Board of Directors

Our Vision: We can reduce pit bull shelter and euthanasia statistics by changing public perceptions, and positively change the lives of veterans and first responders in need. Every hero deserves the support of a trusty sidekick. A pit bull’s love and understanding is unconditional—the only string attached is a leash.

Train a hero. Save a hero. Be a hero.



Greg Yearwood, President:  Greg has been married to Kelly Yearwood for 20 years. He is the owner and president of Precision Consulting, LLC, an insurance consulting and property loss advocacy group for first party property claims for the insured. Greg was exposed to formal canine training when he and Kelly adopted their first two, of what would be many, canines. After experiencing the rewards of properly trained canines, he and Kelly became involved in the rescue of unwanted or abused animals through volunteer work with a local animal rescue. While involved with the rescue, they found that they were often requested to assist in training canines with “issues,” as they achieved positive results with the methods used. They were able to place all of the animals they assisted in forever homes. It was during this time, that he and Kelly found a passion for the pit bull breed. While Greg had previous experience with this breed when he was much younger, it wasn’t until now that this would be a continuing endeavor to save the breed. Currently, Greg is the President of Pits for Patriots, in support of Kelly’s passion and their desire to help veterans, first responders and pit bulls.


Jan Petrella, Treasurer: Jan, a Chicagoland native, works in the interior landscape industry. She is a lifelong animal lover and was introduced to the pit bull breed when she fostered her first pit bull, Aja, through a local rescue organization in 2005. She found it an unexpected joy to work with such a loving and loyal breed of dog. Jan adopted Aja, initiating a set of circumstances that brought her to Pits for Patriots. While learning how to properly train her pittie through another local rescue, Jan was introduced to the Yearwood’s, who were also working with their own dogs there. Jan became more involved with the rescue dog training program and moved from attending, to assisting and now regularly running basic obedience and socialization classes for that rescue. Her involvement with the rescue grew to include organizing and running adoption and fundraising events, doing home checks and evaluating or temperament testing dogs for possible placement. She also served on the Board of that rescue, alongside Kelly Yearwood, where their bond strengthened. Jan’s deep concern for the well-being of all animals led her to humane investigations and she has been an Illinois Department of Agriculture approved Humane Investigator since 2009. When Pits for Patriots was established in 2011, Jan was thrilled to become involved with an organization that not only helped our deserving veterans and first responders, but allowed rescued dogs of her favored breed to be placed in loving homes and to provide a valuable service. She was elected to the Pits for Patriots Board in July 2012.


Kelly Yearwood, Secretary: Kelly dreamt of working with animals from the time her grandmother taught her to respect all creatures, as a small child. Kelly has a BS in Biology with a minor in Physics from Augustana College/Northeastern Illinois University. She spent 10 years working in the medical field and in 2005 started a consulting business with her husband Greg. Kelly began training dogs in 1999, with the adoption of her first two dogs. In 2006 Kelly adopted a pit bull puppy from a local rescue. The love and loyalty the pit bull gave her inspired her to become an advocate for the breed. Kelly began volunteering for the rescue organization as a foster. She soon became involved in the training of the rescues working with everything from puppies to those dogs with “issues” and eventually was elected as President of the rescue. Kelly continued training dogs and began working with experts in the breed to enhance her training abilities. In 2011, she made the decision to pair the most maligned American dog “breed” with its nation’s heroes and Pits for Patriots was born.