Last summer, the small farming town of Watsonville spent a few scary days talking about breed specific regulations after two dogs ended up in the spotlight for killing neighborhood cats. Thankfully, that talk subsided once cooler minds recognized that loose running dogs had everything to do with irresponsible owners and nothing to do with breed. Whew When the city council decided to reject targeted discrimination, we promised to do what we could to help bring education and resources to pit bull owners in that community. We put them on our list for one of the four Shots Fairs we do each year and looked forward to becoming more familiar with the dogs and the people of this little town.
Last Sunday, we were greeted by nearly a hundred bee-u-ti-ful pit bulls and some very appreciative families in the green fields of Ramsay Park. Many dog owners shook our hands and told us that no one had ever done anything like this for them before. They'd learned about the fair from fliers we left on their door or from neighbors who shared the news around. Some residents showed up early and helped us unload gear from our trucks. One man kept the first arrivers organized for us.
A number of the dogs already had shots (we vaccinated 65 dogs in total) but their owners were eager to stand in the long line and wait for a free microchip (50 chips distributed) and behavior and training advice, much of it offered in their native language. Many were excited to receive vouchers for free spay/neuter surgeries. Some pit bull owners had everything they needed, but they came out anyway just watch and enjoy the scene: Everyone seemed delighted to be part of this important day.
It was clear to all of us that Watsonville has some very well loved dogs. We hope this city continues to embrace and support the kind people who consider pit bulls to be an important part of their family. Below: A family with their pride and joy, a pup named 'Beast.'
Thanks to everyone who said Yes to this event - including our diehard volunteer crew and veterinarian Dr. Sequoia, who were undaunted by the long and twisty drive to get to the dogs in this town. We have two more Shots Fairs to do in 2009 and rely on private donations to make this real. Big thanks to our donors who vote for projects like these with their hard earned dollars. You are the lifeblood of this work! To help with the next two fairs, hit up our PayPal button in the right hand column and make sure to let us know that you'd like to sponsor our Owner Support work. Thank you, Thank you!