Animal Hero of the Month: Shanna Davis

From saving pitties in shelters to providing pet oxygen masks to fire departments, Shanna Davis is making a difference in Grand Junction, Colorado.


The January 2015 winner of our Animal Hero of the Month award is Shanna Davis of the Grand Valley Pit Crew in Grand Junction, Colorado.

Colorado has been getting a lot of attention since marijuana became legal in the state, but not so many people are talking about the breed bans still in place. Residents of Aurora voted to continue a breed ban on pit bull–type dogs, and several other Colorado cities still have such bans on the books.

With those laws in place, where do the dogs go?

Some of them end up at Grand Valley Pit Crew with Shanna Davis. Davis and her husband run the private rescue and rehabilitation organization focused on working with the dogs to prepare them for adoption and living in a home.

They take in shelter dogs who need training and socialization. Through their efforts the dogs become adoptable family pets and have a better chance to find a home.

The Nomination

Davis’s nomination was sent in by Elizabeth Crawford:

“Shanna and her husband started and run (by themselves) the Grand Valley Pit Crew. They advocate for pit bull breed dogs and work to find good homes for them. This year, Shanna has also been battling cancer…. Throughout all of this, she has done everything in her power to do the best she can for these dogs, despite physical and financial difficulties.”


Here’s what all of our award winners get:

  • A feature article like this one
  • Social media mentions across all of our platforms
  • A permanent spot on our Wall of Heroes
  • Our custom, engraved gold-tone paw print medal with ribbon
  • $50 donation (or cash award) from Petful

About Davis’s Organization

Grand Valley Pit Crew is a private pit bull rescue and rehabilitation organization. They focus on breed education, help dogs with behavioral problems, and promote spay/neuter programs and responsible pet care.

Adoption fees pay for veterinary bills, food and supplies for the dogs, leaving no profit for future dogs. That’s why the rescue relies on donations — not only of money, but also of items for the dogs such as food, blankets, toys and kennels.

Davis presented firefighters with pet oxygen masks.
Davis presented firefighters with pet oxygen masks.

As of this writing, the rescue is full and cannot accept any other dogs. There are several dogs up for adoption.

The rescue holds adoption events at local businesses and participates in other pet-related causes when possible. In February 2013, Davis presented the Lower Valley Fire Department with Wag’N O2 Fur Life Pet Oxygen Mask kits and taught a training session for using the masks. Davis said the fire department is one of the few that carry pet oxygen masks.

Whether it’s saving a dog from a shelter or helping firefighters save pets with oxygen masks, Davis is making a difference in Grand Junction, Colorado, and we hope that continues.

Q&A With Shanna Davis

1. What got you started helping animals?

I’ve always loved animals and taken in my share of stray dogs. I really got started rescuing when my husband rescued a 9-month-old pit pup nearly 12 years ago. I knew nothing about the breed, only the “bad stuff” I had heard. I learned everything I could about pits and was inspired by our Zeus to help other pits in need.

2. What’s your earliest childhood memory that is animal-related?

My earliest memory of animals that comes to mind is when my parents took me to pick out a dachshund puppy. I remember that pretty clearly even though I was only about 4 years old.

3. How old were you when you got your first animal?

I had a spaniel mix when I was born, but I don’t remember her. She died when I was about 2 years old.

4. What is your favorite animal?

Dogs, of course!

5. Tell us about the one animal you will never forget.

That’s a tough one. I’ve had many dogs and numerous horses that touched my soul. I really can’t choose one. I want to remember each one that was special to me.

6. What are the least and highest amounts of pets you have had at one time?

I only had 1 dog and 1 cat when I was younger but have always had more since my husband and I were married. We currently have 9 rescue dogs available for adoption and 10 of our own.

7. If your pets could talk, what would they say?

Probably that we’re nuts!

8. If you could solve one problem facing animals, what would it be?

Overpopulation. Unwanted litters of puppies needs to stop. The number of animals needlessly dying in shelters needs to stop.

9. If you could be reincarnated as any animal, which would you choose and why?

That’s hard, too. I’m not sure that I would want to be reincarnated as an animal until the human race as a whole can respect animals’ lives.

10. If the rainbow bridge exists, which pet would you most like to see waiting for you on the other side?

All of them! I hope to see every one of them, but if only one could meet me I would want to see our beloved pit boy Zeus, whom we just lost at the age of 13 the week before Thanksgiving.

Kristine Lacoste

View posts by Kristine Lacoste
Kristine Lacoste, editor in chief of Petful, is an author, poet and pet lover from Louisiana. She is the author of an award-nominated book, One Unforgettable Journey, and was host of a weekly pet news segment on the National K-9 Academy Radio Show. She was the New Orleans coordinator for Dogs on Deployment, a nonprofit that helps military members and their pets, for 3 years. She is also employed as chief operating officer for a large mental health practice in Louisiana. Kristine has a bachelor’s degree in psychology, a bachelor’s degree in English and a Master of Business Administration degree.

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