Adopted Dog Finds Fame and Affects Change
If there’s one dog who can lick breed discrimination, it’s Wilbur.
Shannon + Wilbur
My story starts with a dog patiently waiting for a home at Minneapolis Animal Care and Control. When the staff brought this dog into the meet and greet room—with him oinking and grunting all the while—I knew that he was not going to be a foster, but a foster failure.
Wilbur stole my heart in July 2012. Little did I know, he would also steal the hearts of thousands across the country. Wilbur opened my eyes to the discrimination that pit bull type dogs face, which led me to become the Executive Director of MyPitBullisFamily.org. The organization is beyond amazing, and it’s all because of him and the love he shows to our family and to the community.
Wilbur has traveled around the country to break stereotypes of pit bull type dogs and to “lick discrimination” for all dogs whose breed subjects them to misconceptions. Wilbur is a Canine Good Citizen who is preparing for his Therapy Dog certification test so he can continue to share his love with others who need it.
Wilbur has participated in so many events where he’s been the star. This past Summer we walked in the Twin Cities Pride Parade to show how great these dogs really are. Every time he saw someone with a camera, he would sit down and smile at them. I think he believes he’s a movie star—and well, he is famous. We were both featured in the Pinups for Pitbulls calendar in 2017 as Mr. and Miss April. Wilbur gets noticed everywhere we go. “Oh, is that Wilbur? Sorry, what was your name again?”
Most recently, Wilbur helped me start a program with the Minneapolis Police Department to train new recruits on canine interactions in the field. Because of him, we are able to create change. We host monthly pack walks across the Twin Cities to bring people and their dogs together. Wilbur is always there with me. I manage the largest housing database that accepts all types of dogs, because Wilbur and I found ourselves homeless when a rental fell through. Thankfully, we have this database and we were able to find a place to live a few days after.
Wilbur and I recently added to our family. We adopted Charlotte from Minneapolis Animal Care and Control. She is now completing her basic obedience training and will then work toward her Canine Good Citizen certification. She also attends events with Wilbur and me.
I’m a case manager who works all day with individuals who are homeless and have high barriers to housing. Coming home to my Charlotte’s Web pack at the end of the day takes all the stress away and keeps me fighting to make sure everyone and every dog has a place to call home.
Each year, the Petco Foundation invites adopters to share the story of how their adopted pet changed their lives during the annual Holiday Wishes campaign, giving the organization that they adopted from a chance to receive a grant award. This story by Shannon Glenn won Minneapolis Animal Care and Control a 2017 Holiday Wishes award.