May 8, 2011

Pit Bulls in the Park: Successful Outreach Event!

It was 11 am on May 7, 2011. CCB pulled into the parking lot of Fairview Park in Hillsborough, and began to unload the donations. A few dedicated pit bull owners were already there, walking their dogs. As we organized the leashes, collars, food, and treats, we all were astounded by the overwhelming amount of freebies we had been blessed with for our first community outreach event. So many goodie bags, we were bound to go home with leftovers for the CCB foster dogs. We were wrong.

By the start of Pit Bulls in the Park an hour later, a line had formed at the microchip table, the weight-pulling demo area; and people were picking out new collars for their dogs. We did not have time to survey the activity among us; there was work to be done. We fitted dog after dog for collars, and for some dogs, it was the first one they had ever had. The line for the free microchip table didn’t let up for hours, as we promised dog after dog that they would never wait unclaimed as a “stray” at the shelter again.

Two hours in, we were running low. The donated food was gone. And how many treat bags had we distributed? 50? 100? No one had time to count at the start, but we knew we were down now to our last dozen or so. AnimalKind reported that they had given a half a dozen spay/neuter vouchers, and Orange County Animal Services had vaccinated at least a dozen dogs for their rabies vaccines. Dog trainer Lisa Mayhew of AttaGirl! K9 had spent most of the afternoon consulting with people about dog behavior issues. The kids table had been abuzz with children who loved to tell us about their beloved dogs.

We learned a lot of things that day, the first being, we are not much different from these families, these pit bull owners. We all take pride in our dogs, and we all love them for what they are. We may have different ideas about what makes a responsible owner; about spay/neuter; or about just where these dogs fit into our families. But one thing can not be disputed – we all love our dogs.

By 3:45 pm, the tables were empty. We turned away people interested in getting microchips, collars, leashes, and food; because there was nothing left to give. Physically, and emotionally, we were drained. But we were smiling. Empty tables meant we had succeeded. This was a community that needed us. And Carolina Care Bullies had come though.

We will not soon forget the experience of the first ever Pit Bulls in the Park hosted in the Fairview community, in the small historic town of Hillsborough, North Carolina. It reminded us that there is more to rescue than finding good homes for good dogs. It is about connecting with the community on a personal level, and helping to turn the tide for the pit bulls of tomorrow.

May 6, 2011

Volunteer Spotlight: Kenton Bradford & Rae Boney

Kenton and I both grew up in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. We were in the same circle of friends towards the end of high school, then went in different directions for college and lost touch.

Kenton had a friend that started a private rescue in Charlotte when he was living in that area; Kenton’s love for the Bullies began then. He saw first-hand the abuse and misunderstanding that was focused on the breed. He saw dogs that came from very bad situations that just wanted to be loved. He moved back to his home town in 2009 and went looking for a companion at the Humane Society. He fell in love with Lola, but was put on a waiting list for her adoption. Kenton didn’t give up there, he visited her almost every day, and after several people on the list where disqualified due to breed restrictions and seeing Kenton’s true devotion to Lola he was able to take her home!

On one of my visits back home I was visiting with some old friends and in walks the most gorgeous red dog I had ever seen, and right behind her was Kenton! I like to tease him that I fell in love with Lola first, and was going to take her home that first night! I had always felt that Pit Bulls where the most handsome of all the dogs I had ever seen. And after being reconnected with Kenton, we decided it would be great to get a companion dog for Lola. We went to the WASPCA and walked out with Carrie, a beautiful brindle that very day. My love for Carrie a Stafford Terrier was automatic, and she loves me back more than I could ever hope for.

I started doing a little googling on the breed and was just horrified at the bad rap these awesome dogs have been getting over the years, horrified that all their wonderful qualities are being overshadowed by bad press. Kenton had always wanted to foster but hadn’t been in the right position or living space to do so, but now he could! I did a google search and loved CCB’s reach across the state. We got our first fosters soon after from an area up in the mountains, and we knew it had been the right decision the moment we saw their adorable faces!

I fell fast and hard for these wonderful animals that have been so abused and misunderstood by us humans. Their love is so unconditional!

Kenton and I spend our free time working in our garden, playing with our furbabies, and spending time with my 8 year old son Sebastion, who is already a Pit Bull defender!

This is just the beginning of our relationship with CCB! We are looking forward to saving many more Bullies and helping to educate the public.