Behind the Brand:
Lucca’s story begins like most, with a little bit of hard reality. My name is Melissa Seling and together Lucca and I would start a revolution. In 2002 I was at a shelter in Wicomico County, MD where I found the fattest, sweetest chocolate puppy with sparkling green eyes. It was love at first sight. A perfect match, both lost and just looking for comfort in each other’s arms and paws. I quickly filled out the adoption application and waited patiently for the approval to bring Lucca home.
After 48 hours the application had been approved, but my sweet little Lucca was no longer available for adoption. I was heartbroken.
I was informed that Lucca was euthanized due to the breed’s bad reputation and the attraction these dogs have on undesirable individuals, *many* shelters across the nation, including this Wicomico County, MD shelter have a “non-adoption” policy on Pit Bull type dogs and will not put them up for adoption at all. The shelter manager could not, by policy, adopt her to me and therefore made the fateful decision.
That day I began learning about Breed Specific Legislation. “Although intended to improve community safety and comfort, ultimately these laws can cause hardship to responsible guardians of properly supervised, friendly, well-socialized dogs. In some localities, the list of banned breeds includes not just American Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, Bull Terriers and Rottweilers, but also a variety of other breeds, including American Bull Dogs, Mastiffs, Dalmatians, Chow Chows, German Shepherd Dogs, Doberman Pinschers and any mix of these breeds. Although guardians of these dogs may have done nothing to endanger the public, they nevertheless may be required to choose between compliance with onerous regulations or forfeiture of their beloved companions, and may even be required to forfeit their companions outright. In Prince George’s County, Maryland, where Pit Bull Terriers are banned, the Animal Management Division reports that 80 percent of the approximately 500 to 600 animals seized and killed by animal control every year under the ban are “nice, family dogs” (Taylor, 2009).” (ASPCA.org)
After reading all of the unrest surrounding this breed and the legislation put in place to attempt to protect communities, I found that the basis of this legislation would be best related to us humans as, racial profiling. It was time to make a change, bring awareness to our communities and introduce some positivity around this breed. My journey began and Lucca became the voice of this campaign. Sweet little Lucca who never had a chance to speak, now is the voice to promote positivity for pit bulls everywhere.
My name is Melissa and I grew up in Baltimore, MD. I have had dogs all my life but never really had involvement with pit bulls in the past mainly dobermans, german shepherds and other big dogs so this I was familiar with the intimidation of people that were not familiar with big “working” dogs as I had referred to them but never to the degree that pit bulls were being targeted. I began reading up on the BSL and I found myself very sad for this breed and the humans who owned and loved these dogs but had to surrender them due to these laws. I wanted to spend time with these dogs to better understand why this was happening and how I could help. After a lot of research, 3 Pit Bulls that stole my heart and several years with the DE SPCA the Love, Lucca brand was created.
About The Campaign:
Lucca inspired me to learn more, to meet this breed that was given such a harsh sentence. To own one and love one as part of my family. So for the next few years I lived my life with no other intention but to discover Lucca’s messages.
My Journey with Lucca, her first message:
“If you need to be needed and loved unconditionally, go meet a pit bull, and you will have years of laughter, support and an unfailing dedication to live life.”
I adopted Kai, a 12 week old blue brindle and white Pit Bull. He became my shot gun rider. He taught me so much and quickly became a model citizen. He loves with his whole heart and takes no time for judgment. He has not met a human who doesn’t think he is the coolest dog on the planet and when people ask me what kind of dog he is I make sure they have received one of his wet nose kisses before I tell them he is a Pit Bull. Oh the hearts we have changed!
Her next Message:
“Take Kai and teach the community how to love our big heads and bigger than life personalities and tell them how BSL punishes the innocent.”
Kai and I began our journey spreading the word about BSL and how dogs like Kai and Lucca could never find homes in many shelters due to the policies created from the backlash of legislation and that this legislation could eventually allow someone to come into your home and take away your four legged friend for no other reason than because he/she “resembles” a Pit Bull. We found that our community started finding ways to adopt these dogs and challenge the BSL laws, Lucca’s message was spreading.
Her next Message:
“Find the champions and give voice to the love they possess and how it is unconditional and unwavering no matter the challenge.”
I started working with the DESPCA and found similar policies enacted in those shelters as well, but giving the Pit Bulls until 6 months of age to find their homes. So it was my mission to find these young pits homes and keep the old ones out of the shelters. I started finding Lucca’s heroes. Diesel was almost a year old and had not been given the best start to life. I had a friend that was suffering greatly from PTSD and introduced him to Diesel. My friend adopted Diesel and found that this dog had inspired him to begin living again. They both began a journey of healing together and that day “Lucca’s Heroes” began.
Her next Message:
“Start everyday with a wet nose to kiss, big jowls to squeeze, a chunky body to hug and a wagging tail to follow and you will know the love, strength & resilience that these bulls possess.”
I found with each day I woke up to my wet kiss, jowl squeeze, chunky hug and wagging tail that I was lucky. Lucca gave me three amazing heroes that stood by me through the good, the bad and the ugly. Kai, Mak and Ran inspired me through their strength, resiliency and unconditional love. Lucca may not have had a conventional journey with me but her messages gave me some of the greatest years of my life and will continue on for generations to come.
Her final Message:
“Just go out and meet a pit bull and your heart will be forever changed.”
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