By Giacomo Brunelli @GJBrunelli

EX-MMA FIGHTER Craig Fields is the founder of The New York Bully Crew - a non-profit dog rescue that operates in Long Island

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Videographer / Director: Cameron Wheeless & Biliana Grozdanova

Producer: Giacomo Brunelli

Editor: Helen Mckee, Ruby Coote

 

Founded in 2010, The New York Bully has saved hundreds of dogs in their years of activity.

Craig told Barcroft TV: “Our mission is to rescue, rehabilitate and adopt out abused and neglected mostly pit bulls”.

The New York Bully Crew hosts over 150 dogs in their rescue facilities at any given time and works hard to get each dog adopted by loving families.

The name ‘Bully Crew’ refers to the fact that they specialise in rescuing pit bulls, especially ones that have been forced into the dog fighting world.

“Because there’s so many pit bull dogs out there that’s why they’re abused more than any other dog, but we do rescue any breed that needs help,” explained Craig.

With a background in MMA fighting, to some degree, Craig relates to the pit bulls that are used in dog fighting.

“I think I have an attachment to pit bulls because I’m a lot like a pit bull - someone would look at me and think I look mean but really I’m not,” he said.  

The crew goes out on rescue missions almost daily and will go to any lengths to save a dog.

“I’ve had multiple altercations on rescues, I will do anything to save a dog and if I have to beat someone, I will beat someone,” said Craig.

The rest of The New York Bully Crew has a past in MMA or martial arts fighting too.

Craig said: "My whole crew is all fighters; everyone I travel with is a fighter."

Crew member, John, added: “The name Bully Crew kind of just reflects the breed of dog that we concentrate on, there’s a lot of similarities between the bully breeds and fighters." 

Craig’s mother Carol is also part of The New York Bully Crew and helps manage the facilities.

“I never expected Craig to go from MMA to dog rescue, watching my son fight was not something I was comfortable with, I’m much happier now that he does this,” said Carol.

And Carol is very proud of what her and her son have achieved over the years.

“We’ve gotten a lot of dogs that were literally hopeless, and now they’re sitting on someone’s couch,” Carol said. 

One rescue story that really stuck with Craig is of a dog they named Di Angelo.

Craig said: “He was rolled up in a carpet and he was 29 pounds, now he’s 89 pounds, just to show you what he should have weighed - the people who adopted him are billionaires and he lives like a king, he hit the lottery."

And recently, The New York Bully Crew rescued an aggressive dog from an abandoned house.

“Dogs pick up on energy, the calmer you are the easier things will be - and you saw as I was feeding him little by little he became calmer and then once we got him out of there he’s a good boy” explained Craig, heading back from the rescue mission.

All profits raised through donations go back into the rescue, and Craig is in the process of building new facilities with some of that money.

“No one’s giving me money, I’m not going to get a brand-new car, I’m not going to get a new house - I’m rescuing that dog because I want to rescue that dog,” Craig added.

“Leaving behind this legacy is what I’m proudest about, that Bully Crew will be around forever, long after I’m gone."