Posts Tagged ‘news media’

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.

“The Dog Fighter” Movie Release

We are happy to announce The Dog Fighter, featuring retired Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighter Gordon “Shotgun” Shell and directed by Douglas Schulze, released on Vimeo On Demand this past Friday. Over the weekend the comments and appreciation have begun to flood in among the various social media sites – I’m not going to even attempt counting them.

The timing couldn’t be more appropriate as we just wrapped up our 5th annual celebration in honor of National Pit Bull Awareness two weeks ago (more on that later), and Shell was one of the special guests for Texas-Sized Pittie Pride in 2012. You might recall a couple blog posts introducing him ( and this very movie project (

Gordon has even invited Love-A-Bull to join several other non-profit organizations as a beneficiary for a portion of the films profits!

Attached is the official press release for the film. We encourage you to watch the film, and to share with your friends and family.

Contact: Producer, Director Douglas Schulze 248-563-9404


In the shadows of a bankrupt city one man has declared war on an illegal dog fighting epidemic. Retired MMA fighter Gordon Shell is risking his life to rescue man’s best friend. Despite a failing heart, Gordon Shell agreed to come out of retirement to fight one last fight for the dogs. Last year, in spite of his doctor’s warnings, Gordon returned to the ring in a selfless effort to raise awareness and funding to stop illegal dog fighting in the city of Detroit. His inspiring journey and his tireless work with animal rights groups like the Michigan Humane Society was all captured by filmmaker Douglas Schulze and is now the subject of a riveting documentary entitled; THE DOG FIGHTER: DOG’S BEST FRIEND. The documentary is about to be released exclusively to and everyone can help the cause simply by watching the film. The Producers are donating a generous portion of all revenue generated from the movie to help dog rescues and shelters all across the US. Every three months new shelters and rescues will be selected to receive a generous portion of the revenue generated from the film’s release. To watch the film and see the trailer go to VIMEO at or to learn more about the shelters being helped please visit the Official Facebook Page at Together we can make a difference.

For more information contact: Producer, Director Douglas Schulze 248-563-9404.

2040 Crooks Rd. Ste. B.
Troy, MI 48084
248-528-1760 – fax 248-528-2829

Check out The Dog Fighter on Vimeo:

Find more information on the movie project, Douglas Schulze, Gordon “Shotgun” Shell, and more.

• Official Facebook Page: The Dog Fighter Movie
• Movie Project Website: The Dog Fighter Documentary

• CNN’s iReport 09/28/12: The Dog Fighter, a documentary
• MPI (Motion Picture Institute) 08/06/12: The Dog Fighter MMA Standout Gordon Shell
• MPI (Motion Picture Institute) 09/24/12: Gordon Shell Ends Dog Fighting in Detroit in 38 Seconds
• Life With Dogs 09/25/12: MMA Fighter Gordon Shell Retires from Fighting but not from Fighting for Dogs
• 09/24/12: MMA fighter Gordon Shell begins a new fight: saving Detroit’s dogs
• Michigan Humane Society 09/06/12: Spurred By Mike Vick Scandal, MMA Fighter Gordon Shell Risks His Life To Fight So That Dogs Don’t Have To
• Michigan Humane Society 09/12/12: On The Eve Of His Last Professional Match, MMA Fighter Gordon Shell Reflects On What Makes Him Fight

Love-A-Bull Receives $5,000 From Undercover Boss Participant!

Love-A-Bull received wonderful surprise — a donation of $5,000 from Undercover Boss participant, Leila Scott. Leila works for a company called Mood Media located in Austin, Texas. She appeared on the Emmy Award-winning CBS series Undercover Boss on January 4, 2013 when Mood Media CEO Lorne Abony went undercover, introducing the company and employees to a global audience of almost 8 million viewers. After appearing on the show Leila was given the opportunity to select any animal charity of her choice to receive a $5,000 donation — and she chose Love-A-Bull!

Watch the full clip here:

Love-A-Bull Board members had the amazing opportunity to sit down with Leila and her boyfriend, Andrew to learn a bit more about why Love-A-Bull was her charity of choice and what makes her passion for supporting pit bull type dogs so strong!

Not only is Leila the proud momma of her very own pittie, Emma, she has 4 other pups as well! It’s apparent that Leila’s passion and drive to advocate and support animals is at the forefront of her life. Leila currently plans to go back to school to turn her passion into a full-fledged career!

Q: Why did you chose Love-A-Bull to donate to?
A: After going to several events – Texas Sized Pittie Pride Parade, Pints for Pits, and fun walks – I found myself loving the organization and how much of a positive impact it had on Emma (Leila’s pittie) and I. Currently she and I are working on getting her Canine Good Citizen and one day her therapy dog certification, so she can work right alongside her mom! So when I was asked to be on Undercover Boss (and no I was totally fooled) and was provided with a $5000.00 donation to any animal charity of my choice, I leapt at the chance to represent Love-A-Bull! I knew this would be much needed since I knew this would help with the foster pups and looking for a new place.

Q: What are future plans for vet school?
A: Ever since I was little I’ve always had a fascination for animals. I went from refusing to play with Barbie dolls, to checking in teddy bears at my “office” for vaccines and annual exams at age 10. From that point, you would have assumed I would have slid into the role of wanting to be a vet. But no, I had to truly find my passion and drive doing what I would enjoy for the rest of my life. When I did, I knew I was ready to take the steps to make my dream come true. No longer would I “operate and examine” teddy bears, I wanted the real thing. I plan on completing my basics and majoring in bio-medical sciences, and then applying to vet school at Texas A&M.

Q: How did you find Love-A-Bull and get involved?
A: I came across Love–A-Bull when it first started about 4-5 years ago. I was walking into Petco with my pittie Emma, and met a small group of pit bull lovers who handed me a card! I think I still have that card too! Lol. I got involved when Emma and I (along with the rest of my pack) came across hard times with apartment renters because Emma was a Pit Bull/Staffordshire breed. Many people down right refused without even meeting her! I also found it difficult to obtain renters insurance with her. I refused to down grade to a less than appealing apartment just because they “accepted” her breed. I wanted nothing but the best for her, myself, and my other dogs. At that point I remembered that I had the card and took to the internet in search of the Love-A-Bull web page. I found a lot of renters with very nice locations to look at that graciously accepted Emma. One thing led to another, and I was able to land the ideal house for my kiddos!

Q: What are the names of all your pups?
A: I currently have 5 dogs! LOL… Yea… I love them all, and they are all but two rescues! People say you resemble your dog – well I have 5 so you can just imagine how crazy of a person I am! I have from the oldest to youngest: 1) Schnauzer mix: Sarah Elizabeth, 2) Rot lab mix: Dozer Allen, 3) Pit bull: Emma May, 4) Apple head Chihuahua: Tek-9 and my boyfriend’s brothers dog while he is in Afghanistan 5) Weimaraner: Zeus… Oh and a hedge-hog named Stormy and a tarantula named Icarus!

Q: What do you want people to know about pit bull type dogs?
A: I want all people to learn that pit bull type dogs are strong, learning sponges. They learn to love if loved, learn to cuddle if cuddled and are amazing companions. Any animal can thrive in the right environment. They derived from the “nanny dog,” which were bred to protect the young of the family. We trusted them with our most valued possessions then, why not now? We should not fear what we don’t understand but learn from them, build with them and discover a better appreciation of the things we take advantage of daily. They will love unconditionally and are no different than any other animal, breed, size etc.

“Pit bulls are…
Beauty without Vanity,
Strength without Insolence,
Courage without Ferocity,
and all the Virtues of Man,
without her Vices.”

We feel truly honored to have such strong supporters out there who share our dedication and passion for bettering the lives of pit bull type dogs! Not only does Leila’s donation allow us to keep saving lives, it also allows us to continue to grow and strengthen our organization as we continue to set our sights on one day having a facility!

A sincere thank you goes out to Leila and Undercover Boss for their donation!

Chloe’s Story

Many of you may already be familiar with Chloe’s story. Whether you are or you aren’t, this story stands as an example of how a community formed by the love for a special breed of dog came together to honor what Love-A-Bull stands for.

What was supposed to be a short business trip to California, ended up being so much more for Joey. Upon his arrival to California, Joey logged into his Facebook account to find a picture posted of a female pit bull in need of a home. She was discovered on the street with no form of identification. Her rescuers were desperately searching for someone to claim her – they weren’t allowed to keep her because of their landlord, and the only shelters in the area were kill shelters. This was when Joey, who grew up around pit bulls, made a 40-minute trip to meet Chloe.

It was not easy getting Chloe from California to her new home in Austin. She was covered in fleas and ticks, and because of this, deemed unable to fly by airlines. She was estimated to be only a year old, but appeared to already have had a litter of puppies. It took a week to nurse Chloe back to health before she was allowed to fly back with Joey and make Austin her new home.

Chloe was slowly growing accustomed to her new life in Austin, but always remained a bit skittish. One day on a walk she was frightened and pulled out of her collar, going missing in downtown Austin. She was hit by a car and last seen running down Trinity and 11th on November 25th.

When she was found near 9th and Lamar the next day, she was severely injured but coherent. She was taken to the animal shelter and then to an emergency clinic, where she was found to have multiple broken vertebrae. Her injuries were determined inoperable, and Chloe was humanely euthanized early on November 27th.

Joey decided that the perfect way to honor her was to gather donations for the organization whose mission is to advocate for pit bulls like Chloe. Over $2,500.00 was raised in Chloe’s memory and donated to Love-A-Bull earlier this year. KXAN even did a short piece on her story and Joey’s fundraising efforts: Austin dog remembered.

There is new pup in Joey’s life. Like many of us who realize once a pit bull has come into our lives we never want anything different, Joey adopted Maya, a pit bull mix, from the Austin Humane Society. She’s quite popular, with almost 3,000 likes on Facebook, and is clearly enjoying her new home. Because of the donation raised in Chloe’s memory, more dogs have a better chance of finding their forever home and spending their days like Maya.

Pittie Heroism In Action

Kilo, post heroic feat

I’m sure it’s no secret to Love-A-Bull fans that our furry friends are capable of impressive heroism, but it’s always good to see nice press for pit bulls in the news. This New York Post story featured a Staten Island pit bull that took a bullet in the head for his owner during a burglary in his home. The even better news is that Kilo, the hero of the story, made a full recovery and is back home with his family once again.

The event happened back in April of this year. Kilo’s owners, Justin Becker and Nicole Percoco, had unknowingly opened their door to an intruder posing as a FedEx deliveryman. When the intruder tried to push his way past the door, Becker tried to shut the door against him, and managed to jam the intruder in between the doorway. At that point, Kilo lunged at the would-be burglar, who fired a shot at Kilo’s head.

Percoco, Becker’s girlfriend, was sure at that point that Kilo was fatally wounded. She urged Becker to just “hold him in your arms,” but Becker wasn’t about to give up on his pal. He rushed Kilo to an animal hospital, where the veterinarian found that the bullet only entered the dog’s head but miraculously didn’t penetrate his brain. In fact, there wasn’t even a fracture to his skull. After inserting a drain for his wounds, Kilo was sent home with painkillers and antibiotics to rest up, and bask in his new-found celebrity, of course.

To read more about this story, visit the link above, or this alternate version from the Bark Magazine’s blog.

Post author: Meng Qi

ABA takes a stand against BDL

During its annual meeting last week, the American Bar Association adopted a resolution urging state and local governments not to discriminate against dogs based on their breed. The ABA called for adoption of breed-neutral “dangerous dog” laws, along with the repeal of any breed-discirminatory provisions.

Breed-discriminatory legislation generally defines certain dogs, including “pit bulls,” as inherently dangerous based not on their behavior, but on their breed or even their appearance. Some laws, like Denver’s, ban pit bull-type dogs entirely.

Texas is among the states that forbid declaring a dog to be dangerous based on its breed. Massachusetts enacted similar legislation earlier this month, while Maryland lawmakers are considering overturning a finding of the Maryland Supreme Court that all “pit bulls” and their mixes are inherently dangerous.

For more information on breed-specific legislation and how to fight it, see this page:

For more information on the ABA resolution, see: ABA Adopts Policy Based on Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section Resolution Urging Adoption of Breed-Neutral Dog Laws and the Repeal of Breed Discriminatory (Pit Bull) Ordinances

– Guest Blogger, Susan H.

Love-A-Bull Works to End Discrimination in Austin Housing

Love-A-Bull receives inquiries almost daily from dedicated pittie owners trying to find housing that does not discriminate by breed. In the majority of Austin’s rental housing market (and indeed, in nearly every other city nationwide), rental restrictions are making it increasingly difficult for guardians of pit bull type dogs and up to 30 other breeds in some cases, to find any available housing options. We maintain a Housing Assistance page, but the number of apartment complexes that do not discriminate based on breed are few.

These restrictions are unfair and patently discriminatory for a variety of reasons, penalize responsible dog owners, and serve as a major obstacle in any community’s goal to save more homeless pets/avoid surrenders. Love-A-Bull has been working to find solutions to this issue for close to two years, in talks with the Austin Apartment Managers Association, City of Austin staff, the Austin Animal Advisory Commission, the City’s No-Kill Implementation Plan Working Groups, and others. There is now significant City Council interest in pursuing an ordinance that would disallow breed-based discrimination in housing complexes in Austin, and we are supporting efforts to research and implement such a measure. This would be a much-needed and long-overdue step towards treating all breeds equally, and refocusing the discussion on maintaining safe housing communities with families who treat their pets as family, regardless of breed.

Last week, Love-A-Bull presented to the Austin Animal Commission on breed discrimination in housing, pointing out that these restrictions are keeping good animals out of good homes. The commission will continue the discussion at their next meeting in August before making a recommendation to council.

The ordinance that Council Member Mike Martinez is currently working on, would prohibit landlords of city investment properties from banning certain breeds. Currently it’s up to the individual property owner to create any breed restrictions according to the Austin Tenants Council.

News Media:
• KVUE story: Possible ban on dog breed requirements for housing
• YNN coverage: ‘Bully breed’ advocates seek to lift residential dog bans

A Step Up with Ohio’s HB14

HLN published a news story about the change in language when Ohio’s House Bill 14 was passed. Here’s a quick recap of what this HB14 means for Ohio.     (full story here)

Ohio to pit bulls: You’re no longer ‘vicious’
Gee thanks, but we knew that all along!

The Ohio senate voted 27 to 5 in favor of House Bill 14.
So what does it mean?

A new law took effect on May 22, 2012 declaring that pit bulls would be no longer automatically considered ‘vicious dogs.’
Yippee! But does that mean there will still be discrimination in housing, adoption, and communities?

Hopefully pit bulls owners in Ohio will no longer feel snubbed simply for their choice of dog breed (or maybe the dog they’ve chosen to adopt?)…

“When pit bulls were labeled vicious, residents who love their dogs were afraid to take their dogs out in public,” said Marlo Slusarski, director of community outreach for For the Love of Pits, a nonprofit rescue group based in Northeast Ohio.

Okay, this is still sounding good so far. What else?

The terminology ‘pit bulls’ will be removed from the 20-year-old definition, and the new law will now define “vicious,” “dangerous” and “nuisance” dogs without regard to breed. But it won’t overturn pit bull bans in Ohio communities that have passed local laws.

Well the change in language will allow pit bull owners to be eligible for standard insurance premiums and shelters will be able to advocate for the adoption of pit bulls.
Yay! Opt to adopt!

Full news story here: