Friday, December 31, 2010
Animal welfare advocates are often accused of not being able to "move on" after the infamous Michael Vick cruelty case. It's hard enough knowing of his crimes and seeing him climb back on his pedestal as a sports hero, but our morale took an extra dive when we heard that the US President publicly supporter his "second chance". We like what Emily on Vancouver Island, pit adopter and advocate, had to say.
I have to say first off that when you were elected President, I was over the moon excited. After 8 years of worrying about your country based on their ability to vote a dumb, ignorant guy into the White House (and not just once), I believed there was hope when you came in.
You believe in many amazing core values that I think would make your country better, like health care. Great! I've seriously been a big fan, I even bought and wore an Obama shirt! I was super happy when you decided to get a rescue dog also, although that Portuguese Water Dog isn't really a "rescue", and I would have liked to see you follow through an adopt a shelter dog, but at least you tried.
However, I have to admit, I'm pissed off at you. I heard about the phone call you made to give praise for the Philadelphia Eagles giving Michael Vick a second chance. If you can imagine the sound of screeching tires as my love for you comes to a sudden halt, insert that noise *here*. Obama, you are the PRESIDENT of the United States. You are the first non-white President. You are a symbol of CHANGE for your country and the world. Because of that, people look up to you. Kids look up to you! My son, a 6 year old Canadian kid, LOVES you and thinks you are awesome.
Lets review what Michael Vick did, just to be clear. I'm not going to candy coat it, either. Michael Vick fought dogs brutally for pleasure and money. He raised dogs specifically for this purpose. He is an adult and knew that what he was doing was wrong. We know that aside from fighting dogs, he was restraining female dogs on a "rape stand" and forcing them to breed. We know that he killed AT LEAST 13 dogs. These dogs were either sick or not "good enough" for him, so he killed them. And not even like "I'm going to take her to the vet and have her put to sleep". He murdered them. We know for a fact that he beat them, shot them and in at least one case, he killed a dog by slamming it into the ground until it was dead. We know that he watered dogs down and then used electricity to kill them. These are nasty, insane things that in my opinion, healthy, normal people could never do.
He would take regular family pets and throw them into the ring with the trained fighting dogs because he thought it was "funny" to watch them die. He ripped out the teeth of some of his more passive dogs so that they couldn't fight back when he was training dogs to fight for him. And, here's a news flash, he'd most likely STILL be doing it if he wasn't busted.
Michael Vick didn't wake up one day and say "what I am doing is wrong and I should pay for my mistakes". He was BUSTED and forced to go to jail. He served a bit of jail time and got out...heading straight back into the limelight and right back to making millions. This is not the kind of man who I would ever let my son idolize or respect. So why, Obama, did you congratulate them for giving this sort of person a "second chance"?
There are plenty of people in your country who deserve a phone call from you. There are people who helped clean up after 9/11 and got sick from breathing in hazardous dust who could use your support. There are teachers in the inner city fighting to help educate kids surrounded by guns and gangs. There are single moms raising their families on food stamps, people feeding your homeless, nurses caring for your sick. GOOD people. And yet Michael Vick, killer of dogs, deserves your time? I try to teach my son to stick up for those who are being bullied, not support the bullier. I urge you to do the same, and publicly recant your support for Vick. As the President, you have the obligation to do the right thing and be a role model for those who look up to you.
If you are going to make a phone call, call the people who worked on the front lines at Bad Newz Kennels when they raided the compound. Ask about the brutal details of what Vick did there to those dogs. At least then, you will know every ounce of what you endorse when you support a man like Vick. I'm living with a dog covered in scars, and I would hope that if there would be an outpouring of support around that, that it would go to the people involved in her rescue and not to the people responsible for allowing it to happen.
Shame on you Obama. Not only do I not allow my son to look up to people who do the kinds of things that Vick did, but I don't allow him to look up to people who support them either.
Your ex-number 1 fan,
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
We've had our hands full with 10 puppies to care for, vet, and re-home, after taking an emaciated momma dog and her babies into our program last month. Happily, the pups are now fully weaned and healthy, and 9 of the 10 are with their new families.
But perhaps most satisfying is seeing the progress our momma dog has made. Norah came to the SPCA as a severe starvation case, with her ribs jutting out and every knob on her spine visible.
It's taken a month but with lots of TLC and small, digestible meals, she's the beautiful and healthy girl she deserves to be. Look at her today!
Norah is a happy, loving girl looking for her forever home. She gets along with other dogs and loves kids. Because of her background of neglect she does need some "boot camp" on basic training but she's already learning fast. Her foster mom says that with her scrunched nose grin and wiggling tail nub, she's hard not to fall in love with.
If you know of someone who could give this lovely boxer/pit cross a home for the holidays, please send them to our Adoptions page.
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Loki's Christmas Wish Fund has always been a bright spot in the holiday season. Our rescue activities happen year-round, but in December we take a little extra time to connect with the under-resourced shelters in our community and put homeless pets on our shopping list.
Each year, the program chooses an under-resourced shelter in the communities HugABull serves, and collects donations from our supporters. Cash, bedding, toys, food and treats are collected through volunteers and drop-off points, and donated to the chosen shelter to help them through the holiday season and beyond.
This year we expanded our network to the Okanagan region in addition to Vancouver and Vancouver Island. The response in all three areas has been spectacular! A few highlights include:
In Victoria, Your Pet Pals has donated their window and an entire corner of their store to promoting and collecting for Loki's (above).
In the Okanagan/Interior region, we've had amazing support in just our first year. Wayside Printers donated printing for flyers and Hagen's Travel ran an ad for us. Tail Blazers is not only providing a drop-off location but providing incredible discounts to anyone who purchases items for donations.
And in Vancouver, we had an unexpected army of holiday angels in the form of a company called Aerocar. This group has been collecting for shelter animals for months, and after hearing about Loki's they decided to send donations our way. They have an enormous amount of toys, treats and goodies to share - far more than one shelter is able to store. So we've been able to expand our list of recipients!
On our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/hugabull) we're taking nominations for Lower Mainland rescues who could benefit from all of these amazing donations. Then we allow people to vote on the finalists at www.hugabull.com/loki
Lend your voice, and stay tuned for updates. Donations are accepted year round, and 100% of proceeds benefit shelter animals and HugABull foster dogs. Full information is on the www.hugabull.com/loki website (there are too many amazing organizations and volunteers to name here, so they have their very own page).
Thursday, November 11, 2010
The theme of our 2011 fundraising calendar is Pit Bull Perspectives, featuring original artwork alongside beautiful dog photography. A big thank you to this year's photographers:
Ashleigh Wells of Ashleigh Wells Photography photographed most of our Vancouver area dogs AND stepped in to do last-minute design work so we could meet our deadlines. Ashleigh and her husband welcomed their American Bulldog, Roxie Hart, into their lives six years ago and has experienced both the stigma and joy a bully breed brings. She was excited to combine her love of dogs and passion for photography for this project, and we're so glad she did!
Don Osborne, a landscape and wildlife photographer, worked with our Vancouver Island dogs. Getting to know island HugABullers and their dogs has changed his perceptions about pit bulls over the years, and he gladly accepted our invitation to work on our calendar. He enjoyed the experienced immensely, telling us that the dogs he photographed were the some of the most loving, friendly dogs he'd had the pleasure of being around.
Photos by Ashleigh, Tanya and Don are matched with artwork from a number of talented individuals in our community. We'll be exhibiting the artwork at our Holiday Open House in Vancouver, and stay tuned for some images online. (There isn't space to post all 12 portraits here, so here's just one - Hunter - as a teaser!)
Here's how to get one:
Come to any HugABull event (Vancouver area, Vancouver Island, or Okanagan) where we'll have them on sale for $20. If you order 10 that will include a free one, for a total of $180.
Order through our online store. Cost is $25 due to administration and shipping fees.
Visit one of our retail partners (there are more being added every week):
- Dizine Canine Training Centre in Vancouver (East Van)
- The Dog & Hydrant in Vancouver (Yaletown)
- Simply Natural Raw Pet Food in Vancouver (Kerrisdale)
- Dog Utopia in Surrey
- The Bone & Biscuit in Kelowna
- Urban Canine (previously the Bone & Biscuit) in West Kelowna
- Prevost Veterinary Clinic in Duncan
Sunday, November 7, 2010
Two weeks ago, The Province newspaper published this article about a cruelty seizure in Surrey - which included an emaciated momma dog and 10 tiny puppies left to starve in their own filth. Our hearts went out to the poor girl and we desperately wanted to help.
HugABull is still paying vet bills from another cruelty seizure earlier this summer (involving 19 puppies) so we weren't sure we could afford another litter. Furthermore, we try to focus our resources on older dogs in the shelter system, as they face more barriers to adoption.
But at the end of the day, we couldn't turn our back on this poor, skeletal momma dog who was trying to raise her puppies in a noisy and unfamiliar shelter environment. We went to meet her on Saturday and she passed her temperament test with flying colours - wiggling and dispensing kisses for our volunteers.
This weekend, momma dog Norah moved to her foster home where she is warm, safe, and has plenty of attention. It's a happy coincidence that the foster mom is the adopter of Rosie, one of our "mange girls" from the Surrey rescue who is now fully recovered and the happiest little girl you can imagine.
So far mom and pups are doing great. Norah is eating well and already starting to relax - even initiating a play session with little Rosie. When the puppies are weaned in a few weeks, Norah will go to a permanent foster home on her own, be spayed and put up for adoption. At that time we hope the puppies will be able to go directly into foster-to-adopt homes with HugABull or our rescue partners Bully Buddies and Respect-A-Bull.
For now, things are looking good. All we need is 10 puppy names.
Five pups will be named by the top five donors to Floyd's veterinary care, because without your support of Floyd we would not be able to afford these puppies.
And....we'd like you to name the other five. Please comment here or on our Facebook page with your favourite puppy name - creativity encouraged!
Stay tuned for puppy photos and an announcement on names...
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Sunday, October 31, 2010
-- Pet portraits by Luv U Pets (www.luvupets.com) by donation to HugABull. Photo prints and holiday cards will be available for purchase featuring your pet’s image.
-- Vendors with holiday shopping offerings.
-- Launch of the 2011 HugABull calendar. Purchase your copy and view full-sized renditions of the stunning artwork featured in this year’s edition.
-- Donation drop off for Loki’s Christmas Wish 2010 (www.hugabull.com/LCW)
-- Bake sale and refreshments.
There’s something for everyone, human or canine. Leashed pets and attentive owners are welcome. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or to inquire about renting a table.
Sunday, November 14
11:00 am – 4:00 pm
Dizine Canine Training Centre
1730 Vernon Drive, Vancouver
Monday, October 18, 2010
Our review? A unequivocal two paws up! It’s clear it was written by a bullie breed owner as the writing entirely captures the essence of this breed – their extremely human-oriented nature, their athleticism, their tenacity.
Love Like A Dog is a story of a young boy, Dirk, who along with his single dad is adopted by Bull's Eye, a stray pittie who quickly becomes an integral part of the family. This leads to increased involvement in the bullie community and competitive dog sports – at first a positive experience that brings the family together, and Bulls Eye thrives.
Soon, though, Dirk’s father becomes exposed to the darker elements of the pit bull world, and greed takes over. This leaves the teenaged Dirk to risk losing the only family he knows, in the name of his best friend and the breed he has come to love.
The story weaves together many dimensions of the pit bull experience: the joy of a pit bull as a family companion, the reputable breeders and sports enthusiasts that show the positive potential of this breed, the rescue community, and the widespread abuse they endure at the hands of fighters and irresponsible owners. It's a wide range of perspectives, but Calcagno brings them to life with relatable and vibrant characters (human and canine).
I found myself staying up late to finish chapters, eager to learn what happens with Bulls Eye and his kin. There’s sadness in this story, but there is hope and there are a lot of great moments that will make a pit bull owner smile in recognition.
Want to read for yourself? We have a copy of the book to give away! Visit our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/hugabull) and post a comment telling us about your favourite book, movie or TV show featuring a bullie breed. You’ll be entered into a draw to win your own copy of Love Like A Dog.
To purchase a copy or to learn more about the book and what it has inspired, visit http://lovelikeadog.net/
Review by April Fahr
Monday, October 11, 2010
Many of us have taken a first aid or CPR course, but how much of that knowledge would translate to animal care? Would you know what to do if you saw a dog hit by a car? How to best measure circulation and breathing? How to tell if a limp requires a day of rest or an immediate trip to the vet’s office?
DOGSAFE Canine First Aid training programs equip you with this information and more. Founder Michelle Sevigny is committed to improving the safety of all dogs in our community, and as she writes on her website, “Prevention of injury is the key, however, accidents do happen. What you do between when an injury happens and when veterinary care is available will greatly affect a dog's chances of a full recovery.”
Michelle has always been a strong supporter of dog rescue (her demo dog Monty is one) and HugABull in particular, and this summer she offered to sponsor a full day Canine First Aid Level 1 course for HugABull directors and senior volunteers. Considering the dozens of dogs we work with each year, this was a fantastic opportunity to hone our handling skills and better serve our dogs, foster homes, and adopters.
The session was a full-day, hands-on course, focused on assessing and stabilizing injured dogs. As with human first aid, the priority is to evaluate airway, breathing and circulation – and DOGSAFE allows you to learn by doing, using a specially designed canine mannequin.
DOGSAFE also covers common canine emergencies – poison, skunks spray, bloat, vomiting, and broken bones to name a few – giving you the tools to take quick and appropriate action should they occur.
Even the most experienced dog handlers amongst us walked away more confident and knowledgeable, eager to recommend the course to any dog lover. DOGSAFE equips you in case of any canine emergency – whether in your home with your own dog, or out in your neighbourhood.
Courses are offered every 3-4 weeks in the Lower Mainland, as well as in Nanaimo and Victoria. Visit www.dogsafe.ca for course information, and to check out the many resources there, including emergency contact lists every dog owner should have handy!
Friday, October 8, 2010
We asked for help with Floyd's medical bills, and we could not have been more inspired by your response. We have received 26 donations to date, ranging from $10 to $300!
This has been phenomenal, not only by helping us through a precarious financial period, but by reminding us how very much you care. Your supportive words, and the time and thought behind every donation is so much appreciated by all of us who work on the front lines.
We are pretty sure Floyd knows how lucky he is, because he is a thoroughly happy boy completely in love with his new life. He has settled into foster care and has wonderful house manners (even around the grouchy cat who won't play with him). His health status overall is good, although he's fighting a nasal infection as a result of the untreated trauma to his face.
Thank you. From the bottom of our hearts, to all of Floyd's guardian angels, listed here alphabetically:
Sam, Arlo and Draiman Andress
Sara Lima (on behalf of Paco Collars)
Kieran McConnell and Jessica Main
Jan McDonagh (in memory of Rascal)
Monica, Tom and Tiger
And for those of you on the island, Kim Rose is organizing a pet portrait fundraiser in Courtenay on Saturday, October 23. Bring your pet to the Van Isle Pet Hospital for a portrait session by donation, with proceeds directed to HugABull. More details on facebook and on Kim's website.
Please note that we don't have a final total on Floyd's medical expenses, but if donations surpass our bills, you can rest assured that 100% of these funds will be directed to medical care of other dogs in need.
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
The SPCA was called in to investigate and soon clarified that the dog was a German Shepherd/bull terrier mix. Although we occasionally see bull terriers targeted by breed specific legislation, they are physically and temperamentally very different from the three breeds commonly defined as pit bulls: American Staffordshire Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, and American Pit Bull Terriers.
The bad news? The "pit bull" headline stuck in many cases. In this Global BC broadcast (scroll to 14:37) they included "pit bull" in the caption even though they mention the dog's exact breed mix several times in the interview.
The good news? Once the "pit bull" label was peeled off, and the SPCA was asked to comment, the news report became a lot more balanced. The news angle turned to factors behind bites - sexually intact dogs, undersocialized dogs, and children who approach dogs inappropriately. If BSL was brought up, it was to point out its flaws, and the SPCA spoke out loud and clear about it.
In addition to the Global BC report, this Maple Ridge News article is a great example of balanced and fair coverage we'd like to see more of: http://www.bclocalnews.com/tri_city_maple_ridge/mapleridgenews/news/100396369.html
It's really encouraging to see this. Would the angle have shifted in this direction if the attack had indeed been a "pit bull" incident? We don't know. We'd like to think so, and we'd like to live in a culture where reporters hear about a dog bite and look at all the factors, not just breed, before filing their story. In the meantime we'll hope this is part of a trend, and keep working to encourage it.
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
The visionary behind these policies is Bill Bruce, Director of Animal and Bylaw Services. HugABull is pleased to host Mr. Bruce in Vancouver for a forum on effective dog legislation, speaking about his experiences, challenges and successes in implementing Dangerous Dog Legislation.
Thursday, September 9
Creekside Community Centre
1 Athletes Way, Vancouver
There is no registration fee, but space is limited. Please RSVP to email@example.com.
We are reserving seats for city councillors throughout Metro Vancouver and will be inviting them personally. However, we encourage you to write to your local representatives and encourage them to attend. Many jurisdictions have outdated animal control policies including breed-specific legislation. Please help us spread the word about an alternative that is more effective, safer and more humane.
This event is made possible thanks to a City of Vancouver Animal Welfare Grant.
HugABull is also hosting a half-day workshop specifically for shelter and animal welfare workers the following day: Friday, September 10. This event will feature a second presentation by Bill Bruce. If you work in animal welfare and are interested in participating in our workshop, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
We need a lot of help putting this event together in a short time frame, and we're seeking volunteers to join our event planning committee. Duties may include phone calls, emails, correspondence, event logistics, managing RSVPs, and helping out on event day.
We would ask that you could commit a minimum of four hours a week up until September 20th. Most of this work can be done on your own schedule, and from home, but ideally you will be available for occasional meetings or activities in the Greater Vancouver area, and for the event itself.
There will be plenty of opportunities to volunteer for individual tasks, or on the day of the event, so if you can't join the committee, there are plenty of other ways you can help! Please email email@example.com if you are interested and looking for an unforgettable (and fun) summer project.
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Derick Groves, a very talented filmmaker in Victoria, shot and produced this short film about pit bull misconceptions and abuse, and what HugABull is doing to help.
Derick and his partner Michelle were foster parents for HugABull almost two years ago, until their strata council decided not to allow pit bulls in their building. While they were disappointed and angry, they decided to find other ways to help, and Derick applied his considerable talent and hours of time to our cause.
We think he did an amazing job, and we challenge you to watch this short film without a tear in your eye. Enjoy, and please share it widely!
Thanks also to Monica and Tom, Lisa and John, Jeff and everyone else who participated in filiming.
Saturday, July 10, 2010
Luckily, we have many creative and dedicated fundraisers on our side, helping to make a dent in the large costs associated with this rescue. Like the SFU students behind Project4Pets, a group with a mission to raise awareness of animal cruelty issues and to promote a culture that values pets and animals.
Project4Pets will be hosting Talented Tails, a pet talent show and celebration on Sunday, July 18 near Commercial Drive in East Vancouver. There will be prizes and gift bags along with a spectrum of family friendly events – a barbeque, bake sale, face painting and tons of information and resources for pet owners of all breeds.
What makes it even better? All proceeds are directed to HugABull to cover vet care for dogs like Knoxx, below. Once a tiny, neglected and sick puppy, he's now thriving in a great home and even gets to go camping!
July 18, 2010
12:00pm – 6:00pm (talent show at 1:00pm)
Britannia High School’s Tennis Courts
1001 Cotton Drive, Vancouver
Admission: $5 in advance and $7 at the door
Registration fees for talented pets: $10 in advance and $15 at the door
For more information on the event, visit http://www.talentedtails.ca/
Thursday, June 17, 2010
- The events page on our website
- Our Twitter feed! Follow us @HugABull
- The calendar on our blog (look down and to the right!)
- Our Facebook group (log in and search "HugABull")
This weekend we'll be at The Petnerships Project. This event is a weekend of learning and connecting around animal wellness. There will be a roster of experts speaking about holistic and natural approaches to pet care, a trade show, and a rescue showcase. The organizers behind The Petnerships Project are strong supporters of rescue and are responsible for the great media stories about the 23 dogs seized in Surrey. Join us at the Hellenic Community Centre in Vancouver on Saturday or Sunday, and visit http://www.petnerships.com/ for your $5 entry coupon!
If you live on the Island, make sure to check out the fundraising car wash in Saanich on Saturday. And while we're at it, a belated shout out to the volunteers behind "Hungry for HugABull" and Nando's Restaurants who hosted a vibrant event last weekend, complete with pittie visitors (on their best behaviour, despite the fragrance of delicious chicken dinners wafting around). Thank you to all!
Sunday, June 13, 2010
Local pit bull rescue Bully Buddies took five of the puppies into their care, including two with severe mange. They have taken wonderful care of these dogs - all are now thriving and destined for great homes.
The organizers of The Petnership Project heard about the 23 dogs through TnT Shar Pei Rescue and immediately wanted to do all they could to help. They put a spotlight on HugABull as a featured rescue and helped us secure widespread media coverage in multiple radio stations, on CTV, and in The Province. (We'll be participating in their rescue showcase at their event on June 19 and 20 in Vancouver - come see us there!)
Big Heart Rescue donated boxes of supplies, toys, collars and leashes.
Cambie Animal Hospital provided a generous rescue discount for the dogs' extensive veterinary care.
Dizine Canine Training Centre in Vancouver donated daycare and training.
Dog Utopia in Surrey donated supplies and transport.
Elemental Canine in Cloverdale donated a truckload of high-quality puppy and adult food.
Furever After Small Dog Rescue Society donated collars, leashes and supplies.
Nicole Leblanc donated several bags of Wellness dog food.
W&M Pet Supplies in Langley donated toys.
Meghan Clarkson is donating proceeds from her "Don't Shop...Adopt" t-shirt and sticker sales through RedBubble.com.
Doggybytes.ca is donating proceeds from button sales during the first month of its #endBSL campaign.
Natalie is organizing a fundraising car wash in Saanich on June 19.
Janice Mills spearheaded Hungry for HugABull, a fundraiser in partnership with Nando's Restaurant in Victoria.
Thank you to the people who opened their homes and hearts to sick, suffering, and three-legged dogs. Fostering is always rewarding, but it is not always easy, especially when repeated vet visits and needle-like puppy teeth are involved! But thanks to you, these dogs thrived in family environments - rather than languishing in kennels - while they waited for their forever homes.
We received over $2,000 in cash donations from generous individuals who we would love to recognize by name - but some would rather stay out of the spotlight so we can only thank them as a group...and remind them their dollars directly save lives.
Thanks also to the volunteers who helped with homechecks, transport, positive energy and so much more over the past six weeks. It is truly a privilege to work with such a vibrant, dynamic community of animal lovers. On behalf of 23 dogs and HugABull, thank you!
Friday, June 4, 2010
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
All of the 23 dogs transferred to local rescues were in poor health, and many of them got worse before they got better. Almost every dog had severe internal parasites and some degree of kennel cough. The puppies came to us with malnutrition and underdeveloped immune systems, and most developed some degree of bronchitis or pneumonia. Many had to go back into intensive care at the veterinarian's office.
A couple of the puppies started limping and xrays showed hairline fractures and soft tissue injuries. We believe that poor nutrition and lack of proper mobility in their first months of life left them with poor bone and muscle development.
The five mange pups are in wonderful homes who are administering the medication and care they need to get healthy. They are playful little girls and their beautiful coats are starting to fill in.
(To see photos and status updates of all 23 dogs, visit our designated web page: http://hugabull.com/23-dogs)
We have received so many donations of supplies, food, and cash since our last update – as well as many generous offers to foster and provide transport for these dogs. Applications for puppies came pouring in, but even after adoption fees are collected we will be just over 50% of our fundraising goal (when all is said and done the costs and vet bills for the 17 dogs currently in our care will likely exceed $8000).
Thankfully we have sponsors who continue to step forward, and some dedicated volunteers organizing events like Hungry for HugABull in Victoria, a Saanich car wash, and a special showcase at the Vancouver Petnerships event to fundraise while we focus on getting these dogs healthy and into the homes they deserve.
To make a donation to help these dogs, use PayPal or contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
5610 Goring St, Burnaby, BC (Canine Corner Parking Lot)
Monday, May 17, 2010
Now we turn our attention to Vancouver Island, where some amazing volunteers have stepped forward to organize fundraisers in support of the 30+ dogs in our program who will continue to need time, nurturing, and medical care.
Car Wash - June 19, 2010
Hungry for HugABull - June 13
Government Street location, downtown Victoria
Nando's chicken is generously donating 10% of proceeds (with coupon, below) on June 13. Come by to enjoy a great meal at a discounted price, support a worthy cause, and enjoy the sights and sounds of downtown Victoria.
Print and share coupons for this one-time-only event!
A very special thanks to Janice and Natalie for leading these two fantastic events!
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
We'll have tables set up with treasures for sale, with proceeds to benefit HugABull. (If you'd like to book a table to sell your stuff, contact email@example.com right away).
There will also be a fundraising barbeque and bake sale. After accepting 23 neglected and abused dogs into our program last week, we will put all proceeds to good use.
Please stop by to shop, to eat, to visit...and with any donations!
- Cash for vet and other expenses
- Collars and leashes (especially puppy-sized)
- Durable toys (Kongs, Nylabones, ChuckIt balls, etc)
- Treats (minimal ingredients, natural are best)
- Chewies (digestible ones like bully sticks or salmon skins rather than rawhide)
- Treats for the bake sale! Cookies, cupcakes, squares, candies and even dog treats are welcome. Please package individually if possible and all proceeds from the sale will directly benefit our foster dogs.
We hope to see you there!
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
As exhilarated as we are, we know that our work has only begun. The dogs need significant vet care, and adoption fees won't even begin to cover costs. All of the 17 dogs in our care need vaccinations, spay/neuter, and deworming. All puppies have some degree of respiratory infection, and others have gastrointestinal problems. Three of them have mange so severe they are bald and bleeding (that's one of them, at left). The adults have open and infected wounds, and one may need a leg amputation.
It's going to be a long and costly project to get these dogs healthy and into loving, responsible homes, and we'd love your help! Fundraising is our #1 goal at the moment, so if you can donate - even just $5 or $10 - please consider doing so. Visit http://hugabull.com/how-to-help/donate for details, or go directly to PayPal. (Stay tuned for updates on our dogs and opportunities to sponsor individual pups in need!)
We'll also be needing the following in the coming days and weeks:
Once again: THANK YOU. We can't wait to share updates and stories with all of you.
Saturday, May 1, 2010
If you've ever considered fostering, this is your chance. We'll be providing more details in the days to come, but in the meantime contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you might be able to foster a dog in need. You may also want to visit http://hugabull.com/adoption/foster-care for more information on our program.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Many people live their entire lives without touching as many hearts as one humble dog did in just a couple of years. HugABull mourns the passing of Dizzy, an organizational mascot and extraordinary ambassador.
Brindled Dizzy came to us with a grey face and a spotty history. Ultimately landing at the Vancouver SPCA, he won the hearts of volunteers and staff with his doe eyes and cuddly nature. Dizzy would nestle into legs, laps, faces…whatever human contact was available.
Word circulated quickly in the rescue community about this cool little dog, and HugABull director Shelagh came to check him out. She saw a true pittie that couldn’t be gentler and more people-loving, and decided to foster him herself.
That’s how Dizzy added a couple more hearts to the collection: his canine sister Bailey, normally indifferent to other dogs but devoted to Dizzy, and Shelagh. Although as a professional trainer and rescuer Shelagh was used to seeing dogs come and go, Dizzy was special. The minute the first application came in for his adoption, Shelagh realized she couldn’t let him go.
Always the first out the door for a visitor, and the last to leave someone’s company, Dizzy greeted everyone with a smile and a helicopter tail. He quickly became HugABull’s “go to” dog whenever we needed a friendly, well-behaved pit bull to show off. He accompanied Shelagh on countless interviews, home visits, and rallies – and could always be counted on to nuzzle the camera and schmooze even the most hard-hearted breed foes. When we learned of his passing, people throughout the community shared how he had changed their perception. He made an impression on everyone he met, and convinced many to let a pit bull into their lives.
Last summer Dizzy and Shelagh participated in an SPCA program teaching children about appropriate interactions with dogs. Dizzy passed his temperament assessment with flying colours (of course) and thrived on the attention while doling out kisses and wags to little ones. He was such a star that Shelagh planned to certify him as a therapy dog for children’s hospitals.
Dizzy was the inspiration and the “Diz” behind Dizine Canine, Shelagh’s training business and daycare. He was a wonderful little daycare dog, playing happily with new doggie friends but always preferring to snuggle in against a visiting human.
Although not a young dog, we estimated his age to be between 8 and 10 and thought he had many years of ambassadorship left. We were shocked to hear he was diagnosed with canine lymphoma. Shelagh knew it was a fast-acting disease but had no idea that only three weeks later, he would be laid to rest.
Dizzy’s passing drew many tears and beautiful memories. For many of us, he was the little brindled face of HugABull and the dog that is everything we love about pit bulls.
Dizzy was laid to rest in the arms of his family on Wednesday, April 14. He will always be remembered, and his name will always be synonymous with the sweet, cuddly, and over-the-top loving temperament that exemplifies our love for this breed.
Dizzy with his "sister" Bailey
Saturday, April 17, 2010
Beaver Lake Park (near the Elk Lake Drive entrance)
Registration at 10am, with walk starting at 11am
This event will include a Canine Good Neighbour (CGN) Test. The CGN program assesses dogs on their ability to perform basic exercises as well as their ability to demonstrate good manners in everyday situations. The certificate may benefit you and your pet when applying for rental/ condo accommodation, pets in the workplace or other access.
Cost for the registration and CKC certificate is $20.00. Pre-registration is strongly recommended as the event will be busy.
Citizen Canine is collecting donations to sponsor rescue dog waiting for adoption - demonstrating that great pets are available through rescue, and to increase their adoptability. At least four HugABull dogs will be attempting the test, and for $20 you can sponsor one. Please contact email@example.com if you'd like to help!
New this year is the Citizen Canine Dog Friendly Landlord of the Year Award. Finding pet-friendly rentals is tough, and landlords who keep an open mind deserve kudos. If you live on Vancouver Island and feel that your landlord fits the bill, email firstname.lastname@example.org with your nomination or questions.
For more information on any of the above, please visit http://www.citizencanine.org/. We hope to see our Island friends on May 2!
HugABull is proud to participate in Citizen Canine's Everybody and Their Dog Walk in Victoria:
HugABull Flea Market Fundraiser
Sunday May 16th
10am to 4pm
Dizine Canine Training Centre
1730 Vernon Drive
Vendor tables are available for $10. Email email@example.com to reserve a table before April 30. A minimum 15% of vendor sales will be donated to HugABull Rescue & Advocacy Society (you recycle so we can rescue!).
Sell clothing, knick-knacks, appliances, books, jewellery – anything that is legal to sell and can fit on a table.
Bring your appetite! There will be a hot dog and bake sale on-site.
Poster design by Marlis Steininger
Friday, April 9, 2010
Click here to watch a dog-focused spot on CityTV's Breakfast Television. It starts with an interview of Jacqueline from Aqua Paws Hydrotherapy - a generous lady who loves strong breeds and donates therapy time to shelter dogs. She's a long-time volunteer with the SPCA and has also worked with HugABull foster dogs who needed hydrotherapy after injury. Jacqueline took the ultimate pittie plunge last fall when she adopted a HugABull dog of her own, after falling in love with red-nosed Stevie (pictured above) during a foster stay.
The second part of the Breakfast TV spot shows Kim, the manager of the Vancouver SPCA, giving a short demo on clicker training, using a beautiful and well-mannered pit bull as a demo dog.
HugABull supporters, rotties, pit bulls, and training advice all in one five-minute spot? This media coverage gets a thumbs-up!
Here is the full Breakfast Television link:
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Andy's owner didn't do that. He or she didn't even try the typical, cowardly types of surrender that we see: claiming the dog isn't theirs but a stray who wandered into their yard, leaving the dog tied outside an SPCA, leaving their dog with a "FREE" sign, or simply opening the door and letting the dog run until it is picked up by animal control.
Instead, someone put Andy and another dog in a truck, drove into Surrey, and pushed both dogs out of the moving vehicle. Luckily for them, another kind-hearted motorist saw what happened and picked up both bruised and confused dogs, delivering them to the SPCA. That's how we met Andy, a sweet, neglected, senior citizen who need some serious TLC.
Andy's personality couldn't be nicer: he's extra-loving with people, great with other dogs, and he LOVES to play despite his advanced age (approximately 8 or 9 years old).
Andy would do great in just about any home, although at first he'll need some medical attention. This poor battered dog has irritated skin and bald patches that will need to be investigated and treated topically, and through a hypo-allergenic diet. His feet are tender and he needs to lose some weight.
Right now Andy needs a foster so he can get out of the shelter - even if someone can only commit to a week or two. HugABull will cover all expenses related to his medical care, and can provide assistance with transport to and from vet visits, and anything else he may need.
Andy should be enjoying his golden years with his head in someone's lap. Not itchy and sore, in a kennel, literally thrown away by the only person he ever knew. If you know someone who can commit to a short- or longer-term foster for this wonderful dog, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Adjusting to condo living was a snap, and Sheba never put a paw out of place. Her new family loved her, but unfortunately the landlord didn't feel the same way. His small dog reacted aggressively on sight of Sheba, and although Sheba never responded, he felt the new dog was to blame.
Soon the landlord came knocking claiming that their pit bull "made neighbours uncomfortable." Again, Sheba had never been rude to anyone or even barked, but the landlord demanded that she be muzzled while in the building.
Wanting to be good neighbours, the owners complied, although Sheba posed no risk to anyone. Days later the landlord was back saying muzzling wasn't enough and he was still getting complaints. He demanded that they get rid of the dog.
Sheba's owners did a great deal of soul-searching and offered to find new housing, but the landlord was inflexible. He wouldn't allow them to keep the dog, but wouldn't allow them to break their lease either.
The owners didn't have the resources to fight and after making phone calls and exploring their options, they felt their hands were tied. Although they had done everything by the book...although they lived in a city with no breed specific legislation...although there was nothing in their rental agreement about pets...and although their dog hadn't once misbehaved...they risked losing their home and/or money in legal fees.
Luckily Sheba's original foster home was still open, and she returned to a familiar environment where she still awaits her forever home. We know it won't take long because she's such an easy, mellow dog - but that doesn't make this blatant discrimination any easier to take.
How can you make sure this doesn't happen to you?
- Read all pet-related bylaws carefully and obey them. Pit bulls are under more scrutiny than other breeds, so never give a neighbour or landlord a reason to complain.
- If you live in a strata or co-op, get involved with the board and ensure you know about any proposed changes to pet laws. Speak out against any breed specific proposals, and educate your neighbours about effective animal control policies. This page is a great start!
- If you are a renter and unfairly targeted because of your dog's breed, contact the Residential Tenancy Office. You can speak to an Information Officer at no cost to find out your rights, and arrange mediation if needed.
- Consider asking your veterinarian, trainer, or other animal professional to provide letters speaking out against breed specific legislation in general, and about the temperament of your dog in particular.
- Contact us! We can arrange for a certified trainer to provide a temperament assessment of your dog, and provide you with information to take to your landlord or strata.
Friday, March 12, 2010
Thursday, March 11, 2010
We pulled Gunner out of the shelter back in Fall 2009. He was so stressed that he was exhibiting compulsive behaviour - spinning and biting his tail - and the shelter staff was becoming concerned. They called us and he aced his temperament assessment: Gunner is lovely and affectionate with people and absolutely ADORES children. He's very friendly with other dogs and can co-exist with a cat.
Gunner went to a wonderful, experienced foster home with three other dogs and a little boy, and thrived. His stress behaviour stopped completely and his foster mom said that if she didn't already have a full pack at home, she would have adopted him for sure.
A month later, Gunner was snapped up by a great family who adored him. Sadly we learned last month that due to a family emergency his owners were unable to keep him, and through no fault of his own Gunner is back in the program.
Because of the sudden return we've been unable to find him a permanent foster home and Gunner has had to move a couple of times. This, combined with the stress of leaving his family, has taken a toll on the poor boy and he's not doing well. He's still a loving and wonderful little man, but he is STRESSED and some of his shelter behaviours are returning.
With his happy personality and cute little eye patch, Gunner is often compared to Petey from the Little Rascals. He's a perfect breed ambassador and a little gentleman, and it's hard for us to see him in such distress.
Please help us help Gunner. If you know someone who can provide a calm, secure environment where he can de-stress for a couple of weeks, we can continue working to find him a home he never has to leave. He has lovely house manners, and he would do just fine in almost any kind of living environment (house, apartment, urban, rural, pets, children, etc) as long as there's not SO much stimulation that he becomes even more stressed.
Since his stress behaviours increase when left alone, it would be ideal to put him in an environment where he isn't routinely on his own for long hours.
Gunner is a GREAT dog who has had a rough start in life. Please help us put his days of stress and uncertainty behind him, and contact email@example.com if you can provide a foster or foster-to-adopt home for him.