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.

#GiveatHomeMN

#GiveatHomeMN

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
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 >

Wooftrax
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!
http://smile.amazon.com/ch/27-3011035

 

iGive.com

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!

CLICK HERE TO GET STARTED
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.

 

 

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WoofTrax

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.
https://saveabullmn.org/walk-for-a-dog/

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!

Special Dogs Look for a Holiday Miracle

Special Dogs Look for a Holiday Miracle

Nothing is better than fun little surprises during the holiday season! Well, this month we got our fair share of surprises here in rescue. We’ve taken in three very special needs dogs this month and one vet appointment after another has revealed some not-so-nice surprises as each of these dogs requires more and more medical attention.

Here are the stories of Kenga, Chunk and Irish – all of whom are in desperate need of a holiday miracle.


KENGA
Pitbull Mix
5 months

When Kenga arrived to rescue we assumed she’d be a happy healthy puppy. Her ragged and patchy fur told a very different story. She was excessively skinny and was having trouble keeping her food down so we took a trip to the vet to try and get some answers. X-rays led them to believe that Kenga might be suffering from Esophagitis, a temporary inflammation or infection of the esophagus, or Megaesophagus a more permanent condition where the muscles of the esophagus do not work and food and water cannot be moved into the stomach.

Kenga was put on a two week trial to figure out exactly what here prognosis is. During this time she is on medication to try and decrease the swelling and fluid in her throat, to prevent infection, and to keep food down.

Kenga is currently eating from baby highchair since she needs to eat sitting up and then stay that way for 20 minutes after eating to keep the food down. A middle school shop class in Wayzata has offered to build her a Bailey Chair to help her eat more comfortably and that should arrive soon!

Kenga has a follow up visit scheduled for the December 21. If she is diagnosed with Megaesophagus she will likely have to live with medication, a special diet and a Bailey Chair for the rest of her life.

 

 

Update 12.18.18: It is with great sadness that we have to share the passing of our little Kenga. Since we introduced her last week, her health declined rapidly. Despite treatment and medication, her esophagus continued to swell and press on her trachea which was very painful and made it impossible for her to breathe. We had to make the heartbreaking decision to let her go.  Kenga’s foster, Autumn, has been an amazing comfort to her throughout her short journey. If loved could have saved Kenga, Autumn was the right person to give it a try. Rest in peace, sweet Kenga.


CHUNK
Old English Bulldog
6 months

Chunk has already had a very long journey in his short life. He originated in Europe where he was sold to a local breeder and shipped to Minnesota. When he arrived, the breeder found that he had a multitude of health problems and refused to breed him to prevent his issues from being passed down the genetic lines. He surrendered Chunk to rescue with the hopes that we could address his problems and offer him some quality of life.

This amazingly handsome dog was believed to have hip dysplasia, cherry eye, a deviated septum and some major trouble breathing. We took him in and immediately scheduled a vet appointment.

The good news: At this time Chunk’s hips are not causing him any physical pain. Vets did not recommend any surgery if/until there is discomfort. His third eyelid is folding up and drying out, giving the appearance of cherry eye. But then it moves back into place, re-hydrates and is “normal” again. Again, we’ll watch for any signs of discomfort and address his eye’s needs at that time.

The bad news: Chunk is having a hard time breathing normally. He will require surgery to widen his nostrils and may need to have his pustules and/or tonsils removed as well. Once he is out, the surgeon will also look at what repairs are needed for his elongated soft palate and they will move forward with whatever is needed to make the surgery successful for Chunk.

Chunk is scheduled for surgery on January 8. We’re hopeful that the doctors will be able to fix his breathing and that will offer him some relief as we continue to treat and monitor his other issues.

Chunk’s estimated medical costs are $1,500


IRISH
American Bully
6 weeks

Our youngest little patient, Irish, is the most severe of our holiday miracle cases.

At only six weeks old, the tiny puppy was having trouble walking on his back legs and was incontinent. It was clear he had some spinal issues, possibly scoliosis. We scheduled an appointment with our vets who referred us to a neurologist for a full work up of tests, including an MRI. We were worried that scoliosis in a puppy this young would most certainly lead to paralysis as he grew up, with nothing we could do to help him.

After his MRI, the neurologist consulted with other canine neurologist around the country before calling us. The MRI confirmed that Irish has scoliosis and that the vertebrae in his back that “dip” are not causing any compression, they are formed and stable. What is causing a 20% compression of his spine is an accumulation of spinal fluid on the cord. Basically, a cyst of fluid is pushing the dip further down and compressing the spine –causing his partial paralysis and incontinence.

We were relieved to find out that there was a surgical option to help Irish! But it gets tricky: in an adult dog, the surgeon opens the cyst, relieves the pressure on the spine and movement returns. There is a lot of research and case data on these types of surgeries and the outcomes have the potential to be amazing. There is however, NO data on this procedure in puppies because there is no record of his condition showing up in a puppy, ever! We have virtually no information to help us anticipate the outcome of surgery or the potential of re-occurrence.

This leaves us with only two options:

1) We do nothing and he becomes fully paralyzed and incontinent; or

2) We attempt the surgery and hope for the best possible outcome. We don’t know if the fluid pushing on his spine has caused any permanent damage to his cord, but the neurologist is hopeful since the spinal canal before and after the dip in his back is fully formed and functional.

Irish will always have scoliosis, which is manageable, so we have decided to do the surgery and give him the best possible chance at a full life. Surgery is scheduled for January 7. We’re working with Irish to build some strength before his surgery and he’s taking some pre-surgery meds that will help him handle the hours of anesthesia necessary to perform the surgery. If he starts to decline or lose more movement before then, the surgery will be pushed up to the next soonest available date.

Spinal surgery is always risky, and more so on a puppy as small as Irish. But we’re sure that with all the love and support he’s getting, that Irish will be able to fight through it!

Irish’s medical costs and surgery are expected to run $3,200-$4,000 and include a two-day hospital stay and specialized neurologist team.


Thanks to our Heal-a-Bull program, we are able to offer these dogs the best possible chance by providing the medical care they need. If these dogs have touched your heart, please consider a donation to help with their care and follow us on social media for updates and more information.

 

We are not accepting applications for any of these dogs at this time. Until the status of their health is known and fully stabilized they will not be available for adoption or for an adoption waiting list.

 

Beyond the Clinic: Community Outreach

Beyond the Clinic: Community Outreach

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.

MEET CHINA

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.