Art, and laughs, are good for the soul

Art, and laughs, are good for the soul

In tough times, we’re all looking for a way to feel good and have a laugh in order to let of some steam and destress.  We’ll, you’ve come to the right place! We’re holding our very own Pet Portrait Fundraiser and we think it’ll be just what you need! A $10 donation will help rescue dogs, AND get you a custom, maybe not-so-great, but probably really funny, portrait of your pet.

Our volunteers have bravely agreed to try their hands at drawing your pet in an effort to raise money for our rescue dogs. Our group does include some professional artists, illustrators and graphic designers, but it’s also mostly made up of accountants, real estate agents, nurses, cooks, scientists, researchers, moms and dads, builders and more – so you just never know what your portrait might look like! Our “artists” have been warming up for this event, here are few of their drawings:

This virtual event will take place online on Friday, April 24. Make your donation and post your photo here:
https://www.facebook.com/donate/231656437908348/
Then sit back, maybe with a glass of wine or a snack, and watch the finished portraits start rolling in! We’ll be sharing all the drawings as as we go, so you’ll get an evening of online entertainment!

All donations will help with food, supplies, vaccinations and the care of dogs in rescue. We appreciate anyone who can show their support during these trying times, and think a goofy pet portrait is just what we all need right now.

You’ve seen it before as other organizations have picked up their pencils to draw pet portraits to raise money – well, now it’s our turn! Join us for this virtual get together as we share in some art appreciation, stress-relief, camaraderie, and our support of rescue.

Spring Cleaning to Help Rescue

Spring Cleaning to Help Rescue

As we’ve had to say goodbye to event after event, and the fundraising that goes along with them, we’re very much looking forward to the end of this corona virus madness. We’ll hold the annual Save-a-Bull Garage Sale later this summer and we need to KILL IT to make up for the money lost to this down time.

If you’re stuck at home #socialdistancing, now is a perfect time to tackle that dreaded task of cleaning out your closet, spare room, basement, junk drawer, attic, or garage…then set aside items you want to part with and plan to donate them to our efforts!

What can we use?
Anything you would be comfortable giving to a friend or family member to use, or that you would use yourself:

• Usable linens – towels, sheets, blankets, comforters, tablecloths, placemats, fabric
• Clothes in GOOD shape (limit one bag, name brand/designer preferred)
• Small working appliances
• Furniture
• Costume jewelry
• Household items without cracks, chips or stains
• Sports equipment in working order
• Pictures/artwork
• Bicycles
• Toys that are intact
• Books – in good condition (limit one box)
• DVDs, CDs, video games
• Tools
• Electronic items that work
• Plants
• Glasses and dishware
• Collectables
• Home decor
• Kids and baby items
• Beer and sports memorabilia
• Seasonal items
• Garden tools
• Designer clothes, shoes and handbags
• Like new/unopened items (no food)

It goes without saying, everything must be CLEAN.

Things we can’t use:
• Used makeup (yuck)
• VHS tapes
• Used undergarments or swim suits
• Used toiletries (again, yuck!)
• Broken appliances
• Old TVs and clunky computer monitors
• Mattresses
• Cribs
• Helmets/safety gear
• Dirty items

Sort through your stuff and start a box for donation! Once the personal space bubble has been lifted, and life returns to normal, we’ll start collecting donations. You can even sign up here to get an email when we’ve identified drop off sites, or to arrange for us to come and pick up your loot!

It’s likely that we’ll have all kinds of time to clean, organize and declutter, so we can’t wait to see what treasures you unearth to help rescue raise the much needed money to support our dogs!

Pints, Pit Bulls, and Patios

Pints, Pit Bulls, and Patios

Outside of our Fix Your Pit Clinics, Save-a-Bull volunteers love to be out in the Twin Cities supporting our community and hosting other events. Every February, we host a Bake Sale at Urban Tails Pet Supply where there are treats for humans and pups alike. In March, we offer winter relief by partnering with Butcher and the Boar for our Cabin Fever Reliever event. But as the weather gets warmer, you will likely find our Save-a-Bull crew on a local patio sipping on local craft beer.

For the past few summers, Save-a-Bull has been partnering with local breweries to combine pints and pitbulls. The Twin Cities area craft brewery scene is a bustling community eager to give back to local non-profits and we are fortunate enough to participate! We spend the summer nights at a different spot every few weeks where we drink beer, give away prizes, and bring out adoptable pups to potentially find their forever homes!

In 2016, we decided to launch the Save-a-Bull Summer Brewery Tour. The 2016 brewery tour consisted of 10 brewery partners who gave a portion of their proceeds of the night back to the rescue. In 2016, we were able to raise over $10,000 for rescue! After seeing the amazing support from the community, we knew we had to continue the fun.

In 2017, we visited 8 brewery partners where we were able to raise over $14,400 for rescue! This number is incredible and we are so thankful for our wonderful brewery partners and our event patrons for joining us for the tour. The proceeds from the brewery tour go directly to our dogs in rescue by providing food, treats, toys, and vetting care for our pitties before they move on to their forever homes.

In 2017, we had the incredible opportunity to partner with NorthGate Brewery to make a special brew, the All American Pit Bull Pale Ale, for our finale event in September!

We would like to extend our sincerest thanks to: Sisyphus Brewing, LynLake Brewery, Indeed Brewing Company, Sociable Cider Werks, Lakes & Legends Brewing Company, Boom Island Brewing Company, Tin Whiskers Brewery, and NorthGate Brewing. Their support this past summer made the 2017 brewery tour our most successful one yet!

And we don’t plan on slowing down. We will be out again in the summer of 2018 visiting your favorite Twin Cities brewery spots. Follow along with us as we drink pints, pet pit bulls, and soak up the Minnesota summer sun. Be sure to check our website this spring for all the details of our 2018 tour.

 

Pay attention to who your dog is, not who you want them to be.

Pay attention to who your dog is, not who you want them to be.

As we sit smack in the middle of outdoor patio season, let’s pause to take a moment to think about our dogs. We love sitting on the patio with our friends, meeting new people and socializing for a few few hours (we especially love coming to the Save-a-Bull brew tour events!) But how does your dog feel about that? While we promote dog-friendly events, and encourage you to bring your dog, if he enjoys such things, please take a moment to consider if he actually wants to be there.

The following is an excerpt from an article by Jill Kessler;  it’s an oldie but a goodie. The author talks about her disdain for dog parks and why. We see many similar correlations in overcrowded, loud, fun-for-us patios. Be sure your dog loves this chaos as much as you do, as controlled experiences are key training opportunities for your dog.

I am not a Dog Park advocate.

October 8, 2015  |  Jill Kessler Miller

…let’s look at [dog parks, patios]  from a dog’s point of view. Dogs thrive on stable relationships. Notice I did not say “pack!” They set up and like to maintain relationships with things that they know: their people, our human friends, their dog friends, their housemates, etc. Unless there are the exact same dogs every time they go to the dog park (which is nearly impossible), they have to re-establish their relationships with not only the dogs they already know in context of the new dog present, but they also have to establish a relationship with that specific new dog.

Some dogs can handle the stress of this–but most cannot. Thus you’ll get what appears to be random fighting, random aggression towards a dog they know, random odd behaviors (“gee, never done that before”), seemingly sudden guarding behaviors (territory, owner, another dog) etc. It’s not random or unpredictable–it’s the stress you, as an owner, causes by going to the dog park! Dog parks require skills that most dogs do not possess, nor would they according to how we have bred them for hundreds of years.

Lastly, I’m very wary of the “unknown” factors. Unknown dogs, unknown owners, unknown relationships and interactions, unknown damages. I don’t like surprises, and dog parks hold way too many unknown factors for dogs’ safety.

One of my main reasons for not being a dog park advocate is what I can’t control my dog’s experience and/or other people’s dogs (and I think it goes without saying, the dog owners). Because dogs are learning all the time, I must control as much of their experiences as possible, so that they build a solid foundation of behaviors that are appropriate and desirable, such as impulse control, bite inhabitation, and exchanging rewarding, affiliative, positive social interactions. 



All mammals remember frightening encounters over non-eventful or even fun encounters. It’s a primal survival brain mechanism, designed to keep us alive. Dozens of positive encounters can be overridden by one bad one; thus I must make sure my dog has only positive experiences for several years, until they are mature and have a solid foundation before I expose them to a possibly unsure environment.

If your dog gets bullied, attacked, frightened or even just overwhelmed at the dog park, he will bring that experience and the subsequent conclusions he made with him everywhere. The reactions can vary from “I’m scared and must get away as quickly as possible at all costs” to “If I come on strong and attack first, maybe I’ll be okay,” to just about anything in between.

Also keep in mind that fighting and bullying in dogs is a learned behavior just as much as anything else, and therefore once your dog does it a few times, it’s now learned and bound to be repeated over and over again. And make no mistake–many dogs enjoy being a jerk! Your best bet is to not let it start in the first place, whether it’s your dog being the bully or being the target.

Of course I recommend dog-to-dog play! If your dog has a few friends that he or she really enjoys, please go for it! Set up play dates, meet somewhere where they can safely run, sprint, wrassle, and jump about. Since dogs generally play in pairs, try for either just the two, or in even numbers, you’ll find it works out better. Some dogs only want or need a few friends (just like people), and some are social butterflies, and can make friends wherever they go. Pay attention to who your dog is, not who you want them to be. Stay within your dog’s comfort zone, and you’ll have a happier, safer dog.

Source: www.jillkessler.com, Photo by Jeremy Wiens

Shattuck-St. Mary’s Senior Makes a Big Impact

Shattuck-St. Mary’s Senior Makes a Big Impact

This Christmas holiday, a  senior high school student made a wonderful gift to Save-a-Bull Rescue. Shattuck-St. Mary’s senior Aubrey Stafford conducted her senior leadership project in support of  Save-a-Bull by raising awareness and funds to support the rescue.

In addition to raising funds, Aubrey wanted people to learn that often misunderstood, stereotyped, and targeted for dog fighting, pit bulls are prevalent in local shelters due to irresponsible breeding and ownership. Aubrey, who grew up with a rescue dog and has an interest in becoming a veterinarian someday, believes that pit bulls are particularly misunderstood. “Pit bulls are not an aggressive breed, they are gentle giants,” Stafford said.

As part of this awareness project, Aubrey created a slideshow and presented it to her school, hosted a donations table during lunch periods for a week, and hung posters around the school to help advertise. Her efforts paid off big time as she raised $840.96 for the dogs in rescue.

We can’t thank Aubrey enough for taking it upon herself to go the extra mile for dogs in need. Her attitude and awareness is incredible and shows what kind of positive impact just one person can make. We’re honored and proud of the work she is doing and know the future holds big things for this bright, young star!

Give to the Max Day Results

Give to the Max Day Results

Now that all the dust has settled from our Give to the Max Day whirlwind, we’d like to take one more opportunity to thank each and every person who took the time to donate to our Fix Your Pit campaign. We believe the services we’re funding at these clinics will make an impact in the number of unwanted, neglected and abused pit bulls in our community and we’re thrilled you feel the same way.

Here are some numbers and stats that illustrate the results from our 2016 Give to the Max Day fundraising and how awesome you really are. We thank you again and again, for making our goal a reality!

results_total_donors_dedications2

results_total_donors_dedications

Supporters made donations in the name of or in memory of those they care about the most. The messages that came with the donations are as valuable as the dollars themselves. We are beyond touched that the work we do means as much to you as it does to us!

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