Press Releases


Aiming higher than “no-kill”

Since 2009, the City of Austin has taken heroic measures to boost adoptions of homeless dogs and cats, thereby reducing the euthanasia rate of animals that come through the shelter from about 30 percent in 2009 to about 8 percent in 2011. A huge victory, right?

The city has achieved this incredible reduction in euthanasia through a set of initiatives that include free microchipping of pets, free ID tags, new reduced cost and free spay/neuter programs, free adoptions on critical days, and partnerships with local rescues and animal advocacy organizations that are working hard to make adoption more “cool.” In 2011, Austin opened a sparkling new state-of-the-art adoption facility that is both attractive and user-friendly for adopters and more comfortable for animals.

These changes haven’t been easy, but they sure payed off: in 2011, Austin achieved the elite and sought-after status of “no-kill city” — a well-deserved honor for a city whose leadership and animal care staff and volunteers work so hard.

And yet, even though Austin has achieved this well-earned recognition, 2011 saw the euthanasia of more than 2,200 cats and 900 dogs — including more than 400 pit bull type dogs — at the city shelter.

How does this happen?

Undoubtedly, some of these 3,000+ animals were too sick to save or had irreconcilable behavioral issues. But many were just regular, adoptable cats and dogs. The problem comes down to one of math. With limited kennel space, limited resources, and limited adopters, a publicly-funded shelter like the Austin Animal Center is required to take in any animal that is brought to its doors. When the kennel runs out of space, some hard decisions have to be made.

Because of the short straw that many pit bull type dogs are dealt in life and the still-lingering sentiment among some people that pit bull dogs are somehow different than others, a disproportionate number of these hard decisions affect our lovable block-headed friends. 400 pit bull type dogs under the needle is a huge improvement from 902 just the year before, but it’s still a lot of dead dogs.

So at the same time that we are celebrating the remarkable work being done by the city to make Austin a friendlier, safer place for homeless animals, let’s not forget that while “no-kill” is an aspirational phrase, our work is far from done.

Do your part — check out Love-A-Bull’s own adoptable dogs here.

Love-A-Bull Launches Pit Bull Therapy Dog Program

http://www.love-a-bull.org
info@love-a-bull.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DATE:  February 24, 2011
CONTACT:  Lydia Zaidman, 718.791.5493 or Lydia@love-a-bull.org

AUSTIN, Texas — Love-A-Bull, a nonprofit organization promoting responsible ownership of pit bulls through education and advocacy, has just launched an all-pit bull therapy dog program called “The Pit Crew.”  Composed entirely of pit bulls, The Pit Crew is the first program of its kind in the country.  The dogs and their owners plan to visit children and adults in need, including those living with mental and physical challenges.  Studies have shown that dogs provide therapeutic interaction that can improve mood, build confidence, and repair hearts.  Pit bulls, as natural “people-pleasers,” are an excellent fit for this type of activity.  In fact, several of the dogs seized from Michael Vick now work as therapy dogs.

Mocha, a nine-year old pit bull rescued from a shelter in New York seven years ago by owners Lydia Zaidman and David Coulter, has been a certified therapy dog in Austin for two years.  She has provided comfort and companionship to soldiers at Fort Hood suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and she has served as a “Barking Buddy,” patiently listening to stories being read by elementary school students who need to build reading confidence and skills.  Her calm demeanor and warm eyes immediately ease these types of interactions and provide a stress-free relationship.  She joins six other pit bulls in The Pit Crew’s first set of therapy-trained graduates that have attained their Canine Good Citizen staus from the American Kennel Club and are undergoing an eight-week training program at Gullett Elementary School in north central Austin.

Zaidman says, “The Pit Crew is a way to offer a unique community service and also rehabilitate the reputation of pit bulls at the same time.  We hope that by showing the true nature of these loving dogs in a therapeutic setting, we can change minds for the better.”

Love-A-Bull is partnered with Julie Eskoff, Certified Pet Dog Trainer – Knowledge Assessed (CPDT – KA), a professional member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers and an AKC Canine Good Citizen (CGC) Evaluator, who has extensive knowledge working with all kinds of dogs.  Eskoff spent 12 weeks volunteering her services while observing the pet therapy training program for Divine Canines and the Austin State Hospital’s Pet Pardners in-house therapy dog program.  She also participated in the Delta therapy dog complex dog training program.  Her two pit bulls, Moby and Pearl, work as therapy dogs.

For more information about The Pit Crew, please visit http://love-a-bull.org/programs/the-pit-crew/

About Love-A-Bull: Love-A-Bull is a 501(c)(3) organization, composed of nearly 1000 local owners committed to responsible ownership of pit bulls and pit bull mixes through education and advocacy.  Love-A-Bull supports spay/neuter, re-homing and rescue, training, active advocacy against breed-specific legislation, and promoting a more positive and accurate public image of all pit bull-type dogs.  More information available at http://www.love-a-bull.org.

Rescue Ink is Coming for National Pit Bull Awareness Day!!

This year’s Pit Bull Awareness Day is going to be bigger than ever.  We are so excited to have our One Hundred Pit Bull Parade to be led by special guests, Rescue Ink.  There will be a festival and lots of fun for all.  It’s all still in the works, but Save the Date!!!  You can R.S.V.P here.

Learn more about Rescue Ink’s hit Nat Geo show (Update: link no longer available) and check out their cool website here!  For sponsorship opportunities, download Love-A-Bull Sponsorship Package contact info@love-a-bull.org for more information.  We are also accepting registration for vendors and donations for our silent auction.

Local Pit Bull Nonprofit Awarded National Achievement Grants

LOCAL PIT BULL NONPROFIT AWARDED NATIONAL ACHIEVEMENT GRANTS
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

DATE: November 17, 2009

MEDIA CONTACT: Lydia Zaidman (718) 791-5493

http://www.love-a-bull.org
info@love-a-bull.org

AUSTIN, Texas — Love-A-Bull, a local nonprofit education and advocacy organization, is proud to announce that it has recently been awarded two grants from the Animal Farm Foundation. Love-A-Bull has received the Project Support Grant to fund a program recognizing pit bulls attaining the Canine Good Citizen (CGC) distinction, and the Achievement Award Grant for outstanding achievement by one group member dog.

The Animal Farm Foundation was founded in the 1980s to improve the lives of dogs labeled as “pit bulls” and to protect all dogs from discrimination and cruelty. The Foundation awarded Love-A-Bull the Achievement Award in recognition of Mocha, a Staffordshire Terrier, and her achievement as a Canine Good Citizen and Certified Therapy Dog, and her appearances at public events and in the media. The grant specifically notes that Mocha “is opening hearts and changing minds about all dogs who appear to be pit bulls through her achievements, especially in the community of Austin, Texas.” Mocha’s guardian, Lydia Zaidman, is a co-founder of Love-A-Bull.

The Foundation also recognized Love-A-Bull’s training program, awarding funding for each canine member of the group who achieves the Canine Good Citizen status, a rigorous ten-step temperament and behavioral test administered by trained professionals through the American Kennel Club. The grant is intended to promote responsible pit bull stewardship, the primary focus of Love-A-Bull’s mission.

To underscore the importance of training, which is central to responsible dog ownership of any breed, Love-A-Bull offers its members a free, four-week training program, with sessions filling continually throughout the year. The training sessions are held at Southpaws Playschool and are led by experienced, professional trainer, Jessica Wilson. To date, more than 90 dogs have participated in the training, with more than 10 Love-A-Bull members’ dogs attaining the CGC distinction, and 4 working as Certified Therapy Dogs in hospitals and schools. More information on the free training program can be found on Love-A-Bull’s website at http://love-a-bull.org/programs/training/

mocha

Mocha, Canine Good Citizen and Certified Therapy Dog, Animal Farm Foundation Grant Award Recipient

About Love-A-Bull: Love-A-Bull is a 501(c)(3) organization, composed of over 450 local owners committed to responsible ownership of pit bulls and working to share information with the public on issues such as spay/neuter, rescue and training, active advocacy against breed-specific legislation, and promoting a more positive public image of these dogs. www.love-a-bull.org

Press Release: Local Nonprofit Holds Memorial and Pride Walk for Dog Fighting Victims

http://www.love-a-bull.org
info@love-a-bull.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DATE: September 10, 2009 
MEDIA CONTACT: Lydia Zaidman (718) 791-5493

LOCAL NONPROFIT HOLDS MEMORIAL AND PRIDE WALK FOR DOG FIGHTING VICTIMS

AUSTIN, Texas — Love-A-Bull, a local nonprofit education and advocacy organization is taking a different approach to a day of national planned protests against Philadelphia Eagle Michael Vick. On September 13, 2009, Love-A-Bull will be holding a memorial walk to remember the innocent victims of dog fighting. Lydia Zaidman, Love-A-Bull President, wants to take a more positive approach the same day as the national protests and hold a memorial walk ending with a moment of silence for these dogs that have suffered at the hands of animal cruelty.

The Memorial and Pride Walk will be held at City Hall Plaza, Sunday September 13th at 11am. City Hall is located at 301 W. 2nd Street, with free parking in the garage under the building (entrance on Lavaca). The event is free to the public, and dogs on leash are invited to participate. More information is available on the website at www.love-a-bull.org and http://www.meetup.com/love-a-bull.

About Love-A-Bull: Love-A-Bull is a 501(c)(3) organization, composed of over 400 local owners committed to responsible ownership of pit bulls and working to share information with the public on issues such as spay/neuter, rescue and training, active advocacy against breed-specific legislation, and promoting a more positive public image of these dogs. A free training program for members started in January of 2009, with the goal of helping members’ dogs gain Canine Good Citizen (CGC) status, a rigorous evaluation conducted by the American Kennel Club for all breeds. To date, more than 80 dogs have been through the training, 10 Love-A-Bull members’ dogs have attained the CGC distinction and 3 are working as certified therapy dogs in hospitals and schools. Love-A-Bull also serves as a member of the city’s Pit Bull Task Force.

###

Press Release: Pit Bull Nonprofit Group Offering Free Training to Members (Sept. 2009)

Love-A-Bull
www.love-a-bull.org
love-a-bull@hotmail.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (PLEASE CROSS-POST)
DATE: August 28, 2009
MEDIA CONTACT: Lydia Zaidman (718) 791-5493 or training@love-a-bull.org

PIT BULL NONPROFIT GROUP OFFERING FREE TRAINING TO MEMBERS

AUSTIN, Texas — Love-A-Bull, a local nonprofit education and advocacy organization, invites pit bull owners to join the group in order to register now for free, 4-week basic skills dog training. The next session runs from Saturday, September 26th through Saturday, October 17th, from 4:30 – 5:30 pm, at Southpaws Playschool.

Love-A-Bull promotes tools for responsible pit bull ownership, and is pleased to offer this opportunity in partnership with trainer, Jessica Wilson, and Southpaws Playschool. It is the only one if its kind for pit bull owners in the Austin area.

Love-A-Bull, composed of over 400 local owners, works to share information with the public on issues such as the importance of spay/neuter, rescue and training, active advocacy against breed-specific legislation, and promotion of a more positive public image of pit bulls and pit bull mixes. The free training program started in January of 2009, with the goal of helping members’ dogs gain Canine Good Citizen (CGC) status through a rigorous evaluation conducted by the American Kennel Club for all breeds. To date, more than 80 owners have taken advantage of this free program, with 10 Love-A-Bull members’ dogs having attained the CGC distinction, and 3 dogs working as certified therapy dogs in hospitals and schools.

Members of the group who have participated in the program have found consistent improvement in their dogs’ behavior and continue to highly recommend it to other pit bull owners. To join Love-A-Bull or to learn more about the free training program, please visit www.love-a-bull.org.

About the Participants:

Love-A-Bull was organized to educate and to advocate on behalf of the American Pit Bull Terrier, the American Staffordshire Terrier, the Staffordshire Terrier, and Bull Terrier (all breeds commonly referred to as “Pit Bulls”) and Pit Bull mixes. Love-A-Bull encourages its members to serve as role models of responsible ownership and engage in activism, including support of rescue, and promotion of spay/neuter programs, and to oppose breed-specific legislation.

Southpaws Playschool is located at 2324B South Lamar; Austin, TX 78704. The mission of Southpaws Playschool for Dogs and Puppies is to provide a safe, pleasant and stimulating environment in which clients can leave their dogs and puppies with confidence during working hours. They sponsor activities at the facility and in the community that promote enhanced human/canine relationships. Southpaws Playschool believes that giving back to the community is important and sponsors activities that will benefit service animals and animal rescue organizations.

Jessica Wilson is a Certified Canine Training and Behavior Specialist through Triple Crown Dog Trainer’s Academy. She has experience with a variety of canine behavioral issues such as separation anxiety, aggression, housebreaking problems, leash pulling, fence climbing, digging, barking, and many other problems that dog owners frequently encounter. She is also well-versed in all aspects of obedience and home manners training, including preparation at the competitive level. She also has experience with footstep tracking, search and rescue, dock dog training, agility, rally, scent discrimination, and more. She currently offers training at Bobbi Colorado’s Canine Camp in Oak Hill.

Love-A-Bull, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, promotes education, advocacy and responsibility on behalf of pit bull owners, and seeks to improve the public image of pit bull-type dogs.

###

Press Release: Pit Bull Nonprofit Seeking Participants in Free Training Program

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (PLEASE CROSS-POST)
DATE: May 4, 2009
CONTACT: Lydia Zaidman (718) 791-5493

PIT BULL NONPROFIT SEEKING PARTICIPANTS IN FREE TRAINING PROGRAM

AUSTIN, Texas — Love-A-Bull, a local nonprofit education and advocacy organization, invites pit bull owners to join the group in order to participate in free, 4-week basic skills dog training. The next session runs from Thursday, May 28 through June 18, from 7 – 8 pm, at Southpaws Playschool. Love-A-Bull promotes tools for responsible pit bull ownership, and is pleased to offer this opportunity in partnership with trainer, Jessica Wilson, and Southpaws Playschool. It is the only one if its kind for pit bull owners in the Austin area.

Love-A-Bull, composed of over 300 local owners, works to share information with the public on issues such as the importance of spay/neuter, rescue and training, active advocacy against breed-specific legislation, and promotion of a more positive public image of pit bulls and pit bull mixes. The free training program started in January of 2009, with the goal of helping members’ dogs gain Canine Good Citizen (CGC) status through a rigorous evaluation conducted by the American Kennel Club for all breeds. To date, more than 30 owners have taken advantage of this free program, with 10 Love-A-Bull members’ dogs having attained the CGC distinction, and 3 dogs working as certified therapy dogs in hospitals and schools.

Members of the group who have participated in the program have found consistent improvement in their dogs’ behavior and continue to highly recommend it to other pit bull owners. To join Love-A-Bull or to learn more about the free training program, please visit http://www.meetup.com/love-a-bull/pages/Love-A-Bull_Member_Programs/

About the Participants:

Love-A-Bull was organized to educate and to advocate on behalf of the American Pit Bull Terrier, the American Staffordshire Terrier, the Staffordshire Terrier, and Bull Terrier (all breeds commonly referred to as “Pit Bulls”) and Pit Bull mixes. Love-A-Bull encourages its members to serve as role models of responsible ownership and engage in activism, including support of rescue, and promotion of spay/neuter programs, and to oppose breed-specific legislation.

Southpaws Playschool is located at 2324B South Lamar; Austin, TX 78704. The mission of Southpaws Playschool for Dogs and Puppies is to provide a safe, pleasant and stimulating environment in which clients can leave their dogs and puppies with confidence during working hours. They sponsor activities at the facility and in the community that promote enhanced human/canine relationships. Southpaws Playschool believes that giving back to the community is important and sponsors activities that will benefit service animals and animal rescue organizations.

Jessica Wilson is a Certified Canine Training and Behavior Specialist through Triple Crown Dog Trainer’s Academy. She has experience with a variety of canine behavioral issues such as separation anxiety, aggression, housebreaking problems, leash pulling, fence climbing, digging, barking, and many other problems that dog owners frequently encounter. She is also well-versed in all aspects of obedience and home manners training, including preparation at the competitive level. She also has experience with footstep tracking, search and rescue, dock dog training, agility, rally, scent discrimination, and more. She currently offers training at Bobbi Colorado’s Canine Camp in Oak Hill.

Love-A-Bull, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, promotes education, advocacy and responsibility on behalf of pit bull owners, and seeks to improve the public image of pit bull-type dogs.

###

Press Release: Chaining Dogs Makes Attacks More Likely

Updated: Jul 18, 2014 12:41 PM

Love-A-Bull
www.love-a-bull.org
Contact: Lydia Zaidman
Phone: 718-791-5493

Chain Free Austin
www.chainfreeaustin.org (*Update: link no longer available, please visit related organization Action for Animals Austin)
Contact: Timothy Verret
Phone: 512-879-7437

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 30, 2009

CHAINING DOGS MAKES ATTACKS MORE LIKELY
Local Humane Groups Call Attention to Dangers of Chaining and Tethering Dogs

Joint Statement from Love-A-Bull and Chain Free Austin

In the wake of the tragic chained dog attack on a child in Luling, Texas, local education/advocacy organizations, Love-a-Bull and Chain Free Austin are calling on local and state officials in Luling and other communities to support a ban on the dangerous practice of chaining and tethering dogs. Austin’s anti-tethering ordinance took effect on October 1, 2007, and should be used as a model for other cities to implement.

The American Veterinary Medical Association warns “Never tether or chain your dog because this can contribute to aggressive behavior.” A study commissioned by the Centers for Disease Control found that chained dogs are 2.8 times more likely to bite.

There is no established correlation between chained dog attacks and breed. A chained dog will develop behavioral problems and become dangerously territorial, regardless of the breed.

Love-A-Bull and Chain Free Austin urge dog owners to bring their dogs inside the home to live whenever possible. Living with the family provides critical socialization for the dog, and protects the dog from severe weather and other stressful conditions.

When living indoors is not possible, dogs should be kept in a secure and humane fenced enclosure. The enclosure should be well shaded, with a ventilated doghouse and a constant supply of fresh water. The enclosure should provide plenty of space for the dog to roam and exercise. The enclosure should be sturdily built and secured with a lock so a child cannot enter unsupervised.

When a dog is kept outdoors, daily socialization and love become even more important to the dog’s well-being, and to the safety of the community.

It is imperative that responsible dog ownership involve awareness of how chaining can lead to serious accidents, and that proper supervision of any dog is crucial. Please remember: A chain will not prevent a small child from wandering too close to an unfamiliar dog. A secure fenced enclosure will.

At least 21 communities in the United States have outlawed chaining and tethering dogs, including Austin, Big Spring, Dallas, Electra, Fort Worth, Georgetown, and Irving, Texas.

For more information on Austin’s ordinance, please visit http://www.ci.austin.tx.us/news/2007/antichaining_ordinance.htm

###