Wednesday, January 5, 2011

We're moving!

We apologize in advance for any confusion or hassle we may cause...but...we're moving our blog! Past and future posts will be at this address:

The new blog site will live on the HugABull server, giving us more control over features and the editing process. We've also set up an analytics system so we can track the number of visits and get to know a little more about our readers (don't worry, your individual identities are not visible so privacy is intact!).

Among other things, we'll have advertising opportunities available for pit-friendly businesses. Not only does this provide exposure to some great companies, but we hope it can be a source of revenue to keep us in operation.

Please navigate over to and make sure to update your bookmarks. Thank you for following us and we look forward to seeing you in our new space.

Friday, December 31, 2010

Guest post - Dear Mr. President

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.


Mr. Obama,

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

Norah and puppy update

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 - Breaking Records!

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 ( 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

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 website (there are too many amazing organizations and volunteers to name here, so they have their very own page).

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The 2011 HugABull Calendar is Here

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!

Tanya King of Dog & Hydrant Dog Photography and Boutique has supported HugABull for many years - photographing foster dogs to increase their adoptability, collecting items for Loki's Christmas Wish and contributing to a number of past calendars. She is committed to rescue and is seen here with Daisy, her adopted American Bulldog from Vancouver Animal Shelter.

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!)

Want a calendar? Yes, you do! They are full-colour, gorgeous artifacts that support a great cause - and show your commitment to pit bull rescue year-round.

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):

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Another cruelty seizure. Puppies in need.

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

HugABull’s first online auction!! Items needed.

Our annual fundraiser is going digital!

Since our supporters live throughout BC and across Canada, we realized that the only way to include everyone is to take it online.

So, starting mid-November we will auction off a selection of items through eBay. If you have something you’d like to contribute, we’d love to hear from you. All proceeds will go directly to helping the dogs in our care.

Items do not necessarily have to be dog related! We are looking for things that are:
- New and in good condition
- Minimum $20 in value, to offset our shipping and transaction costs
- Easy (and legal) to ship within Canada

Some things on our wish list include:
- Anything you would find on a store shelf. Toys, sports equipment, electronics, you name it.
- Gift cards from established services or businesses.
- Gift baskets.

Ideally, we would like confirmation and a photo of the item by Wednesday, November 10 in order to ensure it is listed in time. Our goal is to have everything sold and shipped out well before the holidays.

Feel free to be creative and please email with any questions...and stay tuned for auction launch dates!