Meet Ben Funk

Meet Ben Funk

Q: How long have you been volunteering and what made you decide to volunteer with Save-a-Bull? 
Being a single guy that works A LOT, I didn’t feel like having a dog or three of my own was the most fair thing for the dogs. In Spring 2019, I started looking into various rescues in Twin Cities that I could volunteer with when I had some free time. Save-a-Bull stuck out for me as it was a smaller rescue that put the emphasis on the underdog (pun totally intended), with strict guidelines for both volunteers and adopters alike, while educating on the misunderstood bully breeds.

Q: What do you do for work? For fun? 
I work for a commercial airline, fixing aircraft. For fun, I like to ride my motorcycle in the sunshine, cook tasty meals, work on rehabbing my house, and am a pretty avid reader – mostly fictional novels.

Q: How do you volunteer your time with Save-a-Bull?
Being relatively new to the rescue, I’ve enjoyed all the events but the Brewery Tours are a fav – to watch people’s reactions and surprise in seeing how friendly the dogs are brings great joy. And obviously educating people with my growing knowledge on the bully breeds is pretty awesome.

Q: What’s the most rewarding experience you’ve had as a volunteer with Save-a-Bull so far?
A foster’s mother had to have surgery and asked me to watch her foster pooch for a few days. Being able to do that for her to perhaps ease a bit of stress while hanging out with the dog was great.

Q: Why do you think it’s important to volunteer? 
I enjoy volunteering because we are all a part of the whole, or the sum of all the parts in our world. To be able to look past our own bubble and realize that we are a piece in the giant puzzle. I volunteer with a handful of organizations but clearly anything to do with our furry friends is my favorite.

Thank you to Ben, and ALL our volunteers, for putting yourselves out there to truly make a difference! #volunteerappreciationweek

Meet Kari Carlson

Meet Kari Carlson

Meet Kari, an advocate for healthy humans and bully breeds alike. Wondering about the best payment for being a Save-a-Bull volunteer? Read on…

Q: How do you volunteer your time with Save-a-Bull?
Mostly as a foster, but I will occasionally jump at other opportunities to drive a puppy around or otherwise support our bullies and bully lovers!

Q: How long have you been volunteering  and what made you decide to volunteer with Save-a-Bull? 
I’ve been volunteering with Save-a-Bull for about 8 months. Save-a-Bull helped support me in fostering two very wonderful elder-bulls in need of rescue after their owner passed away last summer. The team with SAB could not have provided a more supportive rescue for those girls!

Q: What do you do for work? For fun?
I work  in healthcare administration in a chain of small community clinics and in health care reform advocacy. My favorite hobby is honestly anything that involves my best friends, my dogs- training, playing, gardening, hiking, watching movies, and playing board games (with one on the chair next to me giving me advice on the next move to make, and the other taking a nap with the foster pup under the table).

Q: Why do you think it’s important to volunteer?
Volunteering with groups like Save-a-Bull lowers euthanasia rates and fights discrimination against our friendly, buff companions, and saves lives of bully breed dogs that are some of the most overbred, mistreated, and neglected. It’s also really fulfilling and a great mental health boost to spend time with the awesome dogs that come through this rescue and help them overcome trauma and challenges to grow into trusting and affectionate members of the household. 
Also, 11/10 would recommend the wiggle butts and pittie snuggles given as payment for being a SAB volunteer!

Q: What’s the most rewarding experience you’ve had as a volunteer with Save-a-Bull so far?
Sharing morning snuggles with my current foster pup is probably my most rewarding experience(s) as a SAB volunteer. She has overcome a lot, and I am immensely thankful for every morning I get to wake up to her snoring face on my pillow next to me.

Q: If you had the opportunity to be involved in other parts of rescue, what would they be?
I think the Intake team’s role seems super fun. It seems rewarding to get to connect dogs with rescue and see each of our dogs at their “pre-rescued/rehabilitated” point and then watch them grow from afar and find their forever homes. 


Thank you to Kari, and ALL our volunteers, for putting yourselves out there to truly make a difference! #volunteerappreciationweek



In times like this, we recognize how fortunate we are to be a small, frugal, organization that has always operated within our means. Being 100% volunteer run means that we don’t have any salary, and very few overhead costs, that need to be addressed when times are tough. We have the funds in savings to keep essential operations running: food, vet care and basic administrative needs like insurance and technology.

So, the bottom line is that while things might look financially bleak for us when we come out of this, right now *today* every dog in rescue is safe, fed, well cared for and loved. They are all spending quality time confined at home with their foster families – not a bad gig!

Where we’re seeing the most impact is in our forced cancellation of fundraising events. Due to COVID-19, we have been forced to cancel our fundraising events this spring, the Cabin Fever Reliever, Spring Dog Wash, and our Summer Brewery Tour. That leaves us close to $10,000 behind our revenue goals for the year – so far.

We could use a little help.

In order to have the resources to keep saying “Yes” to bringing new dogs into rescue, we are going to need your help. Our friends at GiveMN have created a virtual fundraising event, #GiveAtHomeMN, for nonprofits all across Minnesota. The event is taking place May 1-8 and coincides with #GivingTuesdayNow on May 5, a worldwide day of giving just announced by GivingTuesday in response to COVID-19.

We know everyone is impacted in one way or another through these trying times, but if you are in a position to help, please consider a donation. No amount is too small or goes unnoticed. Every penny and dime can come together to make big things happen!

We look forward to the time when we can get out of the house, meet up at park, brewery or pet store, and enjoy the company of our community and the shared love for our pit bulls together – we miss you like crazy! Until then, be safe and please let us know if there’s anything we can do for YOU.

There are also many ways to support rescue! You can choose an option that uses as many, or few, resources as you have available you!

Sponsor a Dog
Whether you sponsor a new puppy that’s just starting out, or an older dog who’s still waiting for just the right family, your support will go a long way in helping us continue to care for the dogs that need us. A one-time donation of $75 will cover all of a dog’s basic care for the time they are in rescue. Click here to learn more.

Amazon Smile
Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your AmazonSmile purchases to Save-a-Bull whenever you shop on AmazonSmile via this link >

iGive is similar to Ebates or Rakuten, where you earn rewards for shopping – but the rewards are issued as a donation to your favorite rescue! Start here >

Use the smartphone app every time you walk your dog and Wooftrax will make a donation to Save-a-Bull. Getting out and staying active is good for you, your dog and many rescue dogs as well! Click here for details >

Click to Shop and DONATE

Click to Shop and DONATE

Are you doing a lot of online shopping these days? Did you know you can help raise donations for rescue with every click, without spending an extra dime? It’s easy, automatic, and means more to us than ever during these difficult times where fundraising is falling short. Here are a couple ways you can shop and support rescue at the same time:



Amazon Smile

Start with the Save-a-Bull link when you shop on Amazon and .5% of every purchase will be donated to rescue. It’s easy, automatic and costs you nothing to make an impact!

iGive is similar to Ebates or Rakuten, where you earn rewards for shopping – but the rewards are issued as a donation to your favorite rescue! Since 1997, iGive has grown to 350,000+ members supporting 50,000+ causes and raised over $9 million!

  •  iGive members generate donations by shopping online at any of 2,400+ Stores including Target and Kohls and Chewy, to name a few!
  • There are no added costs, obligations, nor any hidden fees.
  • You don’t need to enter any codes, notify the store, or iGive. It’s all automatic!

Set up an account, start shopping, and each store donates a percentage of your purchase to rescue. Sign up and make a purchase before April 30 and Save-a-Bull Rescue will get an extra $10 donation. Each store is 100% transparent about how much they donate, and many offer special larger donations from time to time. Bookmark your favorite stores to shop again and again and download the mobile app to shop on the go.





While shopping online is good for keeping you INSIDE, you may be walking your dog to get some exercise OUTSIDE. When you do, don’t forget to use the Wooftrax app to track your walk and automatically generate a donation for rescue! Learn more about the Take Your Walk for a Dog app.

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!

The Music Legends Litter: A Tribute

The Music Legends Litter: A Tribute

Last week we introduced you you to our “Music Legends” litter, five little puppies who bravely fought and survived Parvo: Freddie Mercury, Madonna, Celine Dion, Cher and Tina Turner. These brave little souls spent a week of ups and downs as we treated them together, hoping for the best possible outcome. While our rescue celebrates their lives, we are also mourning the loss of their five litter mates who took the same journey and unfortunately did not survive: Billie Holiday, Michael Jackson, Stevie Nicks, Aretha Franklin and Whitney Houston.

The litter of 10 puppies arrived on a Monday night. Our intake team and a group of volunteers were on hand to transport them, give them baths, vetting, microchips and manage all their paperwork before the fosters arrived to take them home. It was a hectic evening that was full of puppy cuddles and joy for the new lives that were just beginning in rescue.

Things quickly turned urgent as one by on the puppies started breaking with the devastating signs of Parvo. We worked diligently with our vet partner to form a game play for how to treat 10 puppies for a virus that has less than a 30% survival rate. Less than 48 hours after intake, we had a puppy ICU set up at our foster managers’ home, moved nine of the puppies in and the 24/7 monitoring, medication and care began (one puppy miraculously was showing no signs of decline, so he stayed with his foster under close supervision).

With ten foster homes, our entire intake and management teams, and dozens of volunteers already involved, this was hitting our entire rescue very hard. A small group of volunteers gathered at the PICU to physically care for the puppies, while others supported the efforts by running errands and supplies, offering back up and communicating updates to our entire rescue, who was on pins and needles. Via posts to our private volunteer Facebook group, this is the timeline of events we all experienced over the next few days.

____________________________________ . . . ____________________________________

WEDNESDAY, NOV. 6 @ 4:05pm
As many know, we had a BIG intake of puppies on Monday. Two litters arrived; three in the “Mountains” litter that are 16 weeks old, and 10 in the “Music Legends” litter that are nine weeks old. After the puppies went home with their respective fosters that night, the youngest ones started showing signs of illness. It was determined last night that the Music Legends litter has Parvo and treatment began immediately. Nine of the 10 Legends puppies have been moved to a makeshift ICU at the supply house where they will get three consecutive days of medication and subcutaneous fluids (Freddie Mercury has so far shown no signs of illness). Parvo is a highly contagious and very serious disease for small puppies so everyone’s best wishes and positive vibes are needed for the next 72 hours. Parvo is expensive to treat, and the outbreak also means that a lot of our foster homes have become infected with the Parvo virus, so this hits us very hard as a rescue. We’ll keep everyone updated with the puppies’ progress and if there are other ways you can help. We’re all in this together and these babies need our hopes, prayers and love right now.

____________________________________ . . . ____________________________________

WEDNESDAY, NOV. 6 @ 8:25pm
Puppy Update: I’m shedding tears as I share this; the smallest of the puppies, Stevie Nicks, is failing quickly. Lorelei and Lori are en route to Como Park Animal Hospital to put her to sleep so she doesn’t suffer any longer. The rest of the puppies have had a second dose of fluids for the night and are resting quietly; they seem to be holding fairly steady right now. Continue sending healing thoughts and prayers for the Save-a-Bull family tonight, especially Stevie who was with us for such a short time.

____________________________________ . . . ____________________________________

THURSDAY, NOV. 7 @ 11:57am
Puppy Update: Unfortunately the news is not good. We lost Whitney and Michael this morning. Billie is in critical condition, and Madonna and Aretha are also critical but stable. Celine, Tina and Cher are stable right now, and even though Freddie Mercury has now also been diagnosed as Parvo positive, he’s in his foster home and currently doing great. We wish we had better news, but keep the good vibes and prayers coming. We can only hope that things will start to get better.
RIP to these sweet babies ❤️


____________________________________ . . . ____________________________________

THURSDAY, NOV. 7 @ 4:05pm
Update: I’m sorry, family…Billie Holiday has passed away and Tina Turner is taking a turn for the worse. Parvo is vicious and impossible to keep up with 😢 Our hearts are with Billie as she is no longer suffering. While it’s been a horrible 24 hours, we DO need to keep the faith. Cher and Celine Dion are doing really well in puppy ICU, and Freddie Mercury continues to be himself at his foster home. This is a great sign and we have to hold out hope that things will continue in this direction.

____________________________________ . . . ____________________________________

FRIDAY, NOV. 8 @ 7:05am
We said goodbye to Aretha last night. She was surrounded by love when she left, rest easy, baby.

____________________________________ . . . ____________________________________

FRIDAY, NOV. 8 @ 4:17pm
Puppy Update: It’s been a relatively good day. Celine Dion went home with her foster today, and Tina is “turning” the corner and showing a little improvement. Madonna is still having ups and downs and is deemed critical right now. Keep sending her your love, we SO need her to pull through this!

____________________________________ . . . ____________________________________

FRIDAY, NOV 8 @ 7:25pm
Puppy Update: I finally have a nothing-but-good-news post to share! Per the puppy ICU this evening “Madonna just chased the cat, ate 2 bites of a hotdog, and drank some water!” Both Tina and Madonna appear to be pulling out of the worst of it and are feeling sassy enough to harass the very tolerant feline. We’ll of course continue updates until we’re 100% out of the woods, but we’re going into the weekend feeling pretty confident that the worst is over. XOXO

____________________________________ . . . ____________________________________

The remaining puppies spent the weekend in the PICU just to make sure we were truly out of the woods. With a little more TLC they all finally went back to their foster homes by the following Wednesday – it had been exactly one week since this terrible cycle began.

We lost 5 puppies in 26 hours and the entire rescue felt the impact. It was hard to share and read the updates, and even harder to be there as each little life passed. This weekend, the fosters and volunteers closest to the puppies held a small memorial for the ones we lost. Their ashes were given to each foster who officially “adopted” each puppy before they passed.

We couldn’t be more grateful to the vets at Westgate Pet Clinic for supporting us through this entire ordeal. The doctors were literally on standby and took calls from our own vetting team 24/7. While losing five puppies is an unthinkable tragedy, we know that with their help, and the diligence of our own team of volunteers, the outcome could have been so much worse.

We celebrate the lives of five puppies that will go on to have wonderful lives with amazing families, and we mourn the loss of those that never got the chance to start.

In memory of Stevie, Whitney, Michael, Billie and Aretha. May you rest in peace knowing you were loved so much in such a short amount to time.