firefighters responded to the call, they found two people — a woman and her father — in the home, along with several pets. One of them was the family’s pit bull, Precious, who didn’t know who the firefighters were but knew something was wrong. She stood guard over her owner and refused to let firefighters get near her until they used a fire extinguisher to startle the dog away. When firefighters got the woman to safety, Precious sat over her injured owner, protecting her while she lay on the grass.

But Precious’ loyalty isn't being rewarded. The county that Landover Hills sits in has what is known as a Breed-specific law, which ban pit bulls on the dubious grounds that they are violent or aggressive. Precious and her puppy, Molly, are now in an animal shelter, forbidden from returning to the family that loves them. The shelter is trying to find a new home for them outside the county.

Breed-specific laws have been denounced by organizations as varied as the American Veterinary Medicine Association and the White House. The ASPCA says that laws that ban residents from owning certain breeds “virtually ensur[es] destruction of otherwise adoptable dogs by shelters and humane societies.” The bans are frequently aimed at pit bulls for their undeserved reputation as aggressive canines.

Some states are banning laws that discriminate against specific breeds, but change is slow. Around the country, many municipalities still ban pit bulls, such as Precious.

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