As a part of our commitment to giving back to rescue groups, we select two organizations every month to be the recipient of our Buy One Give One (BOGO) program. Our BOGO program is based on online sales from our leash and collar collections. For every collar/leash purchased, one is donated to a rescue group.
As most of you know, pit bulls hold a very special place in our hearts. The mistreatment of pit bulls was the reason we launched Pittie2020. We are super excited to announce that It's A Pittie Rescue (Illinois) is our BOGO recipient from June 16th - 30th. It's a Pittie Rescue is dedicated to rescuing, rehabbing and rehoming the Pit Bull breeds and educating people about one of America's most loyal and kind breeds, one dog at a time. They are a volunteer based, no-kill rescue. We asked them a few questions so we could get better familiar with the wonderful work they're doing.
What is involved in keeping a foster-based rescue going? (How many adoptable dogs are in your program? Where do your dogs come from?)
We have approx 50 dogs in our rescue at this time. They come from shelters and animal control facilities in and around the Chicagoland area. A foster based rescue is a lot of work as our foster homes can be scattered throughout a 60-100 mile radius. Without our fosters, we would not have a rescue. All foster homes needs supplies (crate, leash, collar, harness, food, toys etc) need medical, ( arranging to get that done at our various vets), support for any issues/ problems that occur. Oftentimes training has to be arranged. Fosters have to be kept apprised of all events also. To help this run smoothly , we have a foster fb page that is strictly for fosters. We also have foster mentors which help the foster homes. It is IPR's belief that we should help the pitties in our own back yard so we rarely pull from out of our area. There is plenty of need within a 60 mile radius.
What are some of the things your group is known for?
We are known for helping dogs with medical issues that a lot of rescues can not afford to help. What put us on the map? Mama Petunia. Many of our volunteers and supporters came to us after her story hit the news in 2013. She was a beaten and burned pregnant pit bull. She gave birth to 10 puppies, 5 of which were still born. Mama passed a few days later from parvo myocarditis. Within 3 months 3 of the other pups also passed away, having been exposed in utero. A year later, another pup passed away of the same thing. Huckleberry is the only remaining pup of 10. There is a FB page dedicated to Mama Petunia.
Describe some of the more challenging moments in rescue and how you/the other volunteers got through it.
When foster homes or adopters give up on their dogs and want them moved immediately this puts a huge wrench into our rescue. Some people expect a dog free of issues. However, these are dogs that have been sitting in a shelter for many months with little to no time out of their cage, have been abused, neglected, do not trust, have no idea how to be in a home. People give up way too easily. Raising funds is always a focus as we can't do what we do without funds to cover medical, supplies, merchandise etc. We get through it by working together, focusing on those situations and areas that need help. Facebook is a huge help getting the word out for foster homes, fundraising etc.
To watch a dog recover from their past, their wounds both emotional and physical, blossom and then find a wonderful home where they will be loved, safe and get the life all dogs deserve is priceless. Foster based rescue is a 24/7, 365 day a week commitment. It is a ton of work and the hardest part is no matter how hard you work, how many lives you save, there are thousands more needing rescue. The overpopulation of dogs in shelters and animal control facilities is overwhelming and unacceptable for the year 2017. Rescue work is hard, very hard sometimes. But the rewards that come with the sadness and challenges is worth every part of it.
Can you tell us about a specific rescue that really stole your heart?
Poppy was seized by the police in Muncie IN in September 2014. Poppy was within hours of death after being neglected for years and then abandoned in a crate for days before anyone found her. She has spent the last several years slowly recovering. Her numerous and severe infections caused her to become resistant to most antibiotics. She was also on steroids and several strong allergy medications, but we seemed to always be reacting to her flare ups and not making much progress in her ability to fight these things on her own.
In April of 2016, we switched her to a very strict diet of raw dog food and a variety of holistic supplements. She started to improve immediately and has not needed an antibiotic since starting on the new diet. Recently we have weaned her off the allergy medications and she seems to be doing fine without them.
Poppy is an incredibly gentle and loving dog despite all that she has endured at the hands of people. Thankfully she is a wonderful patient and was so tolerant of all her treatments - she must have been able to tell that we were trying to help her even though some of the things she has been through must have been painful.
She now lives with her 4 canine foster sisters and is a joy to have in our pack. Other than her special health needs she is an easy dog to have; loves riding in the car, never has accidents, good with other dogs, and extremely affectionate. You can continue to follow her progress on her very own Facebook page, too.
SUPPORT It's A Pittie Rescue WITH OUR BOGO PROGRAM!
Don't need a new collar or leash right now? No problem. By simply placing a note in your order, we will gladly send your purchase directly to the shelter, along with a note from you and the free one from us.