If you have a pit bull, you’ve experienced it before: people who will cross the street in fear to avoid your dog, while others silently judge you with their eyes for keeping such a “dangerous” creature and being such a menace to society. Mostly, people’s reactions are upsetting, but harmless. But sometimes, these misconceptions have tragic results.

Nobody knows this better than a pit bull named Fifty, and it nearly cost him his life.

Fifty was shot by people who saw him rooting around in their garbage and thought he was dangerous because he is a pit bull. As a result, Fifty lost two of his legs.

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His owners at the time didn’t have the money to take care of him, so he was sent to a shelter in Chicago. It was a high-kill shelter. Doberman Rescue Plus learned of his story and took him in for a while, sparing him from being put down.

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After a little while in foster homes, Kelly Michael adopted Fifty for good! And that’s when he really started to show what a good doggie he really is. Kelly had already owned a pit bull and knew she loved the breed.

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The two bonded immediately. Because of his disability, Fifty gets regular physical therapy and care.

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And he has his own prosthetic leg to help him get around more easily.

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He’s really just a big softy who loves giving kisses.

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“As soon as I met him, it felt right and I knew he was my soulmate,” Kelly said.

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Fifty loves people and is extremely gentle, so he and Kelly work to educate the community about the breed. And people love Fifty everywhere he goes!

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Kelly says that Fifty has taught her to “always fight for the ones you love.” And she’s not going to stop until everyone loves him  – and pit bulls – as much as she does.

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I’m pretty convinced when I see that smile!

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What a special dog.

Fifty really is a testament to the indomitable spirit of dogs, and of his breed in particular. Just look at his cheery smile!

Share Fifty’s story with other, and help him fight the stigma about his loving breed.