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 bu
lls 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.
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
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.