This weekend, hundreds of pet owners from a low-income Oakland neighborhood will be lining up in a park to receive free shots for their animals at the East Bay SPCA Shots Fair Clinic. Young men like this will be greeted warmly by the diehard BR volunteers. If he needs one, his dog will be fitted with a collar and leash. After all, pit bull owners who care enough to give up part of their Sunday to do right by their dog deserve to be treated with respect.
Guys like this will also get free training tips and a chance to talk with other pit bull owners about ways to be a good steward. His dog will probably get a hug or two, and before he leaves, he'll get an invitation to free training classes and a voucher to get his pet neutered for free. If he's like more than half of the people who come to these fairs, he'll follow through and we'll run into him again at the East Bay SPCA's spay/neuter clinic.
In just two years time, over 1700 pit bull owners in the east bay have fixed their pets without needing to be coerced, shamed or threatened via mandatory measures. Instead, they get Oakland-style support, encouragement and education. We like that about the east bay; it makes us proud to call it our home.
One of the movers and shakers behind organizing BR's troops to action at the Shots Fair is Kim Ramirez. Kim's work with pit bulls and their people is a true labor of love. We were happy when Fetch the Paper asked Kim for an interview....They picked a good'un. Thank you Fetch, and thank you Kim!
Read about Kim here: "Making a Difference"