We are excited to announce that Kelly McLaughlin from Bark Nation will be managing PBC's initiative - Pittie2020 - during the month of December. We asked her to give our supporters an overview of Bark Nation, so below is a guest blog post highlighting their mission. Be prepared to be impressed and inspired!
Bark Nation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization focusing strongly on shelter enrichment initiatives and the direct sheltering of canine cruelty survivors.
It is the mission of Bark Nation to bring the Canine American welfare community together to put an end to the over-populated, over-euthanizing, over-ignorant, under-educated practices of the nation that we live in. It has never been, is not now, and never will be "okay" to mistreat, neglect and dispose of the companion dogs that WE chose to domesticate in this way. We refuse to accept or fall into the traps of the excuses that allow this hogwash to continue. Nope, not doing it.
Through mutually beneficial relationships with veterinarians, trainers, suppliers and much more, we will raise funds and reduce costs necessary to champion local rescue groups, shelters and other animal welfare organizations to operate to their full potential, maximizing every dollar raised and every dollar spent.
Let us break it down for you. And trust me, we love to break it down. We strive to..
Eliminate unethical, illegal or otherwise unnecessary breeding, by revolutionizing spay and neuter initiatives
Provide efficacious medical and behavioral rehabilitation to victims of extreme cruelty (#TeamZomo)
Work collaboratively to execute high-level shelter intervention and enrichment initiatives in targeted areas
Join the fight to educate the hell out of the public on what is actually going on and what they can do to help put an end to the madness
Advocate for victimized dogs, owned or otherwise, and focus strongly on anti-cruelty initiatives.
Why we did the dang thang.
Bark Nation was founded by individuals who have worked in many walks of animal welfare. Urban rescue, development, fundraising, shelter work, field work, temporary sheltering, etc. Two things that struck us hard were (1) Shelter Intervention (preventing animals from entering shelters in the first place â€¦ say it with us: SPAY AND NEUTER), and (2) Shelter Enrichment. Why not, instead of bashing shelters, enrich the heck out of them? Why not gather as much information about sheltering and behavior as possible, and then pass it on to those in the position of daily care? Why not offer resources, instead of exposing shelters for not having any? Identify the real problems - the societal problems. Attempt to lower the number of animals entering the shelters, and help provide a more humane, enriched stay for those who find themselves there.
We also shelter a very manageable number of cruelty survivors at our facility in SE Michigan! We find ourselves extremely drawn to survivors with debilitating fear issues, commonly survivors of dogfighting, but we also provide temporary reprieve to Detroit-based organizations when a rescued dog is in serious need of decompression, structure, advanced handling, medical care or behavioral assessment. We love our #DetroitSpecials!
Bring it on, 2016.
While our 2015 has been heavily focused on shelter enrichment and the direct care of cruelty survivors, our 2016 will bring about FREE spay/neuter for Detroit residents, the launch of shelter-wide training programs [did we mention we are TOTAL dog behavior nerds? Non-aversive, rewards based, baby!], annnnnnd potentially bigger and badder temporary sheltering of cruelty survivors.
While we don’t consider ourselves ‘breed specific’, let’s be real. Our service population is almost 100% pit bulls. And we wouldn’t have it any other way. They are our breed. We know them – we adore them – their ridiculous wiggle butts and zoomiesssss, their huge smiles. Our professional-level dogfighting survivors are American Pit Bull Terriers (APBTs, baby!) and our Detroit cruelty survivors are, well, ‘Detroit Specials’ – a mix of all things delicious that most would label as a pit bull. And here’s the honest truth about us – we love our pitties too much to paint them in a light other than what they are – a dog. Every dog has teeth. Every dog has the potential to make poor choices. Every dog needs proper socialization and the chance to build positive relationships with creatures of all types, shapes and sizes. And we love pit bulls too much to take them off of the street, or out of a shelter, or off of a heavy chain and expect them to magically assimilate into the society we exist within. So we don’t. We go slow. We put their needs and wants above our own. We learn about them. We learn how they best communicate. We love them fiercely. We are there for them through the scary times, and celebrate every victory. And most importantly, we place appropriately. (And we would do the same for any dog).We love pit bulls far too much to give the a reason to be exploited by the media. We WILL, however, dress each and every one of them up in the fanciest shades and pee our pants laughing while we post them for you all to see – that’s not exploiting them, right?!
We are SO EXCITED to spend the month of December with the #Pittie2020 crew – we promise to be as ridiculous as humanly possible, and fill up your newsfeeds with all of the good feels.
Follow us on Facebook to learn more!