Photo: KME Photography
Pit bulls are super snuggly wonderdogs who frequently bounce back from the unthinkable. Faced with stigma and often victims of trauma and neglect, many pit bull type dogs endure challenges no dog should ever experience. So to make a meaningful impact, rescues dedicated to bullies have to have even more hustle and heart. These heroic rescues are going above and beyond day-to-day dog saving efforts to do everything they can to give pitties the lives they deserve, and their work is profoundly inspiring.
A Rotta Love Plus – Twin Cities
A Rotta Love Plus is doing a whole lotta good. Led by an all-volunteer team of loyal “total pit bull and Rottweiler geeks,” A Rotta Love Plus’ sole reason for being is to make the world a better place for these extra special breeds. They’re committed to helping dogs and their people through several initiatives, including Get Your Fix! spay and neuter fairs in neighborhoods with limited resources, which have fixed more than 1,200 dogs since the program’s inception. What’s more, their innovative Dog Safety/Humane Education program brings registered therapy dogs to schools and organizations with a hands-on curriculum designed to increase knowledge about humane treatment of animals and reduce the risk of dog bites. The impact of this work will be felt for generations, and that’s nothing to sniff at.
BADRAP – San Francisco Bay Area
Faced with many issues that had been making life the pits for San Francisco Bay Area pitties, BADRAP barked back with tons of progressive programs. You may have heard of their work evaluating and placing dogs from NFL player Michael Vick’s disgraceful cruelty case, but their work sure didn’t stop there: they routinely travel the country supporting authorities in evaluating pitties after cruelty cases and natural disasters, coordinating rescue placement whenever possible. They also created their own rescue barn for dogs to recover from trauma after crisis situations, host Pit Ed classes to create solutions for pit bulls to live happily in their communities, host camps to offer specialized training and ongoing support to rescue professionals, and offer an array of helpful options for owners in need via their Keep ‘Em Home resources. BADRAP dogs have gone on to important jobs serving veterans, working as therapy and education dogs, assisting police, and even serving as reading assistants! It’s no surprise BADRAP is a nationally recognized resource, and we’re doggone proud of their special alums.
Biggies Bullies – Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh’s Biggies Bullies is a foster-based rescue with lots of blocky cuties, the most well-known of whom is breed ambassador and local celebrity Hippo, who adopted founder Allison Stetz. Inspired by Hippo’s bottomless belly, Biggies Bullies founded Hungry Hippo’s Pet Food Pantry, a resource that provides access to nutritious, quality pet food to families in need. They partner with food banks and Meals on Wheels programs to get food to other hungry hippos which helps keep pups in loving homes. And their incredible Freedom Harness Exchange Program helps pittie parents make kinder choices by exchanging prong and choke collars (ouch!) for force-free harnesses. Humans can even make the exchange by mail and get a free no-pull harness in return. Full bellies, full hearts, can’t lose.
Born Again Pit Bull Rescue – Portland area
Born Again Pit Bull Rescue makes life a whole lot sweeter for Portland-area pitties. Pitties find incredible forever homes through their Pit Stop and Adopt courtesy postings. Snip Your Pit provides comprehensive spay and neuter services to low-income families, and their Full Bellies Fund assists families in need with monthly food plans. The fund also supports rural shelters by providing access to a reliable supply of high-quality food so that rescues can continue critical work supporting surrendered and abandoned dogs. Because no dog deserves to go hungry, they’re piloting an innovative program to bring nutritious food to dogs of homeless people in downtown Portland. A round of appaws for BAPBR and their groundbreaking belly-filling mission!
Hello Bully – Pittsburgh
When Hello Bully says they’re a little rescue doing big things, they sure mean it! Their team is absolutely working their tails off to give pit bulls the lives they deserve. Their Pit Fix Plus program has spayed and neutered 2,500 pitties, and their community outreach initiative, Pittsburgh Pets, brings critical resources to severely underserved areas via pop-up clinics that provide access to everything from free healthcare and spay and neuter to nutrition consulting and training tips. We wish we could move into Hello Bully’s cozy Halfway House, which has a special living room that helps pups who have never had a loving home get acclimated and snuggle into the good life for the first time. They also provide affordable training at their Pit Bull Prep School, and their adorable lineup of Hello Bully Spokesbulls (!) spread joy and love everywhere they go.
New York Bully Crew – Long Island
New York Bully Crew’s work is truly inspiring: no dog in dire need of rescue is ever turned away. They’re known across the nation for taking on some of the most desperate cases imaginable. Their Dire Cases have been subjected to intense cruelty and neglect and are often found on the street hurt, abandoned, and suffering from extreme malnutrition and illness. We applaud them for doing everything possible to free these precious pups from pain and loneliness and working to find responsible, loving homes. In addition to rehabilitating dogs, they work intensely to eradicate breed misunderstandings and educate the public on these loyal, loving, intelligent, and obviously very beautiful babies. Hats off to New York Bully Crew for speaking for those who can’t.
Peace for Pits – Chicago
Chicago’s Peace for Pits is a 100% volunteer-run organization that saves bullies from high-kill facilities and lovingly places every single one in a nurturing foster home from the day they’re rescued until they find forever. Faced with the reality that despite their pups’ many talents (including cuddling with children and fearlessly protecting homes from wayward leaves), people continued to cross the street to avoid interacting with them, Peace for Pits rolled up their sleeves and launched Respits, an affectionate squad of pitties who bring comfort to the community. These little miracle workers challenge breed stigma by bringing their very-pettable and soothing toaster heads to schools, libraries, nursing homes, and more where they help people cope with personal challenges, provide tactile stimulation, assist with pain management, improve well-being, and make everyone giggle and talk in their dog voice.
Ruv what these groups are doing? Send a donation their way! Know of a grrr-eat pit bull group you’d love to see here? Woof at us in the comments.
Next up: Share all of your pup’s adventures with #SidewalkDog for the chance to be featured. Then head to our dog-friendly online communities for super local, pooch-centric chat with the some of the best people we know – dog people.