by Lacy Schramm, Co-director, Save-a-Bull Rescue
Me and Baby Lola, 2008.
I would never consider myself an athlete. I never really enjoyed sports, and never played on any varsity teams. My usual line was, “I will only run if someone is chasing me.” Exercise was a dirty word back then. However adopting my first dog, Lola, in 2008 started a fitness revolution in my life and led my husband and I into the rescue world.
That might sound a bit dramatic, but adopting a dog was truly the catalyst that changed the health of my family. Jake and I started walking Lola every day and venturing out for hikes on the weekends.
In 2010 I signed up to run my first 5k with a friend. At the time I couldn’t even run for two minutes straight. I certainly wasn’t a runner. Gradually building up endurance and mileage through the Couch to 5k plan, I was able to complete that first race with minimal walking. It was tough, but I did it and felt proud for doing it. Over the next few months I continued the running plan and stepped up to a 10k, which I liked even better. Jake joined me and we ran our first half marathon together in 2012.
A funny thing happened- somewhere along the way I started to really enjoy running. Not just the sense of accomplishment when it was over, but I actually enjoyed the entire run. I started looking forward to my runs and feeling frustrated when I missed them. Who was I? Well, apparently I turned into a runner. 25-year-old me would never believe it was possible.
Cisco ran the Fast and Furry in 2010.
Running is also something I can do with my dogs, and it’s great for them too. Most of the time I choose to run with a dog, especially my energetic foster dogs. I ran my first Fast & the Furry race with Cisco, a foster-dog in a wheelchair (talk about inspirational; what excuses did I have for not running?)! Since then we have run a few Fast & the Furry races and sponsored a TC10k team of Save-a-Bull volunteers. Every Thanksgiving, Jake and I run the Turkey Day 5K through downtown Minneapolis, and a few Save-a-Bull volunteers and dogs have joined us along the way.
Save-a-Bull Turkey Day 5K crew
Winslow and I running on the trails.
Rescue can change a dog’s life, but getting a dog can change your life as well. Looking back at all the choices I’ve made in my life, adopting Lola was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, and I have the before and after photos to prove it.
I’m personally inviting you to run or walk with Save-a-Bull Rescue at the 2016 Fast & the Furry 5k/8k event. Whether you sign up to walk your dog, or try the Couch to 5k program and run the 5k with us, the community and dogs in rescue will benefit. Register today and set up your fundraising page to collect donations for Save-a-Bull. Then show up for a fun, fast and furry morning to benefit the rescue community.
The Fast & the Furry 5k is less than three months away! Join our team and help raise money to support pit bull rescue and services at Save-a-Bull. How do you get involved?
1. REGISTER for the Fast & the Furry here:
Click here to register >
All registered human participants will get a race shirt.
All registered canine participants will get a bandana.
Participants registered by April 24 will get a custom race bib with their name and their dog’s name.
2. CREATE A FUNDRAISING PAGE as part of the Save-a-Bull team
Click here to set up your fundraising page >
Note from Event Organizers:
Be sure to include your NAME (the same that you registered with) on your fundraising page so we know who to credit. You must have already registered to participate in the Fast and the Furry 8K or 5K9 to earn incentives. Fundraising incentive prizes will be calculated based on online donations made to your page by May 18th. Any donations received at the event will be accepted by not counted towards prizes and the announced total at the event.
3. START COLLECTING PLEDGES from friends and family!
Fast & the Furry awards prizes at different pledge levels, learn more.
PLUS: If you reach $400 in pledges for Team Save-a-Bull we will give you a coupon for 40% off all Save-a-Bull merchandise you purchased at the event!
We look forward to seeing you and your dog at this fun event in May.
Our second free spay/neuter is clinic is right around the corner on November 21. THERE ARE STILL APPOINTMENTS AVAILABLE. This is an important opportunity for pit bull owners to spay or neuter their dogs free of charge, please help spread the word!
If you know a family with a pit bull that could take part in this clinic, please share or download and share the poster below. The more people we reach the better!
FIX YOUR PIT Low Cost Spay/Neuter Clinic
for Pit Bulls and Pit Bull Mixes of qualified low-income pet owners*
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 21
Kindest Cut Melrose Animal Clinic
@ the Animal Humane Society
845 Meadow Lane N.,
Golden Valley, MN 55422
A limited number of appointments are available, reserve your spot now!
Call 763-489-7729 or visit www.kindestcutmn.com for reservations.
*Applicants must income qualify. Please visit www.kindestcutmn.com for details. A $10 reservation fee required.
And watch for more spay/neuter clinics in 2016 as a result of your generous donations on Give to the Max Day!
A NEUTERED DOG IS A GOOD DOG! Responsible dog owners will want to take every opportunity to train and maintain a polite, obedient, calm and friendly dog. Dogs that aren’t spayed or neutered will struggle with even the most basic of good manners.
In male dogs, the hormone testosterone acts as an accelerant making him more reactive. As a male puppy matures and enters adolescence his primary social focus shifts from people to dogs which means your human/canine bond becomes secondary. His limited attention span will make any type of training difficult at best. What kinds of behaviors can be expected from an un-neutered male dog?
• Periodic binges of household destruction, digging and scratching.
• Indoor restlessness/irritability.
• Pacing, whining, unable to settle down or focus. Door dashing, fence jumping and assorted escape behaviors; wandering/roaming.
• Baying, howling, overbarking.
• Barking/lunging at passersby, fence fighting. Lunging/barking at and fighting with other male dogs.
• Non-compliant, pushy and bossy attitude towards caretakers and strangers. Lack of cooperation.
• Resistant; an unwillingness to obey commands; refusal to come when called.
• Pulling/dragging of handler outdoors; excessive sniffing.
• Offensive growling, snapping, biting, mounting people and objects.
• A heightened sense of territoriality, marking with urine indoors.
• Excessive marking on outdoor scent posts.
Sounds awful, right?
In addition, stats show that the overwhelmingly common denominator in dog bite incidents is the fact that the dog was intact. Un-neutered male dogs are involved in up to 76 percent of reported dog bites in the United States, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association.
Set your dog up for success! Give him the ability to be not only a good dog, but a great pit bull. Neutering your male dog is good for him, good for you and good for your community. Your dog will be happier and healthier, you’ll have a strong and respectful bond with him, and you’ll both be responsible parts of your community.
Sources: aspca.org, avma.org
Thanks to you, Save-a-Bull has had the opportunity to rescue and rehome a lot of deserving dogs this year. But that’s not enough! Supporting spay and neuter assistance programs for our community will promote responsible dog ownership and breed advocacy which is an important part of the work we’re trying to do every day. Donate today and be a part of our Fix Your Pit program!
Save-a-Bull Rescue is overwhelmingly grateful for the support of our past adopters, our volunteers and our community over the past many years. With your support we’ve rescued and rehomed hundreds of dogs in need – but that’s not enough.
The vast majority of dogs that come into rescue are unwanted or neglected. From large litters of puppies that would have been euthanized just because there was no space for them, to older dogs that no one cared enough about to give basic care and food. While we love nothing more than to take in and help these wonderful dogs, their situations can be avoided by providing education and basic vetting needs to people in our community.
There are hundreds of responsible families that love their pets but simply can’t afford the care they deserve. We want to help our community give their dogs the care they want to provide them, which will lead to a healthier Twin Cities overall.
On Give to the Max Day, Thursday, November 12, 2015, our goal was to raise $10,000 that will be put back into the community to host four spay/neuter clinics in 2016. These clinics will allow qualified pit bull and pit mix owners to spay/neuter their pets free of charge.*
By helping our community care for their pets, we’ll create a growing network of responsible owners who will become breed advocates for these wonderful dogs. Spayed/neutered dogs are healthier, have better temperaments, don’t wander away from home and of course limit unwanted puppies – all of which is good for them, great for our community and even better for breed perception overall.
Thanks to the overwhelming support of donors, volunteers and local businesses on Give to the Max Day, we exceeded that goal by more than 25%. We are thrilled to be able to move forward with our plans for these clinics!
Why is the spay and neuter of pit bulls important? Read more for the shocking truth about the euthanasia of thousands of pit bulls in America.
Pit Bull dogs have a long road to adoption, often thwarted by prejudices, laws and bans. Yet, would you be surprised to learn that pits are the number one dog being bred in America? That’s right – the dogs that have the hardest time finding homes are also experiencing a baby boom of overpopulation.
It is estimated that there are 3-5 million pit bulls in the U.S. The term ‘Pit Bull’ encompasses mainly three breeds of dog: the American Pit Bull Terrier, the American Staffordshire Terrier, and the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. Considered a ‘bully breed’ and subject to breed specific legislation, they are by far the most euthanized breed
Debates rage over the validity of accusations against them but one thing is certain….they are being killed in shelters at shocking rates.
Pit bulls and pit bull mixes average about 33% of shelter intakes nationally, but in large cities the numbers are as high as 40%-65%. About 75% of municipal shelters euthanize pit bulls immediately upon intake, without them ever having any chance at adoption. Those that are offered for adoption are usually the first chosen for euthanasia when overcrowding forces the shelter’s hand and decisions have to be made.
Studies estimate that up to 1 million pits are euthanized per year, or 2,800 per day. Some estimates are up to double that number. In the Los Angeles area alone, 200 per day are put to sleep. A study by the organization Animal People reports a 93% euthanasia rate for pit bulls and only one in 600 pits finding a forever home. Read that again:
Further, euthanasia estimates don’t include the misery and death pit bulls face as the #1 dog-fighting breed. Fought dogs that don’t die in the ring often suffer excruciating abuse, neglect, abandonment, and eventually death even worse than humane euthanasia.
Our animal shelters are not to blame.
The staff who have to ‘choose’ which dogs to put down are not to blame.
Those who carry out the euthanization are not to blame.
It’s simple math….there are too many pits and not enough people willing to adopt them. Shelters are overwhelmed with dogs who demand space and funds for their care and medical treatment and something’s got to give. It’s the animals, very often pit bulls, and what they give is their very lives.
Until we can educate the public and move them to spay and neuter, we’re just putting a band-aid on a gushing wound. One female dog can produce two litters of 6-10 pups per year. In 6 years that female and her offspring can produce 67,000 dogs
Often, it is the cost of sterilization that keeps pits intact to reproduce. Great work is being done to curb the pit bull overpopulation by organizations such as the San Francisco SPCA. The facility offered one month during which all pit bulls and pit bull mixes were sterilized free of charge. It went so well that they have extended the program indefinitely!
“We know first-hand through previous initiatives…the positive effect efforts like this can have in the community,” says Jeannette Goh, D.V.M., Director of the SF SPCA Spay and Neuter Clinic. “We’re excited to offer this service free of charge from here on out.”
San Francisco has a legal requirement that all pits and pit mixes be spayed or neutered because over 60% of the dogs euthanized in the city are pit bulls. The SF SPCA Spay/Neuter Clinic is part of the Leanne B. Roberts Animal Care Center and is on track to perform more than 9,000 sterilizations this year. During the first month of free sterilization for pit bulls at the facility, spay and neuter surgeries on pit bulls rose 350% from the previous month.
Sterilization of dogs also may increase their lifespan by 1-3 years, as it greatly reduces the risk of cancer and also curbs their urge to roam. Roaming can lead to a short, harsh life on the streets, or…you guessed it…landing in an animal shelter and facing euthanasia.
THANK YOU for every single dollar you donated on Give to the Max Day; for every share, comment and like on social media; and for believing that together we have the power to make a positive impact on our community by offering these spay/neuter clinics.
We’ll share more about our planned clinics including schedule, locations and how you can help spread the word to make sure those who need it most are able to take advantage of the clinics and services we built together.
Sometimes special friends come along when you least expect it and give you more than you could ever ask for. Our relationship with Mission Animal Hospital started in late 2012 out of pure luck. As often happens in rescue, we were in need of a vet office open on a Saturday afternoon, and were referred to them. The caring staff took care of us at a rate that was affordable for the rescue and we vowed to come back for future care. We were thrilled to have stumbled upon what we consider to be one of the best animal hospitals in the metro area.
What we didn’t know at the time, was that Mission’s purpose was even greater than offering a good rate to rescue groups. Mission Animal Hospital is a nonprofit 501c3 organization. The guiding mission of their work is to provide high quality veterinary care for those in need such as low income groups, the unemployed and the elderly. By providing pet care, they’re helping limit the number of pets surrendered because their owners couldn’t afford the vet bills. That’s something we 100% understand and support.
Our first reaction was “This is awesome because it’s affordable!” But we soon began to appreciate Mission for the truly high quality vetting care they were able to provide to Save-a-Bull. What does “high quality care” mean?
It means making room for a spontaneous walk-in appointment when we brought in a puppy suffering from a broken leg.
Nellie (fka Raina) then and now.
It means helping make affordable, yet quality decisions for a severely neglected dog so she can go on to teach everyone she meets that “It’s not about what you’ve been through, but where you are now.”
ETTA: Before & After
It means showing compassion when a rescue dog’s health declines, and helping us through the hardest decisions.
Our Sweet Gramma Lois (June 2013 – November 2014)
Mission Animal Hospital has been a very important partner to Save-a-Bull and to our community. Now it’s time to show our support when they need us. Mission’s current facility is set to be demolished by the city of Hopkins by the end of 2015. Additionally, as their practice has expanded, so has their need for more space. It is going to cost $600,000 for a new building. Mission has taken out loans to get started on this cost but are now looking to like-minded pet lovers to come together and help raise $200,000 to contribute to this larger cost, meeting immediate financial needs for the building and community outreach.
If you can help support Mission’s work in our community and the services they provide local rescue groups like Save-a-Bull, please donate today! Through their fundraiser on Indiegogo, they have an anonymous donor who will match every donation dollar for dollar until the goal is met!
Please consider supporting those who support us!
Thank you Mission for helping us in so many ways:
Dr. Melanie: Thank you for your vision.
Dr. Susan: Thank you for growing this important cause.
Dr. Sue and Dr. Erin: Thank you for providing excellent service, and for caring so much about your patients.
Niccole, Laurie, Kelsie, Samantha and staff: Thank you for finding appointments in fully booked days, your excellent support and for always smiling.
You’ve become more than just our rescue partner; we consider you our friends and part of the Save-a-Bull family!
For more information about Mission visit missionah.org or find them on Facebook
Spay and neuter procedures are one of the best, pro-active steps we can take to combat the unwanted pet problem. There are also many health benefits to altering your pets so it’s a great way to show them how much you truly love them.
Save-a-Bull Rescue dedicated this Valentine’s Day to making a difference in the community we love by helping pets in need of spay and neuter. After the tragic death of our volunteer, Alyssa Winters, in December we wanted to do something special in her honor. As support in Alyssa’s memory poured in, we set plans in motion to host a low-cost Spay/Neuter Clinic.
On Saturday, February 14th, 2015 we partnered with Kindest Cut to offer free spay and neuter surgeries for pit bull type dogs. Owners signed up in advance and were asked to pay a small $10 co-pay. Friends and family of Alyssa volunteered their time to help out at the clinic during the day and even made and donated special dog treats for each patient.
All told, twenty-one dogs were altered at this clinic. One of our rescue puppies, Sutton, named in honor of Alyssa’s unborn child, was one of them. Sutton’s foster Lori said “This pittie lover was in Pit Bull Heaven this morning dropping Sutton off for her spay. I got to meet 15 pitties…small ones, big ones, brown ones, blue ones, white ones, puppies, adults…and I got pet and kiss them all! I can tell you Alyssa would have loved it.”
Thanks to your support, twenty non-rescue dogs were altered. According to Dr. Meghann Kruck, “among the owned dogs there were ten females and ten males, eight of which were puppies.” Save-a-Bull covered the cost of these surgeries in combination with the remains of Kindest Cut’s Happy Neuter Year grant funds for the males.
A special thanks goes out to those pet owners who took advantage of this clinic and brought their pit bulls in for surgery. Responsible dog ownership goes a long way in helping pit bulls beat their bad stereotypes!
Save-a-Bull is committed to hosting an annual Spay/Neuter Clinic in Alyssa’s honor around the same time next year. Watch for details!
To learn more about the benefits of spay/neuter visit http://www.kindestcutmn.com/why-spay-neuter
Every year, on the last Tuesday of February, World Spay Day shines a spotlight on the lifesaving power of spay/neuter and the need for affordable services, particularly in underserved communities. Learn more at http://www.worldspayday.org/whyworldspayday/