Tuesday, December 22, 2009

2009 dogs in review - CHICA


This brindled girl is one of the most colourful dogs in our program, with full-colour, human grade tattoos adorning the insides of her ears and her belly. The SPCA staff had never seen anything like it when she first came into the Maple Ridge shelter in late 2008 with a litter of puppies. She was assessed by HugABull but before a foster home could be arranged, she was reclaimed by her owner (who showed a veterinarian's letter claiming she'd been sedated for the tattoos).

Chica popped up again in March 2009 at the Vancouver SPCA, this time with a dislocated hip from a car accident. Following invasive surgery, she needed a foster home where she could heal in peace. HugABull found her one, and she never left.

Foster mom April is now a HugABull director, and Chica is a true ambassadog. She earned her CGN in the summer of 2009, an impressive feat considering that she only knew one command (sit!) when she came into foster care. She participates in all HugABull events, and has graduated from Pit Ed, Intermediate Obedience and Rally-O! She was even featured in this Vancouver Courier article about foster care and adoption.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Some positive change in Delta?

Three HugABull directors along with a representative from No Muzzle attended a public hearing in Delta last night around their Animal Control Bylaws.

Delta City Council is reviewing a proposed bylaw that among other things will increase animal licensing and fines, and expand the rights of Animal Control Officers to intervene in cases of dog aggression, animal mistreatment and abuse.

Unfortunately, what hasn't changed in the proposed bylaw is the definition of a pit bull as an "Aggressive Dog" by virtue of its breed. Pit bulls in Delta are required to be muzzled and are subject to licensing fees that are five times higher than those for other dogs.

Last night we spoke to council, requesting that the pit bull clause be removed from the bylaw, while retaining penalties for irresponsible ownership and aggressive dog behaviours. Three Delta citizens were in attendance and also spoke out against categorizing all pit bulls as aggressive.

Interestingly, it was revealed that due to the many restrictions around pit bulls, and because there is no conclusive way to identify one at the time of licensing, many pit bull owners are registering their dogs as other breeds. There are only 39 registered pit bulls in Delta, while any degree of observation would make it clear that the actual number is many, many times that.

We salute the Mayor and Council of Delta for inviting public input into this issue and revisiting a clause that does so much more harm than good. We look forward to hearing about the new bylaw in early 2010!

In the meantime, if you want to weigh in on this issue - especially if you are a Delta resident - contact information for City Council is here.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

2009 dogs in review - JJ (now SUGAR)

JJ (now Sugar)
Some of you may remember a passionate plea on behalf of JJ in September. This vivacious girl passed her temperament evaluation with flying colours but at the time we had no foster homes available. Unfortunately the shelter was running out of space and JJ was facing the awful fate of many "less adoptable" animals in a crowded shelter system. Despite her stunning looks and friendly personality, she was being overlooked by potential adopters and faced euthanasia.

HugABull director Lauren couldn't let that happen, even if it meant boarding JJ at a kennel until a foster home could be found. Fortunately a great couple heard our plea for foster care and came forward with an offer to help.

When the couple met this sweet little thing, everyone felt the instant connection. There was talk of adoption even before JJ was in the car. Sure enough, the papers were signed the minute JJ's foster period was up. This girl now goes by the name Sugar as a tribute to her sweet nature.

"Sugar has wiggled her little bum right into our hearts," said the new mom. "She is such a gem - we feel really lucky to have her."

A friendly boxer boy to play with!

Resting peacefully knowing she's finally home.

2009 dogs in review - GABE

As the year comes to a close, we thought it was good time to reflect on the dozens of dogs we've rescued and re-homed this year. Check out this year's calendar for 12 wonderful stories, and we'll be posting new ones here over the next few weeks.


Handsome and dignified Gabriel was a fixture on our Adoptables page for close to a year. He came to HugABull in late 2008 in a sorry state: for the first 5-6 years of his life, Gabe had been kenneled with younger, unneutered males who beat up on him constantly.

Gabe limped into the Victoria Pound covered with scars, wounds, and suffering from numerous other health problems, including a botched ear-crop job that left him with little more than two holes in the side of his head. But those big soulful eyes caught the heart of Danielle, a HugABull director at the time, and she was determined to give him the caring, stress-free forever home he deserved. She found him a space with one of our most experienced foster homes where he settled right in with his gentle, elderly foster sisters Sunny and Nutmeg.

Many people fell in love with Gabe, and applications came pouring in, but there was never quite the right fit. He is a loving and sensitive boy who wouldn't have done well in busy, noisy or unstructured environments, with cats, or with a pushy dog sibling.

As time went on, it became clear that he was extremely happy and comfortable where he was. So in Fall 2009, Danielle asked Gabe' s foster family if they would consider adopting him. They hesitated only because adopting a third dog meant that they could no longer foster. But in the end they decided Gabe was worth it, and the papers were signed a few months ago.

Gabe's parents send us frequent updates and bring him on walks with other HugABull dogs. He continues to do wonderfully and his parents couldn't imagine life without him. Neighbours have become accustomed to the sight of that giant head at the front window, waiting patiently during the day for his parents to come home. He trails his parents around the house, accompanies them on trips to Home Depot, and adores his sisters.

You can imagine how sad last week was when big sister Sunny passed away. Although the entire family is grieving, Gabe's parents say that having him in their home has been a blessing and all of them - especially Nutmeg - take so much comfort in having this special boy in their lives.

Gabe did not have an easy path to his forever home, but thanks to Danielle, his foster family, and all the others that believed in him, he finally has the life he deserves. While we send our condolences for Sunny's loss, we are comforted to know that Gabe's sweet and sensitive heart will help with the healing process.

Our favourite photo showing the pack on the move!

He may be middle aged, but Gabe can still play ball with the best of them.

A little sniff between siblings.

HugABull Open House

A big thank you to everyone who joined us on Sunday for our first Open House at Dizine Canine Training Centre. The weather was a little dicey, but many of you braved the snow and cold to celebrate with us, and indulge in holiday photos with your four-legged family members.

It was wonderful to see past adopters, volunteers, and other community members mingling with new fosters and potential adopters. Playing a special role as breed ambassador was Hero (now Reese), a pit/mastiff mix currently in foster care with HugABull director Arlene. While we distributed hot chocolate and cookies, he distributed snuggles and kisses for an entire four-hour shift. He won over many hearts, and we'll be surprised if we don't see an adoption application or two following his appearance!

Special acknowledgements to Off Leash Pet Photography who donated their services for the day, with proceeds from photo sales benefitting HugABull. In addition to all the fun we had, we also raised nearly $500 for more dog rescue and fabulous events in 2010!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Motley's been flooded out! - UPDATE

One of our supporters on Vancouver Island agreed to foster Motley over the holidays. She moved to her new home last week and settled in without a hitch. Her new foster mom has already been seduced by her charms, calling her "adorable but cheeky!" Motley is still available for adoption and her full profile can be viewed on our Adoptables page.


Motley was pulled from the Surrey shelter over a month ago and has been doing wonderfully in her foster home. But after last week's rainstorms, foster mom Jen came home to find Motley standing petrified in a six-inch pool of water that had filled her crate!

The apartment was flooded, and Jen needs to vacate for about a month while the landlord repairs her home. Jen's temporary home is in an apartment building that doesn't allow dogs, so we need a new foster for Motley, fast!

Motley is a fabulous dog with a permanent smile, a huge desire to please, and a mischevious side that keeps her foster family in stitches. She's one of the smartest dogs we've ever worked with, and has been known to learn tricks in a day.

Because she's so smart, she will test the limits (especially when it comes to sneaking on the couch or nabbing food!), so she needs an experienced foster home who will provide structure and ensure she follows the rules.

Motley is dog-social, but gets SO excited around other dogs that she can forget her manners. She has made huge strides in Pit Ed, but again needs a strong handler to keep her focused and behaved.

This little minx would be suitable for a home with another dog - especially if the other dog was a mellower type that would put up with her puppyish antics. No cats though! She is much too interested in them.

Motley's a fabulous dog who loves people, loves playing ball, and soaks up attention. She's crate-trained, house-trained, and well-mannered in the house.

If you have handling experience and no cats, Motley would be an enormously fun addition to your home! She's up for adoption and has applications coming in, so her foster period may be anywhere from 1-4 weeks.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

HugABull has been re-homed!

HugABull has always been run by volunteers, and since 2004 our head office has been the living rooms, home offices, and laptops of our directors. But with the opening of Dizine Canine Training Centre (DCTC) in Vancouver, HugABull finally has a home.

Shelagh Begg is the owner of DCTC and a long-time director of HugABull, When she opened her new space last month, she offered to provide office space, storage and space for HugABull operations. It will be a welcoming (and rain-proof) site for Pit-Ed classes, and we're looking forward to hosting information sessions, adoption days and so much more.

We're celebrating our new home on December 13 with a holiday open house. Join us to see visit the centre, visit with other HugABullers, and have Christmas photos taken with your canine family members. Off-Leash Photography will be lending their amazing photography talents in exchange for donations to HugABull.

Come by with your leashed, well-behaved dogs for fun, celebration, and a tour of the new space we're proud to call home. We're also collecting cash, new and gently used donations for Loki's Christmas Wish Fund, so clean out your closets before you come!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

2010 HugABull Calendars

Our 2010 calendars are now available for sale through our online store (hint: they make excellent Christmas gifts!). http://www.hugabull.biz/

We would like to extend a huge thank you to the photographers that worked so hard on this project: Eric Milner from Eric Milner Photography and Melissa McCabe from Unleashed! pet portraits.

We appreciate all that they put into this task: scheduling photo shoots, editing the images and many miles of driving to meet featured dogs and families. We could not have done it without them, and are thrilled to have been able to work with such talented artists.
Thank you also to Butchart Gardens in Victoria, for allowing us to photograph the stunning Tiger against their beautiful backdrop.

Many kudos and much appreciation goes to our brilliant graphic artist Lori West of Fawndog Design. She did an amazing job putting together this calendar and we are thrilled with the results. We think you will be too - buy one while supplies last and enjoy a rescued pit bull every month, with proceeds benefitting HugABull.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

UPDATE - Kane found a saviour!

In almost every way, Kane is the perfect dog. He is social with dogs, cats, birds and farm animals. Crate-trained, obedience-trained, easy-going in the house and spectacular with children, he has charmed every family he’s lived with. However, Kane is having trouble finding a forever home because of some challenges that came up during his foster period.

Although he originally came from a wonderful family home, we don’t think he had a lot of socialization with other dogs. He’s friendly but gets extremely excited when he sees another dog and isn’t able to greet it. He loses his focus, strains on his leash, and his normally impeccable manners fall by the wayside. Kane has been attending Pit-Ed and we’ve been seeing progress, but his foster family lives in a very busy area swarming with other dogs and it’s just too much stimulation for him.

Kane's foster family loves him and considered keeping him, but he needs more structure and training than this busy family with young children can provide. This means Kane is looking for a new foster home. We already have a shortage of foster spaces, and sadly we don’t have any current homes who can give Kane the structure he needs. HugABull is willing to provide free one-on-one training, Pit Ed classes and lots of support as we know that with a month or two of “boot camp” he would come a long way.

We are looking for a two-month commitment and a solid routine with opportunities for Kane to practice calm behaviour around new dogs. It will require some dedication and handling skills, but we can tell you that Kane will be a perfect houseguest in every other way.

Kane and HugABull really need your help! If you have every considered fostering or making a profound difference in the life of a deserving dog, this is your chance. Contact hugabull@gmail.com for more information.

UPDATE -----
After canvassing far and wide, we had a wonderful, breed-experienced foster home offer to house and train Kane, helping him to become the stellar dog he was born to be. Watch for his triumphant return to our Adoptables page soon!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Someone called me a pit bull...and sealed my fate in Ontario.

Most of us know that Ontario is home to the most restrictive Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) in North America. A dog deemed to be a "pit bull type" cannot be adopted or imported into the province. It means that countless innocent dogs have been put to death and people have seen their gentle family dogs seized and subject to restrictive muzzling laws.

Despite the death, heartbreak and millions of dollars in legal fees, there has been no evidence of fewer dog bites in Ontario or increased public safety. And with each month that goes by, it becomes more clear that BSL is fundamentally flawed.

Someone posted these puppies for sale online calling them "pit bull mixes" and sealed their fate. The mother dog (a Lab/Shepherd cross) and her litter were seized by Animal Control and her puppies sit on death row.

Was the father a pit bull? We don't know for sure. He may have been a mastiff, a boxer, or another Lab. But because a backyard breeder decided to type the dreaded "P-word" these otherwise highly adoptable puppies may die.

These puppies drew the attention of MonStars Mastiff Rescue, who is desperately looking for a way to have them transported out of the province, where they can be adopted and undergo a breed identification from a professional. Ironically, an organization like HugABull would normally not accept these puppies because they appear to have minimal or no pit bull in them!

Although HugABull cannot take puppies at this time, a local all-breed rescue, The Penny Foundation, has stepped up and offered foster care to the eight little ones. Now we wait to see if the red tape can be unravelled and if these dogs can be released out of the province - and survive. As healthy, social, cute-as-a-button puppies they will have no trouble finding homes in Vancouver. But in Ontario they may die, because one person at one time uttered "pit bull."

Please send your thoughts and wishes to these little guys, and remember that these are just one litter of many slated for death row because of BSL. Share this story with your friends, and help us open eyes to why we are so passionate about ending discriminatory legislation.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Pit Bull Awareness Day

Channel your Halloween spirit and bring your leashed, well-behaved dog to march with us in pit bull solidarity!

HugABull is organizing Vancouver's first Pit Bull Awareness Day Walk with a Halloween theme. We welcome all breeds and all people with crowd manners to help us show off our pit bulls as the well-behaved, fun-loving family members they are.

We'll be dispensing special treats along the way to put extra emphasis on the sweet side of pit bulls.

Creative Halloween costumes are encouraged...!

Saturday, October 24
Starting at Science World (1455 Quebec Street) in Vancouver. Meet us on the grassed side of the parking lot.
3:30 meetup
4:00 walk

Click here for the background and history of Pit Bull Awareness Day, and email info@hugabull.com for more information or to RSVP.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

We are thankful for our many supporters...

Thanks to our many friends and fans, our Giggle Dam fundraiser was another success. We had a great turnout of 118 people, and our preliminary calculations indicate that over $3,000 was raised. These funds will directly benefit our rescue and advocacy activities over the coming year.

It was a fun night, made especially memorable by seeing certain HugABullers on-stage in costume...in addition to being dog advocates, they're also very good sports.

Thanks again for joining us, supporting us and laughing with us!

A special thank you to everyone that contributed to our silent auction:
Black Rock Resort
Bow Wow Haus
Dog & Hydrant Photography and Boutique
Don Osborne
Forever My Friend Pet Gifts and Custom Framing
In the Raw Foods for Dogs and Cats
International Year of the Tiger Foundation
Makoa Leather
Modern Dog Magazine
Off-Leash Dog Photography
PNE Pacific National Exhibition
S.I.T. Bits
Urban Pets
Vancouver Canadians
Venom Motorworks & Automotive Detailing
West Coast Tails Professional Pet Services

A very special thank you to the Coquitlam Now for this wonderful article on HugABull Director Arlene, with Mr. Beefcake and Cocoa Bean. It was great coverage and we were thrilled with it (though Beef and Beans were worried that the photo made their heads look big...)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Buy your Giggle Dam tickets today!

As many of you know, our Giggle Dam fundraiser is just over a week away! It's a fun night of food, entertainment, and great company, all in support of a good cause.

The Giggle Dam is a great supporter and is hosting this event for the second year in a row. All they ask of us is to sell a minimum number of tickets, and unfortunately sales are a bit slower than expected. We need your help!

If you are thinking of going, please order your tickets today so we can make sure this night is as big and spectacular as it can be. Here are some options:

- Call the Giggle Dam box office 604-944-4453 where you can pay by credit card

- Email info@hugabull.com to reserve a ticket (please note that reservations are binding and you will be accountable for payment!).

- Use the HugABull Paypal account. Click here.

Do you want to support the event but aren't able to attend? Consider sponsoring a ticket so we can invite a special foster family, volunteer or supporter who otherwise wouldn't be able to participate.

Event details
October 4, 2009 (doors open at 4:30)
Giggle Dam Dinner Theatre
2616 Shaughnessy Street, Port Coquitlam, BC
Tickets are $48 (plus GST) with a portion going to HugABull

More info on our blog:

We hope to see you there!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Emergency Foster - UPDATE!

We are pleased to report that, once again, the HugABull community came through for a dog in need. One of our members and her dog pack of three volunteered to provide JJ with a home while we searched for a longer-term arrangement. During this time she was rechristened as "Paige" and indulged in a serious case of puppy love with Seven, her baby Visla foster brother.

Paige will be moving to a foster-to-adopt family in the next week or two, and we have a great feeling about this match (although little Seven will be disappointed to see her go...). Thank you to everyone who helped spread the word, volunteered their time and homes, and ultimately saved this little girl's life.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Emergency foster home needed

A pocket sized pit bull needs your help!

We met JJ at a local shelter last weekend and knew she was born to be a HugABull dog. Unfortunately due to a shortage of foster homes we couldn’t take her right away, and with every day that went by JJ became more stressed. The shelter was squeezed for space, and told us that she had to go NOW or a difficult decision would have to be made.

Lauren, our foster care coordinator, couldn’t let anything happen to this stellar dog. She called Country Squire Kennels, who agreed to look after her at a reduced rate until we could find a foster home.This move will save JJ’s life, but it’s still not the best environment for her – this cuddly, kissy girl needs to be surrounded by a family and lots of love.

JJ is a tiny thing who weighs only about 40 pounds and barely reaches your knee. She is about 1.5 years old with an immensely sweet, outgoing personality. She will let you get away with anything as long as she’s getting some human attention! She loves to play but never forgets her manners: she will stop and sit nicely when you ask for her toy.

Her doggie social skills are hard to gauge due to kennel stress and a recent heat (she was just spayed) but she has no problem meeting other dogs, especially males. She may be somewhat selective with females but doesn’t have any reactivity in their presence. A cat-free home would be best as this girl does love to chase.

JJ needs a foster home as soon as possible so she can de-stress and blossom into the loving family dog she was meant to be. Please contact lauren@hugabull.com if you have room in your home for this girl (she doesn’t take up much space!) even if it’s only short-term.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Give a DAM with HugABull's 4th Annual Fundraiser

When: October 4, 2009 - doors open at 4:30
Where: Giggle Dam Dinner Theatre at 2616 Shaughnessy Street, Port Coquitlam, BC
Cost: Tickets are $48 (plus GST) with a portion going to HugABull

Please note that the ticket price includes:
-- a four course meal
-- pre-show entertainment
-- a mainstage theatre show
-- silent auction with all proceeds going to HugABull.

Buy your tickets in advance! Contact the Giggle Dam Box Office at 604-944-4453. To learn about the Giggle Dam, visit http://www.giggledam.com/

The event will also include a silent auction with some great items courtesy of our sponsors and supporters. Here's a sneak preview of what will be up for grabs:

- Dog & Hydrant photography session
- 2010 PNE & PLAYLAND Passes
- In The Raw gift basket
- Vancouver Canadians grandstand passes
- Urban Pets gift baskets
- 2 Nights Stay at the Black Rock Resort in Ucluelet
- 1 yearr subscription to Modern Dog Magazine
- Bow Wow Haus gift basket
- Makoa Custom Leather gift certificate
- West Coast Tails all inclusive doggy package
- Angelo's Salon & Spa package

Get your tickets before they are gone....call 604-944-4453 today!
Check out last year's event at 2008 Giggle Dam

Sunday, September 6, 2009

BSL in Nanaimo - UPDATE

We have been in touch with Nanaimo City Council and they have reassured us that there are no plans to change BSL in Nanaimo or implement a breed ban.

It appears that discussions about breed bans have been fueled by a few vocal citizens and some recent op-ed letters in local newspapers. We remain concerned, especially given the mayor and councillor's public support of Ontario's breed ban, but fortunately Nanaimo's pit bulls remain safe for now.

We encourage you to support the Nanaimo Kennel Club's upcoming events in support of Responsible Dog Owner's Week. Nanaimo is already a city with stringent BSL, so we invite responsible pit bull owners to make themselves visible and be part of the responsible dog owner community!


NANAIMO KENNEL CLUB Is pleased to present a public forum on “Putting a Muzzle on Dog BITE Incidents in your Community” and “Responsible Dog Ownership”

Speaker: Bill Bruce, Director of Animal Services and Bylaws, Calgary

DATE: Wednesday, September 23, 2009
LOCATION: Beban Park Auditorium
TIME: 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm
COST: No charge to attend

If you love dogs and have them in your life, you need to attend this forum to find out what may lie ahead....Find out why the most common "knee-jerk" actions, and traditional bylaws DO NOT work, and discover a role model that has a proven track record that DOES work. Learn about possible dog bylaw changes, bite and muzzling issues and much more. Learn about the dog bylaws implemented in Calgary by Mr. Bruce and why they are among the most successful in North America.

Responsible dog ownership and how it affects you and your life, how it impacts on your city, your home and most importantly your dogs. Mr. Bruce will be coming to Nanaimo to share his expertise and knowledge on this important subject with us. As part of the Canadian Kennel Club’s encouragement for Responsible Dog Ownership and RDOG walks being held all across Canada, the NKC invites you to attend this topical and worthwhile presentation.


Responsible Dog Owner's Walk

Saturday, September 26

1:00 -3:00 pm

Port Place Mall , Nanaimo

Friday, September 4, 2009

The Pit Bull attack that wasn't?

It seems that now Pit Bulls don't actually have to do anything to make the news. The most recent media coverage is about a Pit Bull Attack that wasn't? This one has us scratching our heads.

Dog Attack Incomplete

According to news reports a man got out of his car in his driveway and was approached and barked at by two Pit Bulls. The man then got back into his car and dialed 911. Animal Control and the Police attended the scene and removed the dogs, but not before the news stations captured animal control officers petting the relaxed and happy dogs on the head, who both had HUGE bully grins slapped across their faces, not to mention the owner who showed up to apologize profusely.

While we at HugABull absolutely do not believe that dogs of any breed should be at large we also have to wonder why this story made the news and does this mean that we can now call 911 and have animal control show up every time our neighbours Labrador is seen wondering lose while barking at us? Of course not, that would be silly.

Lets get real... this must have been a very slow news day.

Pits in the Park - Sunday, September 13

Bring your polite, leashed dog for an afternoon of visiting, food and fun following the SPCA's Paws for a Cause walk. Two-legged friends and family are welcome (we recommend they be polite too, but we'll make an exception to the leash rules).

For dogs that prefer the company of people and would like to maintain their personal space around other dogs, green bandannas will be available. We want everyone to be included!

We hope to see you there...

Thursday, September 3, 2009

If Bryant was a pit bull

By now many of you have already heard about Ontario's former Attorney General and his run in with the law. Michael Bryant was arrested for allegedly dragging a man to his death with his car.

We extend our heartfelt sympathies to the family and friends of the victim, and we hope this gets people thinking about public safety and the importance of personal responsibility. We are all individually responsible for our actions, whether behind the wheel of a car or at the end of a leash.
We think this blog post on "If Michael Bryant was a pit bull" has some great food for thought: http://www.dogsincanada.com/blog/

Thursday, August 27, 2009

New Pack Members...

Welcome to the pack….

HugABull is pleased to introduce three new steering committee members. While they have all been working with HugABull for quite a few months now, we thought it was high time we provided an official introduction and welcome.

Lauren steps into HugABull as our NEW Foster Care Coordinator – a position we know we’ve needed for some time. Lauren’s involvement with HugABull started two years ago when she adopted her first pit bull, the late but lovely Rex. Right away Lauren got involved conducting home checks, meet and greets and raising funds for Loki’s Christmas Wish Fund and the Lovely Fund. Today Lauren is the proud mom to Rex’s beloved foster brother and HugABull favourite, Bronte!

As Foster Care coordinator, Lauren will help organize our fostering process and be a point of contact for information and advice. Please contact her with any fostering-related inquiries at

Danielle K recently joined HugABull as our NEW Volunteer Coordinator. A proud pit bull owner to her wonderful dog Casey, Danielle wanted to get involved and help the breed she loved so much – but as a nurse with a variable schedule it was difficult to commit to a role. As a volunteer coordinator she can work from home keeping our volunteer list up-to-date and making sure our events and programs have the people resources they need to be successful.

To be added to our list, or for any other volunteer inquiries, contact Danielle at Daniellek@hugabull.com

April stumbled across HugABull when she contacted Shelagh for training advice when a shelter adoption went wrong. HugABull supported her through a difficult process, and today she is devoted to the group and ensuring others have a much better experience with rescued dogs. She is also a “failed” but proud foster mom to Chica, a HugABull alumni. April will be spearheading our media relations efforts, editing our newsletter, and lending her writing, marketing, and communications skills wherever she can.

For any media or marketing hints, tricks, or ideas, contact April at April@hugabull.com

We are always looking for people with the time and dedicated skill set to join our steering committee, so if you are looking at taking on a more active role, please let us know! Some areas we’d like to develop are training support, fundraising, BSL…just to mention a few.

In the meantime, we’re thrilled to add three talented women to our team, so please join me in welcoming Lauren, April and Danielle K!

Loki's Christmas Wish 2009

We are at it again.. last years event was such a huge success we had to keep it going and this year we want to make it bigger and better than the year before.

Check out last years success Loki's Christmas Wish 2008

For those of you who are unfamiliar with this event, here is a little background.

Loki’s Christmas Wish Foundation was named after one of HugABull’s own. Loki was a 5 month old pup that came to HugABull from Chilliwack Animal Control. Surrendered by his previous owners Loki had been neglected and his future was uncertain.Luckily for him the team saw something in him, the determination to trust and be loved.

Just days after Christmas Loki found his forever home in the arms of a loving family whose life was forever changed. Unfortunately only 3 short years later Loki was laid to rest due to health issues. From Loki’s passing came this wish from his family. “Let no dog at Christmas time go unloved or unwanted”With that wish, each year in memory of Loki, HugABull will be collecting donations of dog beds, toys, treats, jackets, food and anything else that could give a dog something to bark about.

This year we will be collecting for New Westminster Animal Control and the Victoria CRD Pound. Two very deserving groups working hard with what they have.

New or Used items needed for in the kennels

Dog Beds - Please wash if used
Blankets - Please wash if used
Jackets - Great for dogs in kennels without heat, again please wash if used.
For Some Fun
Soccer Balls
Basket Balls
Lacrosse Balls
Stuffed soft toys
Long Tug Ropes
Ultra Balls

Treats that will REALLY make their christmas

Raw Meaty Bones - they would be in heaven
Bully Sticks - again a great chew for a lonely dog
Salmon Skin Chews
Healthy Dog Treats

Can't forget the Cats!! (calling all cat lovers)
This year because both shelters also support abandoned/neglected cats we are looking for donations for the felines at these shelters.

Cat Scratches
Cat Toys
Cat Nip
Cat Treats
If you can help with donations please email us
Carla at carla@hugabull.com to make donations on the Island
Kristen at kristen@hugabull.com to make donations on the Mainland.

Let's work together to make sure these dogs get the Christmas they deserve.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Vancouver Island Pits In The Park

Thank you to everyone that showed up and enjoyed the celebrations. This event is a hit every year and is a great way for us to visit with our past adopters, volunteers, fans and supporters.

Without you there would be no HugABull so thank you for your support, love of the breed and your desire to see a change.

Hug Dog Giselle soon will be looking for a home of her own

The Hug Team working hard

Time to give away the goods

Rock'n the shades and looking good

Hug Dog Jake striking a pose

Puppy Sterling was pooped after a long day of fun in the sun.

Thank you again to all our volunteer, supporters and fans you keep us motivated to do more for the dogs we all love.

Happy Pits In The Park... see you all next year!

Ginger and Randene Neill Make CNN

Ginger and Randene Neill made CNN... can you believe it? Who knew that this homeless Pit Bull would wow so many and as far away as New York to boot.

Friday, August 14, 2009

A sad day in Philly

We will keep this brief however we are very upset to hear that the Philadelphia Eagles have signed Michael Vick to a one year contract with the option of a second year.

While we guessed that talent would take weight over moral or ethical values we are still saddened that any team in the NFL would take him on.

Vick asks public for second chance with Eagles

Event PETA is jumping in on the action. Anything to get their name out.

Celebrities like PINK are not happy over this decision. PINK was quoted on her Twitter page saying

“wow. michael vick in MY hometown, Philly. of all the places. I hope the fans tear him to pieces like his beloved dogs.”

Abuse on the rise? Click to read what BADRAP has to say.

Foster Care hits the news...

"Fostering helps dog lovers find the right fit
Stray, surrendered and seized dogs benefit from HugABull" - Vancouver Courier Published: Friday, August 14, 2009

Thank you Cheryl Rossi with the Vancouver Courier for shining a light on the joys and benefits of fostering with HugABull.

And a big thank you to April and Chica for being the superstars that they are.

To read the whole article click here

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Ginger is a viral video sensation!

Ginger is a gorgeous little girl from Surrey SPCA, and in true pit bull fashion she drenched Global TV anchor Randene Neill with kisses during a recent Adopt-A-Pet segment.

We dare you to watch this and not fall in love with this sweet dog! Apparently Global viewers did, and phones are ringing off the hook with adoption offers.

Kudos to Ginger for being her loveable bullie self, to SPCA Surrey for promoting our favourite breed on a high-profile TV show, and to Global TV for putting a true, wiggle-bum pit bull in the media spotlight. Well done!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Pits In The Park - Island Style

Calling all Islanders!!!

Come out and join Vancouver Island HugABull at our 4th Annual Pits In The Park BBQ!

This much anticipated event draws tons of Pit Bull owners and their dogs from all over.

All well behaved on leash dogs are welcome and those that need a little more comfort room will be handed bandannas to ensure they get their space.

We hope to see you all there.

(Click on the picture of a larger view)

Friday, August 7, 2009


Thank you so much to everyone that opened their hearts and wallets to Chad and his family... You have help raise $470.00 towards Hemi's care and with more on its way we can are confident that Hemi can be spayed.

This has been a very emotional time for Chad and his family. Asking for help can sometimes be the hardest step and we are glad that we could help make that step a little easier. We know Chad appreicates this more than words can say.. but he tried

" You just made me cry!!! How emotional... My kids are freaking out right now and I am ballin like a 2 year old...lol This is fantastic news...we are so happy"

This just goes to show that the Pit Bull community is strong, supportive, alive and well... and we at HugABull are so proud to be apart of it.


WOW!!! in less than a 24hrs we have we have already gone WAY past the half way mark for Chad and Hemi... We have received $395.00

Thank you to everyone that has donated so far... keep up the kindness only $58.00 left to go!!!

Thank you to Priya Litler, Caitlin Mclagan, Shelley Moore, Linda Dewit, Shelley Cunningam, Shirley Palma, Leah Morgan, April Fahr,Corrine Arther, Keith Gange, Kasey Best & Sherri Luzi. Big thanks to Makoa Leather for offering to create Hemi a stunning new collar - Pictures will be posted and to House of Wags who intends on donating the proceeds from their raffle sales this weekend towards Hemi and her spay.

Only $58.00 left.... anything over and above goes towards Hemi's spay and then to HugABull.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Help HugABull Help Hemi!

Being a responsible dog owner requires a lot of things: patience, kindness, commitment...and sometimes money. Many of us know first-hand that when your dog gets very sick, very fast, this translates to massive vet bills.

But what do you do when the vet bill comes and you're already struggling financially? This is what Chad, a single dad from Maple Ridge, recently had to ask himself.

Earlier this year, Chad adopted Hemi as a companion to his two girls. The four of them bonded immediately and soon, no one could imagine life without her – especially Chad’s daughter, who lives with a bone growth deficiency that inhibits her development. Hemi is her best friend, playmate and personal therapy dog!

Two months ago, Chad lost his job. It wasn't an easy time but Chad has been making it work…until disaster struck two weeks ago when Hemi became very sick. Worried and not wanting to waste any time, Chad rushed his pet to the nearest Animal Hospital, where Hemi had emergency surgery for an intestinal blockage.

Chad didn’t hesitate to okay the surgery and save his dog, but when the dust settled he was faced with a bill for almost $2000. On an already limited income this was a shock, especially when the Animal Hospital refused to extend a payment plan to him. And they wouldn't release Hemi until the bill was paid…so every day that Hemi remained at the hospital, they charged an extra $55 for boarding fees!

Overwhelmed but determined, Chad kicked into overdrive. He drained his savings, and gathered his friends to organize fundraisers – pub nights, BBQ Hot dog & Burger sales at his house and email campaigns. When he came to HugABull we knew we needed to help. So many dogs are surrendered because their owners are unable or unwilling to provide basic vet care for their pets, and Chad has truly inspired us with his love and commitment to Hemi.

HugABull has been working with Chad and the vet’s office, and has committed to help him fundraise. With our support the vet’s office has agreed to release Hemi and a payment plan has been set up.

We ask our forum members to consider donating in support of Chad, someone who doesn’t like having to ask for money, but will do anything for his beloved pet. HugABull will be collecting donations through our Paypal account – just enter your donation and include “Hemi” on the donation form.

Any and all funds will go straight to Hemi’s medical bills. There is $453.00 currently owing, and Chad hopes to raise some of that at a car wash fundraiser this weekend. Any extra funds raised will go towards Hemi’s spay, and then to HugABull.

Help us help Hemi! Every $5 or $10 donation makes a difference...and helps Hemi recover at home with her family, where she belongs.

PAY PAL BUTTON (scroll to the bottom)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

More Pride!

Another perspective on Sunday's Pride march, set to music!

From http://nomuzzle.blogspot.com

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Pit Bull Pride!

The Vancouver Pride Parade is a huge annual highlight for HugABull. Braving the August heat, we gather with our best Ambassadogs and committed human volunteers to show off the true nature of our happy, well-behaved (and well-dressed) pit bulls.

We celebrate this important, fun and colourful event, but at the same time we make an important statement. Discrimination is everywhere, and despite many advances in society, there are still people being judged on how they look or what other people perceive them to be.

This happens among us in the two-legged world, and it extends to animals too. We all deserve to be judged as individuals and to be proud of who we are, no matter what gender, age, sexual orientation, species...or breed!

Happy PRIDE!

Dayton from Vancouver Island won us all over with his friendly personality and huge grin.

Muay Thai, an agility dog always light on her feet, came as a girlie ballerina.

Walter's smile is almost as big as he is!

Lily showed that even senior citizens can enjoy some rainbow-themed fun, complete with fairy wings.

While June, looking sweet in pink gingham, proved that you are never too young for pride.

Edward is only one month out of the shelter, but already an expert at working the crowds.

Hunter won the costume contest with his Bob-the-builder outfit.

Maggie is the world's most focused Playboy bunny.

Even Jake, the photographer's dog, found some time to make new friends.

It was a long, hot walk, and by the end some dogs were starting to tire. Little Merlot's mom can carry him now...but something tells me she may have a harder time next year when he's all grown up!

Chica enjoys the frozen bandannas and gel collars that awaited the crew at the end of our march.

Thanks to everyone who participated, volunteered, decorated, and photographed on this fabulous day of celebration!!