June 2008
Pit Bull Hall Closes. A New Door Opens
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Chickie Sue, Katie Jane, Gamey Amy, Kiki Dee, Flash, Selkie, Madeline, Josie Kat, Texas Cadillac, Deja Blu, Sister Hazel Teresa ... You might recognize these as some of the names of the pit buwindowlls and pit mixes that came to live in 'Pit Bull Hall' at the East Bay SPCA.

Back in summer of 2005. then president Gary Templin gave BAD RAP a bold invitation, "Help us end the euthanasia of adoptable pit bulls." ...... Wow. What did he just say?

As part of their Goal 2007 mission to reduce the euthanasia rate of healthy dogs and cats, the East Bay SPCA staff offered us something we couldn't refuse: Five kennels and shelter resources to help dogs from public shelters that were at risk of euthanasia.josie
Needless to say, we accepted. This project went on to serve as a model Breed Ambassador program for other private shelters. It attracted homes for dozens of dogs and served as a base where hundreds of pit bull owners could receive support, guidance, training and educational materials. Thousands of shelter visitors met wonderful examples of the breed at the Hall, and some of our local media stopped by to catch a realistic perspective. It was even highlighted in a recent Rachael Ray Show.

The Hall also hosted animal care professionals from around the country in quarterly 'Pit Ed Camps' designed to help shelters learn how to develop their own breed ambassador project. Shelters like Hillsborough County Animal Services Tampa, FL  now boast a successful ambassador project after absorbing lessons learned during Camp.

With so many successes it seems crazy to leave, but like our favorite dogs, we're drawn to new challenges. BAD RAP's Pit Bull Hall team has closed and will be re-emerging in Oakland Animal Services in early-summer after a brief break.

A Coalition to Help Oakland's Animals

Why uproot?  In short, it's time for us to dial up our efforts to help more dogs in our community. The goal of ending the euthanasia of adoptable pit bulls is more important than ever, and we recognize that we'll be a bigger help in a public shelter setting. The go-getters at Oakland Animal Services are on the front lines, dealing with very real issues that affect local pets every day. We admire their dogged determination and will be working to assist them in the community outreach and animal care work that needs to be done. We'll be joined by Foundation Code 597 as a third partner in creating positive change.  We know this won't be easy, but the dogs are big on reminding us that big challenges, strong partnerships, inspired game plans and dirty fingernails add up to a life well lived.

As we transition, we're especially grateful to the clear vision of the originators of the Pit Bull Hall concept: Gary Templin, Kirsten Park and Rachel Long. We're also indebted to BR's dedicated Pit Bull Hall team members as well as the kennel attendents who did the nitty gritty work day in and day out to make sure our muscle-heads were happy. Once we take a quick break to catch our breath and re-group, we'll be announcing our arrival in OAS. We really look forward to your good vibes and support!

Photo Above Right: Josie was the last resident of Pit Bull Hall. She went home on June 1 to her new family. Top of Page: Pretty girl Sadie came into Oakland Animal Services with terrible legs wounds. She made her way into the Pit Bull Hall program and was adopted to a wondeful home. News Report.
Photo Above Left: Overbred, severely neglected Sophie was saved by Oakland's anti-chaining law, and saved once again by OAS staff who rallied for her rescue. She's about to go full adoption via BR's program.
Vick Dogs Going Full Adoption, and AZ Raid Dogs

Last week, Vick dog 'Dutch' was signed over to his forever home duing the filming of an Animal Planet Show that will be outlining the Vick Dog case for viewers this coming August. Next week, we'll cut our apron strings with 'Vick dog Uba.' More adoptions are scheduled, so keep your eye on the blog for updates.

The dogs from the Arizona bust have jumped the hoops required to earn their place as official ambassadogs in BAD RAP's program. They're doing well in play sessions with other dogs, learning  basic commands and leash work - and - when they're not absorbing new lessons, they're being typical dogs and causing mischief!  We lost two tablecloths before giving in to a naked patio table. Such are the lessons that come with bringing excitble young dogs into an environment where everything is brand new and TASTY!
Check the Available Page for new faces. We won't be calling them out as 'AZ raid dogs,' but people who pay attention will know who they are.
Partners in Shelter Services:
Bringing help to shelters and their pit bulls

Our visit to the HSUS Expo 2008 last month was a good excuse to launch a new logo, designed to promote Partners in Shelter Services. This collaboration is extra exciting because it sews together BAD RAP and east coast pit bull group, Animal Farm Foundation.  As you know, we're big on partnerships to help get more done for the dogs, and this particular collaberation allows both breed experienced orgs to pool minds, inspiration and resources so we can help more shelters in more locales get what they need to help the dogs in their care. The Pit Ed Camps have been one of our busiest and most gratifying projects.

If you work with or support a shelter, bookmark this Partners in Shelter Services webpage and check in often as we add more information and materials. Currently, we're offering some of our positive messaging posters at cost to help shelters promote their breed ambassadors along with responsible ownership. POSTERS Here.

In front of our groovie booth at the HSUS Expo. From left:
BAD RAP foster parents Jennifer Long, Cris Cohen, Founder Tim Racer & Donna Reynolds, Animal Farm Foundation founder Jane Berkey, AFF Behaviorist Berenice Clifford, AFF employee Julie Jackson, and BAD RAP diehard Nicole Rattay.

Hot Gossip:
Watch for your favorite BAD RAP dogs and their stories in the upcoming issue of Bark Magazine, on Animal Planet and in the Washington Post. All this summer.

We really are in this together! Warm thank yous to every single person who supports this project through a kind word or generous donation, in addition to the important contributions you make in your own corners.

Big pink lipped bulldog smiles to all!
The BAD RAP Ground Crew
June 2008

Securing the future of the American Pit Bull Terrier as a cherished family companion.