Farewell to Pit Crew’s Ann & Kane

Our friend and long-time volunteer, Ann, is a sweet soft-spoken woman. If one met her without her dogs, they might guess she owned a Yorkie or a poodle. They’d be wrong.

Over the years Ann has adopted nearly half a dozen Pit Bulls, teaching them how to play nicely, use their manners, and stay out of the darn pond. She has helped them achieve certifications in nose work and obedience. Treating them when they are sick, she’s had more than her fair share of battles with cancer. Ann is a woman truly dedicated to her furry family, even giving them a name: The Thundertail Tribe.  

Somewhere along the way, Ann adopted Kane, a stocky blue and white Pit Bull with tan eyebrows that can melt hearts at first glance. As she and Kane went through therapy dog prep, I saw him do something unusual for a dog in training. He didn’t change much.

Luckily he didn’t have to. Kane is comedically stubborn, and possibly not the most trainable dog, but that’s okay because his sweet gentle personality is innate. He joined The Pit Crew in 2013, and Ann has been posting pictures of him waiting eagerly by the front door in his therapy vest ever since.

A regular at AGE of Central Texas and Hope Alliance, Kane is a dedicated soldier of snuggles. There are so many photos of him bringing joy to people, it was hard to choose only a couple for this post. A lover of all creatures big and small, he has even been featured in the news alongside his pal, a therapy guinea pig.

Recently Ann, Kane and the rest of the Thundertail Tribe, decided to relocate. We are sad to see them go, but forever grateful for their unwavering service and loyalty to our cause over all these years. Any city they call home is lucky to have them.

Best of luck on all your adventures, Ann and the Thundertails.

Love,

Love-A-Bull & The Pit Crew

 

Author: Crystal Dunn, Program Manager: The Pit Crew

Adopt-A-Bull Zoey’s T.V. Debut

Miss Zoey made her t.v. debut on July 1st at the KVUE studio in Austin, TX. Check her out here on their Pet of the Week.

This sweet girl is one of Love-A-Bull’s long stay Adopt-A-Bulls and she is a fantastic dog that deserves a loving home!

Zoey came to Love-A-Bull in April of 2015 after being found in the Houston area by a good Samaritan. Local police were contacted and the police offer that responded knew of Love-A-Bull so we were contacted to take Miss Zoey in. Zoey did fantastic in her foster home that she shared with two other pups. Unfortunately, Zoey’s foster parents ended up moving out of state for business and Zoey was placed into boarding. After about a month of boarding, we thought Zoey had finally found her forever home and she was adopted! This was not to be Zoey’s forever home, though and after 6 months, she was returned to the organization. Love-A-Bull does our best at match making, but sometimes the dog and the new family just don’t end up bonding. After being returned, Zoey went through an extensive amount of training to help her hone her energy and this is when we found out that Zoey loves to learn. She absolutely excels at training!

After being returned from her adopter, Zoey again went into boarding for a couple of months before we found a foster home for her. Unfortunately, that foster home would not be able to keep her long as they had some life changes taking place, so off to boarding again Zoey went. Zoey was in boarding for almost 3 months before another foster home was found and that is where she has stayed.

Zoey thrives on structure and activity and we believe the consistent changes in her home environment have unfortunately led to her being dog reactive. This of course makes her placement a little more difficult, but we know that perfect family or person is out there for her! Zoey absolutely has the potential of being dog social as both her previous foster homes and her training, she was housed with multiple other dogs. However, at this point in time we are seeking a home where she is the only pet.

Zoey is an absolute sweetheart of a dog! She loves her people and attaches to them quite quickly. She truly is a dog that loves to please. She is an excellent cuddler and a champ at snoring. Zoey is a perfect dog for an active family! She loves outdoor activities like hiking, biking, getting on the trails or even long walks around the neighborhood. We also recently discovered that she likes the water, so if you enjoy any of the lakes around the Austin area, she’s your girl. Zoey would also be a fantastic pup to get involved in Nosework or even Agility…she’s that good! Zoey is also incredibly fond of children and gets along quite well with them.

If you are looking for a smart, beautiful, goofy, active pup then please take the first step and fill out our online adoption application: http://love-a-bull.org/adopt/adoption-application/

Texas Humane Legislation Network-How Can You Make a Difference?

Love-A-Bull was organized to advocate and educate on behalf of pit bull type dogs and for this reason we aim to be educated on bills specifically affecting our pets. As the 85th Texas Legislative session gets under way, Love-A-Bull volunteers from the Community Outreach and Education committee and The Pit Crew Therapy dog program, were on site during Texas Humane Legislation Network (THLN) last meeting of their Central Texas Chapter.

If you are not familiar with THLN, they hold an unusual nonprofit status that works heavily in favor of animal welfare advocates and supporters. THLN has promoted animal protection through legislation, education and advocacy since 1975. As a 501(c)4, THLN can advocate for strong, enforceable laws that will prohibit cruel acts against animals and give law enforcement and prosecutors the tools they need to bring justice in the courtroom.

THLN Representatives Celia Isreal and Gina Hinojosa spoke on the upcoming bills that have been introduced:

  • Texas H.B. 478: Would negate criminal charges for those individuals that break into cars to rescue pets in distress due to weather conditions. Read the details here: https://legiscan.com/TX/bill/HB478/2017
  • Texas H.B. 1087: Related to the creation of the offense of beastiality (the crime of engaging in sexual relations with an animal). The prosecution or consequences of being found guilty of this offense are weak. The new bill would seek to make the offense a felony and punishable with jail time. Read the details here: https://legiscan.com/TX/text/HB1087/2017
  • Texas H.B. 1156: Regarding tethering of a dog. Provides restrictions on how long and the type of restraint a person may use on a dog. Read the details here: https://legiscan.com/TX/text/HB1156/id/1467109

Texas is ranked 36th in animal protection. It is vital, that you, as a community member, understand who your representatives are and what they stand for. When it comes to topics like the one’s listed above and the ever-important Breed Specific Legislation (BSL), change comes when we, as citizens, ensure that we have voted the right people into office that have the best interest of our animals at heart when it comes to animal welfare topics. To stay up-to-date on this legislative session and future ones, please check out Texas Humane Legislation Network and Texas Tribune.

How do you really make an impact? According to Celia Isreal and Gina Hinojosa…” Being a constituent and calling your representative to show support of a bill is of utmost importance and how most bills are passed. Personalized emails are helpful as well, but calls are more effective. Showing up to sign your name at the hearing is the ultimate way to get a bill passed.”

For information on THLN approved representatives, click here: http://www.thln.org/the_network_s_2016_humane_endorsements_for_the_texas_primary_race

Put it on your calendar: Humane Lobby Day is April 27th, 2017

USDA Removes Inspection Reports

Everyone has heard the slogan “Adopt, Don’t Shop!” and that sentiment has never been more important than to those who are involved with animal rescue organizations. Recently, the USDA removed an online database from its Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). This database contained thousands of records pertaining to the Animal Welfare Act, which is a federal law that protects animals. The public records were not only a useful tool for animal advocacy groups, but also for journalist covering animal welfare issues and even pet store owners looking to check the records of commercial breeders.

Why is this important to you? Well, those records, which include thousands of inspection reports for thousands of facilities like zoos, laboratories and commercial breeders, have been used to ensure that responsible parties toe the line when it comes to caring for the animals in these facilities. They have also been used by animal welfare advocates to report neglect and abuse and rescue those animals who end up in the most horrific conditions imaginable, specifically at puppy mills. This is data collected during USDA inspections of these facilities, and the loss only benefits recurrent animal abusers.

According to the HSUS & ASPCA:

• An estimated 167,388 breeding dogs are currently living in USDA licensed commercial facilities.
• There are an estimated 10,000 puppy mills in the US which include licensed and unlicensed facilities.
• Over 2 million puppies are bred in mills each year.
• There are over 35,000 pet stores in America
• 99% of puppies sold in a pet store come from a puppy mill
• An estimated 1.2 million dogs are euthanized in shelters every year.

Puppy mills will breed all types of dogs, with the sole purpose of making as much profit as possible, which limits the amount of money spent on the health and well-being of the dogs. Many times, dogs from puppy mills live in squalor, in their own feces and urine. They generally do not have protection from the elements and are confined 24 hours a day in metal wire cages. Puppies can be sold for between $500 and $3000 and are typically sold in poor health, with some dying due to the horrible living conditions they were bred and kept in. The mother of these puppies, will spend her entire life in a tiny cage, never being pet, walked or even treated like a dog and then killed when she can no longer produce.

Love-A-Bull, has been honored to have our volunteers assist in deployments when these types of breeding facilities, hoarding facilities and sanctuaries are busted and the dogs rescued. With so many dogs entering the shelter system and so many not leaving, Love-A-Bull strongly urges adoption over buying a dog from a store or backyard breeder. There are literally, millions of dogs dying in our shelter systems each and every year. Adopting saves lives, keeps money out of the pockets of backyard breeders and puppy mill owners AND helps make room for the other animals that also need rescue. Love-A-Bull is proud to take part in Puppy Mill Awareness Day each year in September, to help spread the word about the horrible truth for exactly where that “doggy in the window” comes from.

For more information on how to stay up-to-date on puppy mill issues, we highly suggest following Bailing Out Benji and Puppy Mill Awareness. Bailing Out Benji is a small non-profit organization that is dedicated to educating the U.S. about the puppy mill problem and how to combat it. Puppy Mill Awareness aims to encourage the public not to buy puppies from pet stores or online and to raise awareness about Puppy Mills.

TAKE ACTION: We need YOU to call the USDA and demand they reinstate the inspection reports so organizations like Bailing Out Benji and Beagle Freedom Project can keep monitoring the for-profit businesses that aren’t taking care of the animals they make money off of.

Call the USDA NOW at (844) 820-2234 and use your voice for these voiceless! Keep calling! Ask your friends to call! Let’s get the USDA to overturn this senseless decision! It only takes a minute and they are very polite when you call. Please call on behalf of the animals who already have so little protection under the law to begin with.