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FROM PUPPIES TO PIONEERS - The Story of Search and Rescue Pits
PitSake ^ | December 24, 2002 | Kristine Crawford

Posted on 12/24/2002 1:08:01 PM PST by Alylonee

From Puppies to Pioneers - The story of search & Rescue Pits

From Kristine Crawford For PitSake

I got Cheyenne when she was 4 months old. A friend of mine worked at the local animal shelter and felt sorry for this emaciated, hairless puppy that had just been brought in. Due to the fact that she was a pit bull, she was going to be put down the next day. My friend brought her home. She couldn't keep her because she already had 5 dogs so she gave her to me.

Even after all the puppy had been through, Cheyenne was a little bundle of joy. I worked in retail at the time so I was able to bring her to work with me. Everyone fell in love with her. We went through obedience, did some agility, and even started doing some schutzhund. But when it came time to do the bite work, she just didn't want to do it.

Then I decided that I didn't want to excel at something where people would see my pit bull biting someone. Cheyenne did really well in the tracking part of her schutzhund training so I decided to train her to be a search dog. Soon after that, Cheyenne went through a false pregnancy. She would take all my stuffed animals and put them in her bed and lay on them. She never went anywhere without her "puppies". She carried them all around the house. Then it came time for her false pregnancy to end . . . and she had no real puppies. She went into a severe depression. She didn't want to get up. Not even to eat.

A neighbor who lived on the ranch down the street told me that they had some friends who were selling pit bull puppies and that I should buy one for Cheyenne. We decided to take Cheyenne over to their house to see how she got along with the puppies. She loved them! However, they were out of my price range. I let her play with them for a little while and then called her so we could leave. I turned around to see where she was and there she was, with a puppy by the neck, getting into the car! I told her no she couldn't have the puppy and I took it back and "buried" it underneath it's 7 brothers and sisters.

Cheyenne ran over to the pile of puppies and batted them all aside until she found that same puppy. She found her and off she went to the car with "her" puppy. I was in tears, the breeder was in tears. The breeder was so moved by what he saw that he let us have the puppy. Cheyenne was delighted with her new puppy, Dakota. Dakota started coming to work with us also and she absolutely adored people. Cheyenne and Dakota became inseparable. I decided to train Dakota to be a search dog as well.

Dakota liked to run so I trained her to be an Air Scent Dog while Cheyenne is a little more methodical, so I trained her to be a Trailing Dog. After months of training, we were ready to join an organization. We went to our first meeting. The building didn't allow dogs, so Cheyenne and Dakota had to stay in the car. Then came my turn to introduce us. "My name is Kris and I have an American Staffordshire Terrier and an American Pit Bull Terrier."

Everyone gasped. One woman yelled, "We don't allow pit bulls!" Everyone in the room started talking. I told them that I was honestly surprised to get this type of reaction from an organization that is run by "dog people" who should know that a dog's behavior is based on how it is raised, not by what type of breed it is. The board called the session to order and they would vote on whether we should be allowed to join. We got in by one vote. The following week we went to our first workout, nobody would hide for us. "The pit bull might attack me when she finds me!" Very few people would even talk to me. After a couple weeks of this, I realized I would have to do it on my own. I also realized that we would have to be 10 times better than everyone else to be considered an equal.

I found some people who would work with us. We trained every day. Cheyenne and Dakota loved the work. They would go get me their vests every chance they could. In the meantime, we kept showing up to the workouts. After about 10 months, I found someone at one of the workouts to hide for us. Everyone wanted to watch. I deployed Dakota. They stood there silently as they watched Dakota search for the scent, locate the subject, come back and tell me she had found the subject, and then take me to the subject. "Dang, she's good!" I heard someone say.

One of the evaluators even let Cheyenne and Dakota play with her dog! From that point on we were accepted.

That year was a slow season for search call outs. I tried to think of what else I could do with Cheyenne and Dakota in the meantime. Then I heard about Animal-Assisted Therapy. Cheyenne and Dakota absolutely loved people so this would be perfect for them. I called the informational number on the brochure. The woman who answered told me all about their organization. She was very pleasant.

Then she asked what kind of dogs I had. I told her Pit Bulls. She said, "I'm sorry, but our discussion is over." She hung up. Now I was even more determined to get in! I waited a couple weeks and called again. Once again she started out telling me all about the organization. Then she asked what kind of dogs I had. "Terriers that do search and rescue." She was delighted. She invited me to the handler orientation and the classes that teach you how to deal with different types of patients. Dogs were not allowed at these classes so she still hadn't seen my girls.

A couple of months later she said to go ahead and bring my dogs to the rehab center at 9:00am to be evaluated with the patients. We arrived early and at 9:00, we proudly walked in the front door of the rehab center. She was waiting for us in the lobby. She looked at us and screamed, "You're that pit bull lady! Get those dogs out of here!" Just then a child that was sitting in the lobby ran up to Cheyenne and started petting her.

Then a man in a wheelchair came by and asked if he could pet the dogs. The therapist who just arrived, didn't hear that the Evaluator had just kicked us out of the building. She said, "Oh, you guys must be the new therapy dogs . . . let's get started." The Evaluator looked at me and sternly said, "You've got one floor."

Everyone was so happy to see my girls. We were having so much fun we ended up doing all three floors! As we walked out the door, the Evaluator looked at me and said, "You know, I learned something today. I guess pit bulls aren't all bad. Here is a list of hospitals, rehab centers and convalescent homes that could sure use your help. Good job."

A lot of people ask me why I do Animal-Assisted Therapy and Search and Rescue with my dogs. I tell them that I used to do all sorts of things with my dogs; i.e. obedience, agility, etc. When they did a good job, they got a blue ribbon. Now when my dogs do a good job, they save someone's life.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Hobbies; Outdoors; Pets/Animals; Society
KEYWORDS: american; dog; pitbull; rescue; search; staffordshire; terrier; therapy

1 posted on 12/24/2002 1:08:01 PM PST by Alylonee
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To: Alylonee
Similar event happened to my grandmother about 100 years ago "in the hills of Missouri", except the dog was a part wolf. It knocked her off a log she was walking on across a creek and took the strike from a water moccasin meant for her. Her daddy sucked the poison out of the animal's jaw.

Later when they moved to Kansas City, the animal control people came out and shot it - said it was a wild animal. She still cried over her pet until the day she died, some 70-odd years later.

Her maiden name was Myrtle Josephine Harris.
2 posted on 12/25/2002 3:11:12 AM PST by JudyB1938
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To: JudyB1938
That's terrible. I would cry too, your pets become your family. My Dog is terribly loyal also. He is a Pit Bull and some people believe he's automatically dangerous and that the breed doesn't have a right to exist. From my personal experience, Pit Bulls, Wolfs, German Shepherds, Dobies, and Rotties, are all the same basic type of dog. If treated badly, they can be dangerous. If trained and loved and not abused, 99% of them make great family pets, and even better best friends! My Mom had a Wolf-German Shepherd when she was younger. He was very smart and protective of her. Best dog she ever had.
3 posted on 12/26/2002 8:30:24 AM PST by Alylonee
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To: Alylonee
One of my daughters just bought a high-powered German Shepherd pup - the pick of the litter. It's the grandson of a world champion and is from a policeman who breeds dogs for professionals. That SIX WEEK OLD pup is already exhibiting outstanding behaviors. My daughter is so pleased. One example - it's already house broken. Runs to the door when it needs to go out. Can you believe it?!!

Another thing ... don't get into a "staring contest" with him. He refuses to look away. Extremely dominant. She's using the pack mentality way of training him, teaching him SHE is the alpha in that house. (grin) She's having a ball! And she is the one in my own "litter" of kids who never really cared for animals.

She named it NIXON. Yes, after President Nixon. She's ornery in that way. Extremely conservative and delights in doing whatever she can to flaunt it in a liberal's face. LOL

It's fun swapping stories with you. I love animals! And I appreciate your experience with a Pit, because I've never trusted them. It's good to know they are not always the bad guys around. I sure had fun at the website. I spent "forever" there.

The dog I am terrified of, however, is a Chow. Hate Chows.
4 posted on 12/26/2002 12:42:02 PM PST by JudyB1938
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To: JudyB1938
I LOVE German Shepherds! My family had two of them while I was growing up. They are so smart, but it's amazing that the puppy is already going outside. That's unbelievable! To tell you the truth, German Shepherds are more agressive towards strange people generally speaking as apposed to Pit Bulls. It's a common misconseption, Pit's are big clowns! I hate to refer you to this web sight because it would break your heart, but it was the thread that I posted a couple of days ago on why Pit Bulls "snap." Prepare to cry if you read it. Our German Shepherds were so loyal and sweet. One of them had hip displacia and only lived until 4. That was really hard, he was such an amazing dog. The other one is 12 now. He has such a big heart, we went hiking this last summer and made the mistake of taking him on a 2 mile hike with us. He ran the entire time, and showed no signs of being in pain. The next day he was so sore he couldn't even lift his leg on a tree :( But the thing I admire the most about him is that he would still force himself to get up and follow my Mom everywhere. She had to tie him up because he would continue to follow her even though he was in pain and could hardly move! I don't think he realizes that he is old!
I am getting a blue-nose pit bull puppy this next month to keep my dog company. I am going to train him in Search and Rescue also.
So, why are you afraid of Chows? I don't think I have ever met any of them.
5 posted on 12/26/2002 1:43:04 PM PST by Alylonee
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To: Alylonee
My daughter is training the puppy in that regard, too - aggressiveness towards children, in particular. Her neighbor kids come over all the time, and they are delighted with the new puppy. She'll put in the basic training; then when it gets the right age, she plans to have it go through professional training.

My mother had a shepherd given to her when my oldest 3 kids were babies/toddlers. The reason the person got rid of it is because it would bite kids and chase cattle. My kids would wallow all over that dog. The youngest even teethed on its ears! LOL That dog NEVER ever so much as GROWLED at them. I can't imagine now why I trusted that dog so much, especially since it was one of those "sneak attack" dogs. It'd waylay people coming up the driveway and take a hunk out of their legs! Strange to think of that. No lawsuits back in those days over stuff like that. People just had an automatic acceptance that if you went on somebody's property, you could get bit.

The new puppy you are going to get sounds really neat. You'll have to send keep us updated on that. Should be fun.

I don't know why I am so afraid of Chows. I've given it a lot of thought. The only thing I can come up with is the one in my pre-school childhood who used to always try to get at me through the fence when I'd walk by. I guess it must have traumatized me.
6 posted on 12/26/2002 10:26:49 PM PST by JudyB1938
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To: JudyB1938
German Shepherd’s are so smart. Pit Bulls remind me a lot of them, Pit’s can be a little more stubborn and clownish, but besides that, they are both really loyal, intelligent dogs. Your daughter will have a lot of fun with him.

In this day and age, a robber can sue you if he breaks into your house and your dog bights him. Ridiculous!!!

If your daughter spends a lot of time with her dog (which it sounds like she is), he’ll be the sweetest dog. As trustworthy as any other member of the family (sometimes even more in some cases)!!! It's funny how they can really tell the difference between adults and children. Often times they just know to be gentler with kids. That's surprising to me, because a lot of times kids are terrible to animals!
7 posted on 12/27/2002 9:08:46 AM PST by Alylonee
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None of the information in this story about Kristine Crawford is true. If you want to verify any of the search information, contact the California Rescue Dog Association, Just check CARDA's certified SAR dogs, and yes, Dakota and Tahoe are listed; Cheyenne never did search and rescue. NEVER certified. NEVER tested. NEVER searched. Go on. Check it out.

If you want to check out the story about how Dakota was saved, run a few search engines. Crawford has claimed that Dakota was variously saved from a dog fighting ring where she was used as a bait dog; saved from a litter of puppies scheduled to be euthanized and; this story; this story with the variation that the neighbor was later arrested and jailed for dog fighting.

Same thing with her dog Tahoe. Heard how Ms. Crawford rescued Tahoe from a dumpster? How Tahoe was abused and abandoned in a Dumpster on Christmas? How Tahoe was found by a homeless woman and her daughter who were searching for cans. How Kristine rescued the dog, and paid for all of her extraordinary vet bills, and how this dog is now saving lives herself. This story was even featured in the 2001 C.H.A.M.P. conference: Except that it's not real either. None of it.

How about going to Gaff Kennels,, and asking the breeder herself. Kristine Crawford bought Tahoe on Christmas Eve, 2000, for the amount of $350.00, posed for pictures with the breeder's children in front of the tree and the new puppy.

Kristine Crawford is a huge fraud, and before anyone any where donates money, gear, or other donations to her purported non-profit, go run search engines. Check out the federal IRS charity search engine; as of today, For Pits Sake does not come up. Then go to the Internet Archive Wayback Machine, and look up For Pits Sake archives*/; they've been purportedly waiting on their non-profit - and still taking donations - for at least the past four years. News paper online searches show articles purporting Ms. Crawford to be a non-profit since 1997 and in others, since 1998.

Check it all out. Check out more. Run lots of engines and compare them all. And don't be surprised if you receive Hotmail or Yahoo! free account emails supporting Ms. Crawford and all she does. Especially from accounts from Daryl Riva (,, T. Eric Sheets, III (, Pat Grant (, Fran Troutman ( or Thomas Faraghan ( Those are all known Kristine R. Crawford alias email accounts.

Caveat emptor, all potential donors.

8 posted on 02/10/2005 4:34:17 PM PST by KrisCrawfordIsABigFatLiar
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To: KrisCrawfordIsABigFatLiar

This morning, February 17, 2006, at 1100 hrs in San Diego Superior Court, Judge A. Preckel, Ramona, San Diego County, California, the case "Kelly Falconer versus Kristine Rae Crawford", civil court case #SR008487, was heard in open court.

Kris Crawford did NOT show, however, she did contact the court telephonically, stating she had never heard of this case, that she'd only learned of the case the day before after a friend found it on the Internet. She requested a continuance, stating she had not been properly served.

The court denied her request, stating that proof of service was shown, and proof of substituted service was accepted at her Los Gatos mail box. In file were also past attempts, sucessful mail services, and process services billings, receipts, and notes, as well as her California corporate record of address, and her current criminal court case information, including her home address as the address properly served.

Service was accepted, and the proceedings continued.

Allegations against Ms. Crawford are, as verbatim:

Why does the Defendant owe the Plaintiff money?

"Actual damages, pain and suffering, penalties for fraud, theft by deception, computer/website intrusion (California 502PC), and willfully damaged/erased content, as well as actual damages/financial loss for services rendered and received after fraudulently claiming cancer (housing, money, care, board, vet svcs), slander, harrassment, libel".

The judge heard, reviewed material in file, as well as accepted additional material, including documentation from Palomar Hospital admissions department from November 23, 2004; Kris's own handwritten statements authorizing care, training, and possession of her dogs; phone records; proof of service; and proof of damages.

Finding: SUSTAINED. Actual damages were calculated to be between $15,535.76 to $17,214.24.

AWARDED: California state civil/small claims court maximum, $5000.00, plus $92.00 in court costs.

JUDGMENT: $5,092.00 to Plaintiff Kelly Falconer, AGAINST Defendent Kristine Rae Crawford.

Kristine is also facing criminal charges in an unrelated case.

Criminal court case, "People versus Crawford, Kristine", San Mateo County, court case number SM341062A, for two counts of criminal embezzlement (Count 01, California penal code 508/487(a), PC 17, and Count 02, CA PC 508) are still slated for jury trial. Next criminal court hearing date is March 02, 2006, 9:00AM, Department AR. Jury trial is set for April 03, 2006, at 9:00AM, Department JT.

Case name: Kristine R. Crawford
Case number: SM341062A


001 PC 508/487(A)
01 PC 17
002 PC 508

Violation date: 09/28/2004

PC 508 - 508. Every clerk, agent, or servant of any person who fraudulently appropriates to his own use, or secretes with a fraudulent intent to appropriate to his own use, any property of another which has come into his control or care by virtue of his employment as such clerk, agent, or servant, is guilty of embezzlement.

Two counts of embezzlement: one for the theft of a Fender Passport amplifier and speaker system, and the second charge is defined below.

PC 487(a) - 1997. 487a. (a) Every person who shall feloniously steal, take, transport or carry the carcass of any bovine, caprine, equine, ovine, or suine animal or of any mule, jack or jenny, which is the personal property of another, or who shall fraudulently appropriate such property which has been entrusted to him, is guilty of grand theft.

The charge in this case is for the theft of a human teaching skeleton, stolen from the Biology Department of Menlo College.

PC 17 - Codifier for felony/misdeameanor.

On January, 2005, Kristine R. Crawford was picked up, detained, and questioned by Atherton Police Department at her place of employment*.

*NOTE: In December, 2004, Kristine sent out a newsletter on behalf of her For Pits Sake organization stating that she was unemployable, and out of work, due to a hand injury. That is, and was not true. She was at her normal course and place of employment during the week of January 21, 2005, when she was detained by police in regard to thefts reported by Menlo College on/or during September, 28, 2004.

After being questioned, she was escorted to her residence, where she ultimately turned the stolen items over to police.

In August, 2005, she was arrested, charged with two counts of embezzlement, and continues to face those criminal accusations today. She has listed a false address, ie, a fictitious apartment, as her home address, and has given a third differing date of birth. No one really seems to know exactly WHO Kristine Rae Crawford really is...including Kristine.

Criminal case docket information is publicly available. For copies of criminal files and related court records:

San Mateo County Courts
Superior Court Southern Branch
400 County Center, 4th Floor
Redwood City

Lastly, Kristine resigned from one of her SAR teams after an Internal Affairs investigation began, and has since suspended from others until the resolution of her criminal arrest and complaint. If you are donating money to support her SAR efforts, you should be aware that your money is going directly into her own pocket - and most likely, always has.

Kristine Rae Crawford, Kristine Crawford, Kris Crawford, For Pits Sake, For Pitts Sake, forpitssake, Tahoe, Dakota, Cheyenne, SAR Pits, sarpits

9 posted on 02/17/2006 10:24:43 PM PST by Sarlady
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