Sugarbear, a white pit bull, learned quickly in life how to survive. Barely out of puppyhood herself, she began a life as a puppy producer, litter after litter. But that wasn’t all. Her owners took her out on the streets, where Sugarbear was forced to fight other dogs. Her large size, quick wits, and strong sense of survival kept her alive.

One night in 2000, the police received a call that a dog was being used to fight. Officers arrived to find drugs, weapons, and a host of illegal activity – but no dog. Then an officer glanced through a back window and saw a young man running down the alley with a large white pit bull. Police arrested the man, and animal control officers took Sugarbear to an inner-city pound.

Sugarbear – a three-year-old puppy factory and street fighter – now became evidence in a court case. After the case was completed, Sugarbear was scheduled to be euthanized, the standard procedure with dogs who had been forced to fight. But things were about to turn around for this big, beautiful pit bull.

As Sugarbear awaited her fate – the end of her life – Dave and Gale fell in love with her sweet ways while they cared for her during the trial. Dave and Gale petitioned to keep their “big love bug,” and Sugarbear became the first fighting dog ever to be rescued from certain euthanization from a St. Louis pound.

When she first arrived at Gale’s and Dave’s house, Sugarbear got a bath to clean the kerosene from her fur. Once she was released to them, her rescuers had her treated for heartworms and spayed. They lovingly fed her breakfast in the mornings, took her on car rides, and gave her treats at night. Sugarbear did her part too, learning to play nice with other dogs and even rescuing Gale from a dangerous confrontation by two strangers during an outing.

When Sugarbear first moved to Dave and Gale’s property, she loved chasing feral cats up trees. But over the years, she’s made her peace with the feline species and now just gives the cats a look and a smile as they stroll by. Today 14-year-old Sugarbear soaks up the sunshine, surrounded by her toys. Geriatric health problems are slowing her down. But recently Sugarbear moved into the cottage next to Rico’s, and the antics of this boisterous youngster have helped Sugarbear perk up.

Sugarbear, such a sweetheart, has a rich heritage of being the first fighting pit bull ever rescued from certain death in a St. Louis pound. Her will to live and her sweet nature helped lead to the rescue of hundreds – if not thousands – of dogs of her breed.