BullsEye Dog Rescue is a
Proud Sponsor of The Responsi-Bull Project
Every BullsEye Dog Rescue adopter, foster or supporter knows the true characteristics of a Pit Bull. We call our dogs clowns, athletes, and family. But, it often feels like we are the only ones in on a secret when you pick up a newspaper or turn on the TV and hear them called violent, vicious and monsters.
As part of BullsEye Dog Rescue’s mission to educate, we helped found The Responsi-Bull Project in the spring of 2008. Its purpose is to provide Pit Bull owners information and services they might not otherwise have the resources to obtain. Organized into three parts, it provides owners with free spay or neuter services, education about being a responsible Pit Bull owner, and a four week series of positive-based obedience classes. BullsEye Dog Rescue has partnered with Northest Spay & Neuter Center, Pawsitive Alliance and Positive Approach Dog Training on The Responsi-Bull Project with a goal of lowering the euthanasia rates of this great breed.
The first step in the program, Fix-a-Pit, offers free alterations at Northwest Spay & Neuter Center to owners who want to keep their pets from contributing to the overpopulation of the Pit Bull breed. During the pilot program, twenty-seven dogs were spayed and/or neutered. Because many of the pups bred by accident or by ignorance end up homeless, each dog that is altered has the potential to reduce the numbers of dogs in shelters by thousands. Eleven females were spayed, preventing a potential 132 litters. Considering that a Pit Bull can have a litter of up to thirteen puppies, almost 2,000 potentially homeless dogs were prevented from being born!
Pit-Ed, the next stage of the program, offers people the chance to learn more about the Pit Bull breed and how best to care for them. Educated and responsible owners, who in turn can then share that knowledge with the public, are a critical step in changing the perception of this breed. More than fifty people attended the initial workshop given by BullsEye Dog Rescue where they learned about the history of the breed, how to properly care for them, and what positive activities they can participate in with their dogs. They also learned about the importance of being breed ambassadors. As more communities explore breed specific legislation (BSL), responsible owners and superstar dogs in the public eye will be the foundation of the effort to prevent these ineffective laws from getting passed.
Train-a-Pit is the last part of the program that grants four free weeks of obedience classes taught by Positive Approach Dog Training. In these classes, people who do not have the resources available to them to attend an obedience course are given the tools necessary to provide structure and guidance to their dogs. True to the nature of the breed, these Pit Bulls will respond to a system that rewards them for doing the right behaviors, and also teaches the owners to observe what their dogs were telling them.
The response to The Responsi-Bull Project pilot was incredible. The program filled to capacity and people turned away were asking when the next session was going to take place. Because of this program, those of us in the BullsEye Dog Rescue organization aren’t the only ones who want to do a part in changing the perception of the breed. According to Bella’s family, "She is a really good dog and we want to show our friends and the public in general that even though she looks a little intimidating that she poses no more a threat to anyone than any other animal."
In 2009, beginning in January, the partners of The Responsi-Bull Project are committed to running the program quarterly. We are currently seeking funding through grants and donations, and hope to help more people like this participant who told us, "Thanks again for letting us bully breed owners get together and learn some basic information and helping me also with some self-esteem to not be scared to take my Pit Bull for walks." Look to our web site for updates on program availability.
Thank you to our Co-Sponsors:
Northwest Spay & Neuter Center www.nwspayneuter.org
Pawsitive Alliance www.pawsitivealliance.org
Positive Approach Dog Training www.positiveapproachdogtraining.com
To support this amazingly worthwhile project please consider a donation.