RIVER ROUGE, Mich. (WJBK) - A dog rescue told by the city of River Rouge was told to pick up and move, potentially putting the lives of dozens of dogs at risk.
Now there's new hope for the pups thanks in part to a popular Animal Planet show "Pit Bulls and Parolees."
The founder of Pit Stop for Change, David McMurtrie, is a former skinhead who did 12 years in prison after committing a series of break-ins and bank robberies. His tattoos are a painful reminder of his past.
When he got out, David decided to get his first pit bull, a dog breed he found to be misunderstood and discriminated against, much like he used to do to others.
"It's the same stereotype that other ethnicities deal with on a daily basis," he said. "Now I'm forced to eat the same nonsense I was feeding people for a decade plus."
David's life changed forever. He and his girlfriend decided to start a certified animal rescue out of their home, calling it Pit Stop for Change, but now the city of River Rouge is shutting it down due to zoning issues.
After FOX 2 reported their need for a new facility, David got a call from the folks behind the hit TV show, “Pit Bulls and Parolees.”
"It's definitely given us some hope," McMurtrie said. "We were running out of hope prior to that."
The organization behind the TV show, the Villalobos Rescue Center, posted the news of the partnership on their Facebook page.
Organizers were touched by McMurtrie's story, and this is the first time the country's largest pit bull shelter, is partnering with a local rescue.
Not only do the people behind this show want to help the animals now, they want this rescue to grow, so more stray animals in Detroit have help.
"They are looking at possibly help us get a vehicle and surplus of food," he said. "We spend about $120 a day on food alone. We have to get into a building so she's going to help us, she said, make things happen."
Now new tattoos on David's arms tell the story of his journey from hate to love.
"They are the only reason I am alive and the only reason I am not in prison," McMurtrie said. "I live, eat and breathe these dogs."