Aspen is a four-year-old pitbull/boxer mix adopted from Ark Animal Shelter in Hastings, MN
Aspen’s favorite things include his Nylabone, his people, his cats: Ruby, Sophie and Chloe and the swimming pool. He even has his own life vest for the boat!
Owners Laurie & Brent say that Aspen loves to be outside when it is sunny and warm. “There is a hill in the back of the yard that he will lie on top of. He will roll on his back and fall asleep with his legs sticking in the air,” they said. “One time, the neighbor (saw him sleeping like that and) thought Aspen had died!”
Photos by Tangerine House of Design.
Our spay/neuter clinic on August 8 was booked solid. At 7:30am there was a crowd of people outside waiting for the doors to open and to be checked in for their appointments. When Ashley B. left her dog Luna with us it wasn’t until the pre-surgery exam that the vet staff noticed Luna was lactating. While it didn’t look like Luna was recently pregnant, the doctor decided it was unsafe for Luna to proceed with surgery that day.
We called Ashley to let her know Luna needed to be picked up and rescheduled for another day. Ashley was very upset because she was in the process of moving and her housing placement was contingent on Luna being altered. Without this surgery, Ashley and Luna were in danger of losing the roof over their heads.
Although Luna missed our free Fix Your Pit clinic in August, we promised Ashley that as soon as Luna was ready, we’d cover the surgery cost at another AHS clinic date. In addition, Save-a-Bull director Lori Hames worked with Ashley’s housing counselor to assure them that Ashley was in fact a responsible owner and was meeting the requirements and having Luna spayed.
Luna got her surgery and they got to keep their housing. Luna is a very happy, healthy, and spoiled girl in her new home.
Your donations on Give to the Max Day help us fund the Fix Your Pit program and allow us to be there for those who need help. Healthy dogs create healthy, happy communities where responsible owners have the chance to change the stigma that surrounds pit bulls and ultimately improve their future as a breed. Thank you for your support!
One of the things we have learned from our spay/neuter clinics is that there are many good people out there who love their dogs and simply don’t know how and can’t afford to give them the care that they really need. The low-income and homeless communities really don’t have any resources for their animals, and unwanted litters and serious health conditions are hurting the pets in those communities. This is one of the ways our spay/neuter clinics have grown to include a Community Outreach Program. While its a small program, it helps those who don’t even have the means to come to a clinic or who need services that aren’t necessarily provided by the human organizations that help them.
SAVE-A-BULL RESCUE’S COMMUNITY OUTREACH PROGRAM
Save-a-Bull’s Community Outreach Program aids bullies and their owners who are in need through providing resources and assistance for vetting, food, winter dog clothing and basics such as leashes and collars. The main goal of this program is to keep dogs with their people; to empower the people to get what they need so that they can take care of and keep their pets. We do not want to take their dogs away from them and we do not report to local animal authorities unless the situation is truly needing it.
The people this program benefits are often clients of our spay/neuter clinics who need help with follow up care or with more complex medical issues that were discovered during the routine spay or neuter. Rather than turn these people away because the issue is outside of the scope of the clinic, we find a way to make sure they get the care, medication and attention they need to see their dogs through these issues.
Another way the Community Outreach Program helps beyond our clinics is out on the street. Save-a-Bull Vetting Manager Ian is a nurse/outreach case manager who works for an organization that provides assistance and street level outreach for folks that are long term homeless with addiction and/or mental health. Street level means that he goes directly to their camps and into the woods to find the people in need. Often times these people have dogs and the human organization doesn’t provide any assistance for those dogs, so Save-a-Bull can help make sure they have the basic supplies – food, bedding, warm coats, vaccinations and medication and vet care if needed.
China and her owner lived on the streets together for 12 years. She had been with him since she was eight weeks old and when it was discovered she had untreatable cancer, her owner was devastated. When the time came to let China go, the homeless owner’s only option was to drop her off at a shelter to be euthanized. He refused, it was important to him to be with her in her time of passing. Our Community Outreach Program made this final farewell a possibility. By providing a vet appointment at a clinic he was able to hold China while she left this world and grew her wings.
Because Ian is out and about all day he runs into people with dogs who need help on a regular basis. The stigma of a pit bull living on the street might be too much for some people, but Ian says “I run towards the pit bulls instead of away from them when doing outreach.” (Learn more about Ian’s work here.)
While our program is small, and there is no formal application process to get help, we do our best to keep our ears and eyes open and offer help where needed. Our volunteers actively hand out clinic flyers to the owners of dogs in need of spay or neuter and alert our vetting team of homeless people that may need assistance. Your donations on Give to the Max Day will help support the resources this program and our clinics have to offer our community, thank you.
Supporting spay and neuter and community assistance programs will promote responsible dog ownership and breed advocacy which is an important part of the work we’re trying to do every day.