Friday, May 15, 2009

Friday Brags - Campers that kick ass

It's time to start prepping for our spring Pit Ed Camp, held at Oakland Animal Services. These quarterly gatherings designed for shelter workers have turned into hyper-busy think tanks with some of the most motivated pit bull activists in the country. After a long week of non-stop gabbing, sussing, ruminating, bantering and scheming about pit bulls pit bulls pit bulls, we all go home and collapse. And then, those of us in Cali get to sit back and watch what the Campers do with their inspiration. That's my favorite part. 

This past group, the 'February Camp' (below) outdid itself within the first few weeks of getting home.

Indy Fire

Stinging high fives to our friends in Indianapolis who hit the ground running by designing program improvements at the same time they helped punch an annoying BSL threat in the nose. Let me tell you, those Indy girls don't take no prisoners. Even while at camp, they were shooting rapid fire emails to comrades at home and scheming around best ways to help their shelter's pit bulls and defeat whisperings of breed specific additions to dangerous dog ordinance at the same time. Their efforts paid off: BSL got kicked in the ass on Tuesday night. Dangerous dog ordinance tabled --- Good work Indy grrrrls!

"It's (the BSL proposal) wasting valuable time council members and animal welfare groups could be spending elsewhere in a productive way." - Angela Mansfield, Democratic Councilor

Not a fan of wasting time, Nina Gaither - a behaviorist at the Humane Society of Indianapolis - turned into a whirling dervish when she got home from Camp and, after debriefing HSI staff on lessons learned in Oakland, started up immediately with improvements including enrichments big and small for the dogs in her care. We look forward to her six month report that will outline how things are going back at home.

Bringing it to Harlem

Aimee Hartmann of the ASPCA hung out with us in the pouring rain during our recent Shots Fair in East Oakland. She barely had time to unpack before she hammered out a similar style event in Harlem. Her goal was to bring good will and resources to low income pet owners, especially the pit bull owners. She called her event the 'ASPCA Harlem Community Block Party.' 

These are the results of their big day. We're so impressed!
ASPCA Community Harlem Block Party
114 pets were spay/neutered, vaccinated, and microchipped.
More than 250 s/n appointments scheduled on clinics within the next 5 weeks.
150 pets licensed and registered. Hundreds of pet parents outreached and networked

Mendocino Pit Crew

Camper Alum Leslie Dodds from 2007 has been going so hot and heavy with her Pit Crew program at Mendocino Animal Care and Control that Mendocino County Child Services has asked her to create a pit bull focused program for at risk teens. They couldn't have chosen a better organizer for this new program. We look forward to updates as Pit Crew moves forward with helping more members of Mendocino's community as well as its dogs. (Left, A Pit Crew volunteer works a shelter dog during training class.)

Our June Camp will host shelter workers from Maine, Delaware, Texas and - Kanab Utah. (Hmm... I wonder who that could be?) Campers will end their week by helping us bring education and resources to low income pit bull owners in the form of a Shots Fair in Watsonville, CA, where city council members rejected measures to discriminate against select breeds last summer. We're more than happy to help with solutions in this town.
"Dogs aren't the problem. People are. That was the conclusion of the Watsonville City Council on Tuesday, when they rejected enacting regulations targeting specific breeds of dogs." - Santa Cruz Sentinel Aug 2008

Reject discrimination, and open the door to community activism. Love it. 

If you know a shelter worker who would benefit from a week long shot in the arm for their work with pit bulls, please send them this Flyer. We'd love to shake things up with them.


Josie's Mom said...

Bully for BAD RAP and the Pit Ed Campers! Providing inspiration, opening hearts, and changing minds all over the country ...

Sam said...

This is all great news! I especially love the news about Harlem, as I am in a borough of NYC. Good stuff!

(BTW - how is Nelly doing? Read on the site that you're keeping her because of her health issues.)

SCD said...

I live in Santa Cruz, and I'm with Santa Cruz Animal Services, and would REALLY like to participate with the Shots Fair in Watsonville. I could also pass out the fliers.

I have emailed several people about it, but no one has responded to me, so I'm not sure what I need to do to sign up.

Since I am not familiar with your Pit Ed camps, do you need to be local to Oakland to participate?

Christine said...

Hey Liz,

Thanks for raising your hand to help! Check your email.


Unknown said...

Maybe it's the hormones, but for some reason, this post made me cry. Usually it's the individual stories that tug at the heart strings, but this just gives me so much hope - so many dogs are getting helped by one "simple" program (quotations b/c I know that it isn't easy-peasy).

Good job!