Chicagoland Bully Breed Rescue… more than just dogs

Before I start with today’s post, I’d like to acknowledge the awful, hateful shooting of the Tree of Life Synagogue. On Saturday, a man walked into the place of worship and opened fire killing 11 people. My heart goes out to the families of those who lost their lives. “Look at how a single candle can both defy and define the darkness.” – Anne Frank

You guyssssss. Yesterday I had the best time hanging out with eight St. Bernard puppies. And yes, of course,they were rescues. I’m still pretending I’m laying in that fluffy puppy pile, smelling puppy breath on my face. I can’t wait to share those images with you! Until then, something equally as new and fun? I worked with a new rescue… and species. Today, I present to you rescue horses. I know, things are getting really crazy up in here.

Chicagoland Bully Breed Rescue (CBBR) has been around for more than 25 years. Carolyn Giannopoulos started the organization in order to provide help for dogs that were most at-risk, the bully breeds. When she tells you about CBBR, Carolyn laughs about how the rescue world used to be. She was one of the first organization to focus solely on the pit bull type dogs that you so often see in shelter. Back when she started, she would slip staff a $20 bill to let her sneak the bully breeds out the backyard.

You see, back when she started CBBR, pit bulls often wouldn’t be adopted out, let alone given a chance. The perception of the breed was so awful that people wouldn’t want to let CBBR and their dogs come do adoption events. Luckily, we’ve come a long way from there. While we still have so far to go (oh hey, breed specific legislation) we’ve made a lot of progress for these beautiful pups. Now, Chicago has quite a few rescues devoted to helping pit bull type dogs. You have Peace for Pits, Players for Pits, It’s a Pittie, and many others. So what does CBBR do? Finds a new species to rescue.

When Carolyn’s mom was very sick, she told her board not to take in any more dogs. So when she got a call from Stefanie, a CBBR volunteer, saying she rescued a horse instead, she couldn’t help but laugh. Sparky was the first horse rescued by CBBR about four years ago. Since then, they’ve rescued nine horses, all with a horribly sad story.

Why do horses need rescue? That’s a whole other post (stay tuned next week) but in summary, when someone has no more use for their horse, they can send them to auction. The highest bidder gets the horse, and (this isn’t pretty) usually the bidders are in the horse meat industry. Again, another post for another day, but, in summary, yes, there are thousands of horses that need rescue.

I so enjoyed my day with these beautiful horses and this rescue. Why do I love CBBR? Because they don’t care what everyone else thinks or says. They never have, and if I were to bet on it, they never will. When people said, “don’t rescue pit bull type dogs,” they didn’t listen. So why wouldn’t they try to save a species so in need of help now? Sure, it’s not easy, horses are pretty damn expensive to care for. But that doesn’t stop CBBR from working hard to save an animal in need.

If you’d like to support their horse rescue efforts you can do so via PayPal ( or by clicking here.


Quinn – This beautiful grey horse was rescued off a kill lot (meaning he was being auctioned off for meat) when Stefanie saw him and stepped in to save him. He was since diagnosed with HYPP, a disease in which he cannot process potassium. This may not sound serious, but horse diets are generally full of potassium and this poor boy has seizures if he has too much of it. Because of this, he will remain with Stefanie and CBBR forever.

Achilles – This was Sarah Lauch’s favorite horse of the day. It’s easy to see why. Not only is he beautiful, this boy was so gentle and sweet. He is Stefanie’s horse and not available for adoption (sad for Sarah) but stay tuned for next week with horses that need homes!


A HUGE thank you to The Dress Reserve for lending me this beautiful gown. I knew I wanted to do something dramatic with these horses and so a white gown was the answer. The Dress Reserve is a local dress rental in Chicago. The best part about this rental service is that you don’t pay an additional styling fee! It is part of your rental price. For all the details, click here. You can also find all her dresses over on Poshmark.



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1 thought on “Chicagoland Bully Breed Rescue… more than just dogs”

  1. These photos are STUNNING!! Both you and the horses look beautiful, I love the moody shots! CBBR sounds like an incredible organization – I love that they will truly help any animal!!

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