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Volunteer at Pittie Pride!

This is our largest annual event of the year and there are TONS of opportunities to help out! First-timers welcome, no experience necessary, but you are required to attend the All-Volunteer Meeting on Sunday, October 12th to meet everyone, see the schedule and learn the essential details. We’ll also have t-shirts available to purchase so volunteers can display their pittie pride!

paw-print-bullet Sign up for your shift(s) here!

paw-print-bullet Please note to sign-up for Staffie Sentry you must attend at least one Staffie Sentry training to qualify. There is one more opportunity available on Sunday, October 12th. Want to know more about Staffie Sentry? Read this blog post.

Contact getinvolved@love-a-bull.org with any questions about volunteering.
We look forward to meeting you!

Interested in helping with logistics, planning, or preparation for the event? Email events@love-a-bull.org for details.

And be sure to check out the schedule for our weekend of activities HERE!

volunteer-pittiepride-2014

Pittie Prom is almost here!

TSPP_Logo1-2 We’re so excited that Texas-Sized Pittie Pride “Goes to Prom” weekend (our 6th annual event) is less than 1 month away!

Interested in helping with logistics, planning, or preparation for the event? Email events@love-a-bull.org for details.

paw-print-bullet See the full schedule for all THREE weekend events and RSVP on facebook-logo Facebook or meetup-logo Meetup to add to your calendar.

Sponsors & Vendors
We want you! This is a great opportunity to create public impressions, gain exposure to your target audience, expand your customer base, and find like-minded supporters of your business or organization. Not to mention it’s for a worthy philanthropic cause.
paw-print-bullet See our Sponsor Levels here and our Vendor Opportunities here.

*** Early-bird registration for vendors has been extended until October 6th at midnight!
Submit your registration online today! ***

Support Pittie Pride
Can’t attend or volunteer? You can still help support us! Silent auction items and in-kind donations are welcomed for our auctions to be held during this weekend. (Love-A-Bull is a 501(c)(3) organization, and donations are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.)
paw-print-bullet Fill out the form online here or contact lindsey@love-a-bull.org for questions.

Questions on anything else related to Texas-Sized Pittie Pride? Email tspp@love-a-bull.org!

 
 

Drive to Create “We help non-profits change the world”

TSPP_Logo1-2 Have you had a chance to admire the new artwork for our 6th Annual Texas-Sized Pittie Pride weekend of events? It came to us via an amazing donation from an organization called Drive to Create (DTC). This 501(c)3 donates free marketing services to other non-profit organizations using creative, one-day marathons.

Love-A-Bull was honored to be selected through a competitive application process to receive their services, and it ended up being the perfect fit, as we were getting ready to launch this year’s Texas-Sized Pittie Pride (TSPP) in October. As a 100% volunteer-run organization, we couldn’t be more appreciative of free professional design services to help take our event to the next level.

Our events team had been brainstorming ways to elevate this year’s event. What started as a fun twist on the parade being led by a Pittie King & Pittie Queen quickly grew into a whole weekend of prom-themed events. Texas-Sized Pittie Pride “Goes to Prom” was born.

CharityPups-Example Prior to our Drive Day (the term they use for the full day of donated services of their creative staff), we shared the history of our organization and of TSPP, as well as this year’s theme. Aaron Kaufman, President of DTC and fantastic illustrator, is also the founder of Charity Pups, a website with ridiculously cute dog illustrations that can be purchased in several formats with 30% of the profit going to a charity of the month. Looking at his illustrations, we thought a combination of our theme and his art would be a perfect fit.

Our Drive Day was truly a marathon AND the first time Drive to Create had worked remotely with an organization (they are based in Cleveland, OH). It was a non-stop cycle of creative media being developed, emailed for review, and discussed on conference calls. Revisions would be made and the process would repeat. They dedicated a full Saturday to Love-A-Bull and provided branding for our event, as well as some designs to be used for other marketing materials.

The entire team was such a pleasure to work with, and we couldn’t be more pleased with the results. We’d like to give a Texas-Sized Pittie THANK YOU to the Drive to Create team for all of the hard work they put into working with us. We love the final product, and we hope you do too!

DTC-Logo If you are interested in learning more about this non-profit organization and how they help other non-profits, please please visit www.drivetocreate.org.

And be on the lookout for our Pittie King & Queen to be making even more surprise appearances as we get closer to this year’s Texas-Sized Pittie Pride Weekend, Oct. 24 – 26!

A Day as a Pit Crew Therapy Dog

Baby

Baby

Whenever I talk about my dog, Baby, being involved in a reading program with elementary school children, I quickly have to explain that, “No, Baby isn’t trained to read, the kids read to her!”

Baby is in her first year on the Pit Crew working as a therapy dog and — without question — her favorite activity is visiting schools where she is surrounded by children. She howls with anticipation and prances excitedly when we approach the building and she soaks up every bit of attention she gets from the kids and faculty.

This past year we’ve been frequent visitors to the after school reading program at Pecan Springs Elementary School, where the kids and teachers have come to recognize Baby and the other Pit Crew dogs as welcome friends.

Thanks to the Andy Roddick Foundation’s wonderful Summer Learning Program, Baby and the other Pit Crew dogs were invited to come read with the kids each afternoon during the program this summer.

Baby at elem school reading_2 7.17.2014

The kids read to Baby at the Andy Roddick Summer Camp.

The visits go something like this: We arrive just after lunch time, when the kids are settling into classrooms to read. Each dog is assigned to a classroom. The children get to choose a book and cannot wait until it is their turn to come over to read to Baby!

As they read, many of the kids take special care to show Baby the pictures in the book before they turn the pages. Baby rests calmly on her blanket and listens, without judgment, as the children read their chosen books. We’ve learned about sea creatures, Clifford, Shrek, and the solar system, and heard lots of other stories!

After everyone has had their turn to read to her, we usually end up surrounded by kids who are eager to learn about Baby. The kids ask all kinds of questions — “How old is she? What treats does she like? Does she know any tricks?” We often end up talking about respectful ways to handle pets, pet health and safety, dog-training, the importance of tags (ID and rabies), and other important things to know when caring for a dog.

Baby gets the massage she was waiting for.

Baby gets the massage she was waiting for.

I’ve even showed the kids a demonstration of how to “scoop the poop” using some of Baby’s bright pink Mutt Mitt bags (we used my keys as the item being scooped, so it was a completely clean demo!). And sometimes the kids just snuggle up next to Baby, resting, petting her, and relaxing for a few minutes before moving on to the next class activity.

Now that the summer program is over, Baby has a new reading blanket and we’re looking forward to fall when we can return to the school and reconnect with our extended family of friends at Pecan Springs!

To learn more about The Pit Crew, visit our website.

HuffPost does positive pitties

Excerpt from Huffington Post Green (see this week’s logo appearance below)
huffpostpitbulls

HuffPost Green is launching a week-long, community-driven effort to bust the myths and raise awareness about pit bulls, a maligned “breed” that often bears the brunt of dated, discriminatory legislation that can make it near impossible for these dogs to find a forever home. You can follow along with HuffPost Pit Bull Week here, or on Facebook and Twitter where we’ll be using the hashtag #PitBullWeek.

HuffPost’s animal welfare editor Arin Greenwood starts off this week with an article titled “10 Stereotypes About Pit Bulls That Are Just. Dead. Wrong.” She addresses some of the more commonly heard myths about these dogs and provides a brief answer to dispel some of those thoughts.

Sure at some point we’ve all read the posts, seen the cute pictures, and watched the comments pour in through social media ‘dispelling pit bull myths’ and we each have our own beliefs and reasons behind why we advocate for pit bull type dogs.

But as social media has been such a brute force in pushing ideas (both negative and positive) — seeing a somewhat well-known media entity launching a campaign, even if only for one week, shows something. What is that “something?” Well, it’s still to be determined. We’ll probably see both (1) an outpouring of support for pit bulls and (2) a backlash against them all across the internet over the next few weeks.

If you choose to participate in any discussions, please consider how your words might be received and if you are helping to spread a positive message, with constructive dialogue and accurate information.

We try to keep this in mind with everything that Love-A-Bull shares with the world, to support one of our primary goals — to help advocate through education. Make friends with people and appreciate their interests. Stereotypes, fears, and misconceptions are often simply a lack of knowledge.

Already there are some really great (read: adorable and I mean seriously adore-a-bull!!!) pictures and stories of pit bull type dogs feeding into HuffPost from their own editors and from across the web — and there are only more to come this week.

3rd Annual Strut Your Mutt in Austin!

JOIN the Love-A-Bull Team for Strut Your Mutt 2014!!!

Get ready, get set, get your pooch warmed up…it’s time for Best Friends Animal Society’s Strut Your Mutt in Austin! Join us for a leisurely morning walk to help raise money for homeless pets and shelters in our local area, then celebrate afterwards at our ultimate doggie festival.

Love-A-Bull is very excited to again participate in this annual nationwide fundraiser with our own Team.

Last year Strut Your Mutt raised nearly $1.7 million for participating animal rescue groups around the country. This year, the goal is $2 MILLION! Since Austin alone raised over $105,000 last year, the 2014 goal for Austin area participation is $125,000.

Love-A-Bull would like to help reach that goal by raising at least $3,500 to fund our training and therapy programs, spay/neuter services, community education, and to help continue saving the lives of animals in Austin which will ultimately impact the number of pets entering and leaving the shelters.

You can sign up to join Love-A-Bull’s Team here to help raise money and walk with us on Saturday, September 13, 2014 at Mueller Lake Park.

Can’t join us on the walk? You can still help us raise funding by signing up to be a Virtual Fundraiser or donating directly to our Team Captain. No matter how you decide to participate you’ll be helping us get closer to reaching our goal!

Help us start fundraising to reach our goal and, if you can, join us on the walk! As always, thank you for all of your wonderful support. We couldn’t do what we do without YOU!

Donations of any amount are appreciated! Here are some ideas for what these funds can help purchase, just to get you started:
$25
– Heartworm and flea protection for one dog for one month
– New leash and collar or new bed for one dog
$50
– Vet wellness check for one dog
– Spay/neuter for one dog
$100
– New crate for one dog
– Mange or allergy treatment for one dog
$500
– Vet check, heartworm treatment, spay/neuter, vaccinations for one dog
– Orthopedic surgery for one dog with bone or joint injuries

Pints for Pits: Celebrate Hope

Thank you to everyone who joined us to help celebrate this special anniversary edition of Pints for Pits and also those who helped support our event virtually! Through online donations, merchandise, special pint glasses, and raffle tickets — we not only met, but surpassed our goal of raising $5,000 to celebrate Hope and allow her legacy to live on.

We want to thank Opal Divine’s Marina hosting us for the 2nd year in a row and Thirsty Planet Brewing Company for helping to sponsor the event! Also a special thank you to our stupendous Love-A-Bull Volunteers and guest volunteers from Pints for Pups.

Pints4PitsOD_Collage

Pints for Pits: Celebrate Hope commemorated our dedication to Hope’s Fund. Just over a year ago, a sweet little coffee-colored girl entered our lives and changed us all. Her name was Hope. While Hope touched all of our hearts, just as touching was the outpouring of support we received to help her. In Hope’s honor, we created “Hope’s Fund” to provide medical care for abused and neglected dogs that come into the Love-A-Bull program.

Pints4PitsOD_Collage2

Check out all the pictures here: “Pints for Pits: Celebrate Hope”. Photography courtesy of Amanda Wintenburg Photography.

About Hope’s Fund:
Just over a year ago, a sweet little girl entered our lives and changed us all. Her name was Hope. She was rescued by Love-A-Bull after years of severe abuse and neglect. Although our little girl was a fighter, she just couldn’t pull through. We don’t know much about her past but what we do know is that she received nothing but love, kindness, and support since the day she came to us.

While Hope touched all of our hearts, just as touching was the outpouring of support we received to help her. In Hope’s honor, we created “Hope’s Fund” to provide medical care for abused and neglected dogs that come into the Love-A-Bull program. These funds cover anytime from basic medical care such as vaccinations and spaying of our adopt-a-bulls, to more serious health issues such as extreme abuse or neglect resulting in starvation, heart damage, cancer treatment, or x-rays, ultrasounds, or surgeries for broken bones or trauma injuries. Each dog that comes into our rescue program receives top notch care from a select few Austin veterinary clinics that offer discounted rates to our organization. This medical fund allows us to continue our work.

Pit Crew Wins Award from CTAN

Congratulations to the Pit Crew!

Cari Crowe (Pit Crew Team Member), Crystal Dunn (Pit Crew Trainer), and Skyler Lightfoot (Afterschool Program Director)

We won a Breakfast of Champions Award by the Central Texas Afterschool Network for our work at elementary schools in Austin!

This certificate of appreciation truly goes to the dedicated Pit Crew dog and handler teams that give their time to visit schools in our program regularly. They commit their time to reading clubs, art clubs, festivals, and more.

Pit Crew won this award in recognition for their professionalism and their commitment to humane education and dog safety in schools – an effort in the making  for almost three years. Of course, having some of the cutest, smartest, and sweetest dogs anyone could ever have the pleasure of snuggling is also key.

Mike Martinez, Council Member and Mayoral Candidate, expressed his deepest gratitude for programs like ours today.  He commented on the great influence they had on him as a child:  “Pardon all this passion… I am a product of what you all do.  Thank you.”

Cari Crowe, Council Member Mike Martinez, Crystal Dunn

Pit Crew is on a roll – this makes our second award nomination this year! In April, Hope Alliance, a non-profit organization that provides assistance for those affected by family and sexual violence,  also nominated us for our work with their women’s shelter.  It was honor just to be suggested for such a high regard and we look forward to our future with their organization.

Thank you to everyone in the Pit Crew for your continued dedication to dogs, the community, and our team. You and your dog are doing great things!

Is your Pit Bull or Pittie Mix exceptionally social and sweet? Consider joining us! Visit the Pit Crew page for more details. The next class begins Sunday, June 8th, 6:30 pm at Zoom Room Austin. Space is still available!

Blog post by Crystal Dunn of Leaps N’ Hounds, Trainer for Love-A-Bull’s Pit Crew Therapy Dogs.