Bill Rancic Defends His Wife Giuliana After Fashion Police Controversy: 'I Tried to Get Them to Release the Footage' 42 years, 2,191 covers and 55,436 stories from PEOPLE magazine's history for you to enjoy
- 5 Things to Know About UFC Champ Ronda Rousey
- Read the Cover Story: Ryan Reynolds: Sexiest Dad Alive
- Ashley Graham Makes History as the First Size-16 Body Activist to Cover Sports Illustrated: 'This Is Going To Change My Life Forever'
- Bikinis, Gym Selfies and More! See Ashley Graham's Best Instagrams
- 5 Things to Know About Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Cover Star Hailey Clauson
On Newsstands Now
- Matthew McConaughey: In His Own Words
- Jessa Duggar's Wedding Album
- Brittany Maynard's Final Days
Pick up your copy on newsstands
Click here for instant access to the Digital Magazine
People Top 5
LAST UPDATE: Tuesday February 10, 2015 01:10PM EST
PEOPLE Top 5 are the most-viewed stories on the site over the past three days, updated every 60 minutes
- April 05, 2010
- Vol. 73
- No. 13
Last Chance for Bad Dogs
Steve Markwell Saves Biters, Maulers and Other Canine Criminals Before the Pound Puts Them Down
One hardly needs a warning, as the residents at Markwell's Olympic Animal Sanctuary in Forks, Wash., are a tough-looking crew of pit bulls, mixed wolf breeds and other dogs, all with long rap sheets. Many have mauled humans, or killed pets or even livestock. By the time they find their way to Markwell's muddy 1-acre spread, most are awaiting euthanasia. "What I'm providing is more like a group home than a dog jail," he says. "I'm here to help these animals, not punish them."
A former high school teacher and teen counselor, Markwell, 34, opened his sanctuary in 2004 with funding from private donations, fulfilling a longtime goal of working with animals. Now he's called on by rescue agencies around the country to save those no one else can. "Steve is filling a need that wasn't being met," says Elizabeth Lujambio, founder of Marley's Pit Stop Rescue in L.A., who sent him her worst biter and saw the dog "sleeping next to him in just two days."
His secret? "The way I carry myself," he says, "takes away a dog's reason to fear me." Most of his wards were abused or trained to kill. To diffuse their anger and fear, he'll often lie down near them in a submissive posture, or blow into their nostrils, which soothes them. "I don't use punishment."
But not everyone applauds his efforts. "What he's doing is completely misguided," says Colleen Lynn, who started the victims' rights group dogsbite.org after being attacked by a pit bull. "We just hope he doesn't get his arm chewed off."
Markwell has been bitten a lot-a yellow lab once broke his hand. But often he can turn dog-pound rejects into pussycats. Witness basenji-mix Hazel, former serial biter and cat killer, who today plops happily at Markwell's feet and rolls over for a belly rub. "I'm searching for that dog I can't fix," he says. "But I haven't found him yet."
FOR MORE ANIMAL STORIES, VISIT PEOPLEPETS.COM
Treat Yourself! 4 Preview Issues
The most buzzed about stars this minute!