Monday, April 28, 2008

PBRC at the Maryland Doggone Walk Festival

Sunday April 27th a damp and chilly morning found PBRC volunteers, Lex, Amanda and Sheb at the Doggone Walk Festival to benefit the Anne Arundel Count SPCA.

This event welcomed dogs of all shapes and sizes and even several other species of critters and their people, to walk through the beautiful Quiet Waters Park in Annapolis Maryland to raise money for the all homeless pets.

More than 50 businesses, shelters, rescues and non-profit organizations set up booths to provide the walkers with lots of information and goodies from local pet organizations and PBRC was right in the middle of them all. Our volunteers provided pet owners from all over Maryland with the best pit bull educational information available. Topics included: “what is a pit bull”, “what is BSL and how do we fight it”, “fun things to do with your pit bull” as well as the many services PBRC can provide to pit bull owners, rescuers and enthusiasts.

Our local breed ambassador, Murphy, also donated his time and his tongue to PBRC’s event! For a small donation, Murphy provided as many pit bull kisses as you could take. More often than not, though Murphy gave his kisses away for free, but that was ok too since he is determined to change the public image of his breed one face washing at a time.

Despite the cold drizzle and cloudy skies, we had an enthusiastic crowd visit us at our booth, meeting our volunteers, getting their Murphy kisses and showing off their own beautiful dogs and in the process learning more about our wonderful breed.

Check out our slide show of the event here and see the fantastic people that stopped by to visit us. A big thank you from PBRC to everyone who stopped by to see us!

If you have a pet event coming up in your town that you would like to see PBRC at please send us an email at to let us know the details.

Your Pit Bull's Desert Island Toy

In a recent informal poll, pit bull owners listed the following items as "must-haves" for their pibble:
  • enormous pile of horse dung
  • Galileo bone
  • underwear
  • squeaky toy
  • the refrigerator
  • bully stick
  • soccer ball
  • jolly ball
  • Dogzerts
  • inflatable raft to ship off any other dogs that might show up
  • the cookie jar
  • the bed
  • big stuffed fleece bone
  • frisbee
  • owner's lap
  • sticks
  • evil red cuz ball
  • bad cuz ball
  • best friend
  • the couch
  • kong
  • socks
  • nylabone
  • blankie
  • pig ears
And many pit bull owners said their dog only wants them.

It looks like this pibble might take her chair.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

The Bully Workshop: What It’s All About

Several years ago, I decided I needed to do more to help pit bulls in my area. Breed specific legislation was, and still is, spreading like wildfire across the state of Iowa where I live. As a result, more and more pit bulls were landing in the shelters across the state. In addition, there are many other ‘ripple’ effects of BSL: potential adopters are scared to adopt a pit bull, landlords and management companies felt they had support to ban the breeds from their rental properties (“everyone else is doing it”), owners have trouble finding insurance for their homes, shelters become inundated with dogs that they have difficulty adopting out, etc. The cumulative effect of BSL puts owners, shelters, and of course, the dogs, in a no-win situation.

I began to plan an event I dubbed the “Bully Workshop.” I had no idea what I was doing….LOL! But, somehow I muddled my way through and organized the first workshop. I invited guest speakers to talk about different topics related to the breed. I invited several owners to bring their dogs to be examples of the breed. The first workshop covered breed characteristics, legislation, sheltering,
and demonstrations of activities owners can do with their dogs. The workshop was a success, and I resolved that I would try to offer this type of workshop once a year.

In 2006, I held the second workshop, expanding on the previous year’s topics. In the wake of Katrina, many shelter and animal care professionals became aware of just how big the pit bull overpopulation problem truly is. Rescuer Teal Alt presented on her experience assisting during Katrina. I also added a health segment, so owners and shelter staff would be more cognizant of the common health issues in the bull breeds, as well as the importance of spaying and neutering. An open forum concluded the workshop, allowing the guests to ask questions of all the presenters. This forum allowed for exchange of information in an interactive way, and has been part of the following year’s workshops. PBRC volunteers were present to provide information at their booth and to answer questions about the breed and the organization.

The 2007 Bully Workshop expanded in even bigger directions. My motto when planning this workshop, was “just ask!” I decided that in order to continue providing a quality workshop, I would need financial support, as well as volunteers. In 2007, I was able to obtain funding to support the workshop, allowing me to bring in new guest speakers, and to provide educational materials and folders for all the guests. Friends of the Animal Center Foundation and Animal Farm Foundation generously provided grants towards operating and promotion costs. Pit Bull Rescue Central provided educational materials for the guests’ folders, and also maintained an educational booth with information and merchandise. Vendor booths were added – Chelsy’s Toys and Leash On Life offered great interactive and durable toys, training materials, and treats for sale. The workshop went expanded to a 5-hour event, allowing me to pack in more information, demonstrations, and bully kisses. Of course, the real highlight of each workshop has been the dogs. I truly feel that beyond the printed and spoken word, the best way to change people’s minds and to educate them about the breed, is to have stellar examples of pit bulls on site, for interaction.

The 2008 Bully Workshop is coming soon, and promises to be an
informative, fun, and interactive experience. For a detailed look at this year’s speakers and topics, Click here. The workshop flyer and registration form are available in downloadable formats.

Each year, the event has grown in the size and scope. What are the benefits of holding such a workshop? I see many positive outcomes of this event:
  • Owners of bull breeds become more educated about their dogs, enabling them to make responsible choices about the ways they interact with their dogs, how they present their dogs in a public light, and how to be proactive about the issues that they face (insurance, legislation, breed stigma, etc.)
  • Owners can network with other pit bull owners who share their same love for this breed
  • Potential adopters can gain accurate information in order to determine make informed adoption decisions
  • Adopters of bull breeds have a chance to show off their dogs to the workshop guests, to present themselves as excellent breed ambassadors and model responsible handling skills
  • Shelter and rescue personnel and volunteers gain more knowledge about the breed, thus enabling them to better educate potential adopters, and the public that enter their shelter doors
  • Shelter and rescue personnel gather information and the tools needed to be proactive in their communities regarding legislation, spay/neuter resources, etc.
  • Shelter and rescue personnel have an opportunity to learn more about canine behavior, training, and successful practices for housing, making successful dog-to-dog matches, and placing bull breeds.
  • Shelter and rescue personnel have a chance to network with each other, forming positive relationships to foster best practices in animal welfare
  • All guests learn more about the breed traits and breed history through presentations, handouts, books, merchandise, and visual displays.
I hope to see you at this year’s workshop, and I thank you on behalf of the dogs, whose lives are ultimately impacted by this event.

Andrea Kilkenny

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Gumby, Part 3 (and Rosie, too)

Hi everyone,

Just a quick update on Gumby & Rosie.

Gumby is at Town & Country East vet clinic where he received his heart worm treatment. He is finished and so far, so good! I visited with him today and he was very happy to see me. He will be at T&C until Monday, as I am going out of town this weekend and Erica is also out of town. His skin is better, though he will need two more doses of ivermectin for the mange. He also needs to be microchipped and neutered.

Here are links to his latest videos:

Rosie is also at T&C and she will begin heart worm treatment tomorrow. Her heart worms are more advanced than Gumby's were, so please send positive, healing thoughts to her. She is gaining weight since we wormed her and is really turning out to be a sweet little girl. Once she has recovered from heartworm treatment she also needs to be microchipped and spayed.

Again, I want to thank everyone for their generosity, support and concern for these dogs. We couldn't help them without you!

K9 Rescue League

Hello everyone!

We took Gumby out to Hightower Farm Sanctuary this weekend to see how he responds to horses and cats. He did great! If he can also get along with pigs, cows and goats then he may have a forever home in Florida. If that doesn't work out, there is also a potential home for him in Tennessee.

Here's the link to the video:

Gumby was treated for heartworms a month ago and is doing great! Thankfully he didn't have a severe case. His skin is much better and he will be going back to the vet for a re-check sometime next week. As soon as we get the green light we will have him neutered and microchipped.


K9 Rescue League

Gumby, the Toothless Old Pit Bull in Atlanta, Part 2

First I would like to thank all of the wonderful people that have already helped and those who have offered to help with Gumby's medical bills. I am truly touched by your generosity and your concern for him. I also want to thank the two people that have offered to give this old man a safe place to spend the rest of his years.

The good news is that Gumby's blood work is very normal for a heartworm positive dog his age! The vet thinks he's between 8-10 years old.

The bad news is that he scraped positive for scabies and me, my husband and Erica (my friend, neighbor and fellow rescuer) may also have it. Oh the joys of animal rescue! I will still give him a hug from everyone, though! We will have to be very careful with Gumby and not let him come into contact with our other pets until he is healed, which may take a while.

Gumby's remaining teeth are stable and there are no signs of infection.

The doctor says that he does not have a prolapsed rectum, and that it is very common to see a protruding anus in a unneutered dog as old as he is, though she admits that his is the worst she has ever seen.

His fecal exam revealed that he has hookworms and whipworms.

The doctor wants to recheck him in 2 weeks to see how he's doing. She recommends that we have him heartworm treated before having him neutered. Also, his skin needs to clear up before he is neutered.

Today he was vaccinated, given a medicated bath, received Hydroxycine (not sure if I spelled that right) for his itchy skin and put on antibiotics. He was sent home with a huge bag of meds! Erica also took him to McDonald's for a treat on the way home.

Gumby still needs to be treated for heartworms and neutered, as well as microchipped so he'll never be a lost wanderer again!

K9 Rescue League
PBRC Volunteer

The Tale of Gumby, Part 1

I know that everyone gets a ton of crossposts, but please take the time to read this one and send it on. I don't get emotional about stray dogs very often as I know the hard reality, but sometimes one just reaches out to you and you can't look away.

I live in SW Atlanta and the area isn't very friendly for stray animals. There is a small handful of us doing what we can for the strays, but we can't do it alone.

This weekend my neighbor came to get me to help her get a pit bull out of her yard. So, I went out there and one of the saddest things I've ever seen was in front of me. He was old, hungry, filthy and full of sores, but as sweet as pie. He had a luggage strap tied around his neck for a collar. He looked up at me with these sad, hopeful eyes and I couldn't walk away from him. So, I put a leash on him and tried to find out where he belonged (not to return him so much as to yell at whomever would allow their dog to be in such a sorry state), but no one had ever seen him. Finally one man said he had seen him up at the gas station looking for food a few weeks ago. I was determined not to take this dog home with me, but the minute I put a leash on him I was doomed. I already have 4 pit bulls at my house, 2 of which are horribly dog aggressive and approaching their senior years.

I was so distraught over this dog that I was sobbing on the phone with my husband. Not only are we not in a position to take in another needy soul, but this dog is sick and needs help and we can't pay for the kind of care he may need. He told me that it would be ok and we'd figure it out like we always do. When my husband got home we took him in the house and bathed him. That's when we discovered he had no front teeth on the top or bottom, and only a portion of a broken canine. So, we named him Gumby. He was so anxious when we were bathing him. We couldn't tell if he was grunting from anxiety or pain, but we got him nice and clean and set up in a crate in a separate room of our house. We also put a real collar on him. He was so excited to get a collar it almost broke my heart.

My neighbors who also rescue did a snap test on him for us last night and he is heartworm positive. We aren't sure of the extent of the heartworms since that can only be determined by a veterinarian, but it's obvious he may also have a problem with his prostate due to his very prominent anus. We don't think it's just an anal gland issue as he doesn't scooch or scoot to relieve himself and he doesn't mess with it much. He also is not comfortable in a normal sit position and prefers to lie down. He is going to the vet tomorrow. If they tell us that his blood work indicates cancer or some other serious illness, or if they feel he won't survive heartworm treatment, then we will most likely have him put to sleep. However, I am determined to give this dog a chance to have a normal, loving life. He probably doesn't have much time left and his last years need to be comfy.

To make matters worse, we found another needy pit bull yesterday. We were doing yardwork and she was walking down the street, with no collar or tags, of course. She's also a sad case, but nothing compared to Gumby.

K9 Rescue League
PBRC Volunteer

Friday, April 4, 2008

Vintage Style Posters by Christine J. Head


The first poster released for 2008, "AMSTAFF" is a beautiful French vintage style art poster to compliment Christine's other posters, "Pitini" and "Break the Chains".

Translation from French:

Extra Fine
The Gentleman's Cocktail
Stop Breed Specific Legislation
Love/Loyalty (lower left bottle)

Measures 24" x 36"
Limited to 1000

Each poster is hand signed and numbered by the artist

Price: $95 + $5 shipping
(add'l shipping charges apply on international orders)
Comes rolled in tube - 50% of proceeds go to PBRC!

Click here to ORDER NOW!

About the Artist: Christine J. Head’s sought-after, limited-edition prints and posters have helped numerous rescues raise much needed funds.

Initially, Christine did "hands-on" rescue work, housing several foster dogs and going through the painstaking process of finding the right permanent home for each of these dogs who already found a permanent place in her heart. Eventually, her interests in the creative arts and canine needs combined and she discovered the best way to apply her talents to raise money and awareness for animal rescue.

Christine started The Puppy Sketches in
1999 and has been contributing to rescue organizations ever since by creating original and limited edition posters. Originally, her beautiful portraits of dogs in need of urgent medical care and adoption accompanied by the dog’s poignant story, raised thousands of dollars for individual rescues.

Currently, Christine’s focus is on highly stylized vintage/Art Nouveau-style posters prints that raise money for multiple breed rescues. These posters are sold almost exclusively through rescue organizations.

Some notable animal lovers and celebrities who collect her work include actresses Jorja Fox and Mary Steenburgen, and Comedienne Elayne Boosler.