The Latest from BAD RAP:
Getting settled in at Oakland Animal Services
Happy Summer to You!

Thank you for opening this news update. Lots going on in our corners!

Now that the Vick dogs are getting adopted and settled in, we're ready to focus on local projects. Namely, our brand new partnership with Oakland Animal Services. We're all still a little dizzy from the changes, but the shelter crew has gone out of their way to make us feel welcome. Three weeks in, we've just selected the first group of dogs who will benefit from this project. So we're in deep now... there's no turning back.

We call this joint education/adoption effort the "AmbassaDog Project" and we look forward to bringing you news (and happy endings) as we click into gear. More nitty-griity info here.

This email comes with a humble request for assistance. We have three big needs right now: New volunteers to help us help more dogs, donations to buy spay/neuter surgeries and - a big item - an office trailer to call home. We'd be very grateful for your help at this time!

As always, thank you for believing in this work and especially, in the dogs themselves.

Donna Reynolds
Executive Director BAD RAP
Oakland, CA
The First Lucky Four

One of our goals while at Oakland Animal Services is to help as many adoptable pit bulls as we can with focused training, socialization and website exposure. Each chosen AmbassaDog becomes an official BR dog, except they continue to live at the shelter...Not easy in a crowded stressful environment!
But we hope to continue inventing better ways to house sheltered pit bulls so we can share these lessons with other shelters. Right now, we're limiting ourselves to just four dogs while our team transitions over and gets used to the new routine and environs.

Most of our volunteer handlers are brand new to the difficult realities of open admission shelters. Everyone has expressed some surprise and dismay at the high number of wonderful but homeless pit bulls who are all hoping for a better future. It definitely takes some getting used to.

1. Above is Newman, our youngest AmbassaDog - 11mos or so. Here's a big Photo  Isn't he adorable? We love his cheerful, boyish personality and his gorgeous lilac brindle coat color. Those ears stand up full-time.

2. Meet Dirk  He's a brawny boy who came with great leash manners.
3. Here's Jelly Roll Jones with Tim. This tubby dude is a true character.
4. And this is Homer  He's all heart. To be honest, we're a little worried about Homer because he's stressing more than we like to see in the kennels, so he'll be getting some extra TLC from us to keep him settled. Poor Homer.

The boys are all getting the same basic obedience, field trips, TLC and dog/dog socialization that our dogs at Pit Bull Hall used to get. The goal is to get them ready for life as SuperStars once we match them with appropriate homes. Of course, it takes two to make an Ambassador -- the dog and his human.  Stay tuned to our Available Page for news on the boys as they move through the process.

Next Week! (Yikes) Our first Pit Ed Camp at OAS

The AmbassaDog Project is important to more than just the local dogs who will benefit. It will serve as a classroom for shelters around the country, starting next week.

August 4-10 marks the first Pit Ed Camp held at new location. Representatives from Nashville Humane, Capital Area Humane (MI), Silicon Valley Humane, SFSPCA and Second Chance Rescue will be gathering here for a week of non-stop hands-on work with our sheltered pit bulls. We aim to send them home with new skills, ideas and breed experience. Our best hope is to give progressive shelters everywhere the know-how and the confidence to help their own population of pit bulls.

Volunteer with us to help dogs like Judy!

This little sweetie came into the shelter with her best friend, Punch. Punch is a chihuahua and Judy here is, of course, a pit bull. The chi-pit pair is such a comfort to each other during this stressful time in their lives that it's undeniable that they need to be adopted out together.

We'd love to help Punch & Judy, but we need to grow our volunteer base in order to increase our workload.

If you live in the SF bay area and think you might have what it takes to do this difficult but rewarding work, consider attending an orientation at OAS to see if this is the right place for you.

OAS Volunteer Info

All Ambassadog Volunteers will start out as general OAS shelter volunteers before they receive special training with BAD RAP. It's a big commitment, but one that will change your life. Thank you so much!
                         ... and now, some Thank Yous.
A bow to Pam Quarterly of Bermuda for kindly pledging agility equipment for the dogs of the AmbassaDog Project. You so rock, Pam.

Bermuda has a big reason to celebrate. The gov't plans to allow responsible pit bull homes the right to import dogs to their island.
Bermuda Ban to be lifted!

We know that dog lovers like Pam have worked long and hard to make this so. Thank you for your kindness AND your tenacity, island folks!

Speaking of agility toys for the dogs ... Here's a vid of Elvez enjoying the beloved TUBE back at our Pit Bull Hall digs. Woof.

Big thanks to our Partner in Shelter Services - Animal Farm Foundation - for continued support as the AmbassaDog Project gets rolling. Everything is easier when you have the good vibes and encouragement of great partners.  

Team Pibble!  Finally, admiration and thanks to Elizabeth & Monica, who are aching sore from weeks of training for their triathaon, with all donations earmarked for good stuff for the dogs at OAS. Go pledge your support for those wild women!     
Above: Jelly Roll Jones, now an AmbassaDog
                           July 2008

Lots Going On:
Welcome our New Dogs!
Volunteers Needed
Funds for Fixes
Trailer Time: Looking for a Home
Fix Me Please!

Help us fix these dogs!

A bigger challenge at OAS: This city-run shelter does not have a veterinarian on-site, so dogs can go weeks without important spay/neuter surgeries. Extra testosterone is not the happiest hormone to deal with in a building full of rowdy teenage boy dogs and girls in season! Please help us by sponsoring a spay or neuter surgery for the dogs waiting for homes.

$100 for a male dog
$200 for a female dog

To help a BAD RAP AmbassaDog now living at the shelter, we accept PayPal and personal check.
Donation Link

Please mark your check or PayPal donation 'AmbassaDog Fix.' Thank you kindly!
Join Our Mailing List
Trailer Envy!

Pit Bull Love Shack

We're currently scouring Craigslist in search of an office trailer. It will serve an important function: Away from the noisy chaos of the shelter, we will be able to offer a quiet, peaceful space for focused training sessions including house manners, comfort for stressing dogs and relaxed dog-dog intros and play sessions.
It will also serve as a small classroom for volunteers and new adopters.

Such an important little trailer!

If you happen to know of a gently used trailer not too far from Oakland CA, please let us know. We would love as much space as possible: 12' wide and up to 40' long would be divine. Thank you!

[email protected]

Donations towards this bigger purchase are warmly welcome! We anticipate needing 4K to purchase and set-up a trailer at Oakland Animal Services.

Meet Dirk

Interested in an Ambassdog?

This is Dirk. He and other OAS dogs selected for our program will be living at the shelter while we look for their new forever homes. Interested parties are encouraged to email us for an application and appointment.
Just as with our other dogs, we require an application, interview, home check, landlord approval and - in most cases - a trial adoption period. Adopters will receive free training & support, including Canine Good Citizen (CGC) certification coaching for the life of the dog.

Thank you
for being a steady voice of compassion
for the dogs.

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