Meet APBA Volunteer Susie

The core of Ambassador Pit Bull Alliance is our volunteers. These are people with full-time jobs, families, and their own dogs but choose to donate their time to help spread APBA’s message when they can. Each volunteer has their own story so we’re featuring one Ambassador Pit Bull Alliance volunteer each month to highlight their connection to our cause. Thank you to our volunteers, for all you do!

Featured Volunteer for August: Susie Thompson Bruckschen

Featured APBA Event for August: Dog Day at Breaux Vineyards susie phuong

Susie is our most valuable volunteer & our featured volunteer for the month of August. Susie is a founding member of Ambassador Pit Bull Alliance & has made her mark on the rescue & everyone she meets, including dogs! Here’s what some of her fellow volunteers have to say…

Phuong – Sunshine Susie, has been my rescue mentor since day one. She absolutely loves rescuing – watching the transformation from shelter pup to family dog is one of her greatest joys, & you can see it, just by talking to her. She’s a great friend & volunteer, always been my second-hand man, helping me out anyway she can, & always willing to go the extra mile. I love her!

Sean – For a long time Susie has been a major player in keeping APBA alive. Her dedicationfranz & time committed to keeping things running smoothly is unbelievable. Her willingness to provide a temporary (or permanent) foster for dogs in need even when her house is full shows her dedication and sacrifice she is willing to make to help each dog succeed.

Michelle – Susie is the heart & soul of APBA. She is my rescue mom! She definitely knows how to make a volunteer feel like part of the family. Everything she does for our fosters is done with total care & she truly lights up when she sees a pup go from shelter to forever home.

lawrence and susie

Lawrence – I’d like to reemphasize her ability to keep things alive when things were getting challenging for APBA. Susie is genuine, thoughtful, & a caring person fully committed to the wellbeing of dogs & humans alike.

Christina – Susie is just such a down to earth & good hearted person who cares immensely for the dogs (& the APBA family as a whole). She puts a lot of time & effort into the rescue & is often the first to step up in a time of need (i.e. her willingness to be a temporary foster). We all love her!

Adrian – One of my fondest memories of Susie is hearing her speak so passionately about fostering & foster dog Buddy’s growth during his recovery & journey. I truly admire her hard work & dedication to the cause.   

Thank you, Susie for all that you do!

Jessie’s Story – No Pet Store Puppies Day

Ambassador Pit Bull Alliance volunteer Paul’s mother Barbara was asked to be a guest blogger in honor of No Pet Store Puppies Day July 21, 2016. Here’s her story.

By: Barbara SchmitzIMG_1873

Back in 1993, before awesome rescue groups with a great online presence, it wasn’t as easy as it is now to find a dog to rescue. But I put out the word, and soon I learned of a dog groomer who took in 20 dogs that were homeless after the puppy mill in which they lived was disbanded.

When I visited the groomer, I noticed something odd about this group of toy poodles. They were barking up a storm, but something didn’t sound right. I learned later that they had all been debarked, a common practice in puppy mills, done to keep the noise down. I noticed a little black and white girl off by herself, looking a little lost.

I took this little dog out for a little walk in the yard. Her head was down and her tail was teddybetween her legs. As she explored the yard, I saw one wag of her tail. A few minutes later, another. I was hooked, plain and simple. I took this little lost pup home, and we named her Jessie.

It’s true there are many dogs that live through unspeakable abuse and neglect that recover wonderfully. Such was not the case with Jessie. She was a good little dog, however she often seemed lost in her little world. I often wondered what horrors she lived through. But, she had a wonderful life with us, no doubt about it, and she became a beloved member of our family.  We were relieved when our vet explained her damaged voice box did not cause mollyher any discomfort. When asked why her bark sounded so different, it provided an opportunity for us to speak out against puppy mills.

At the age of 17, Jessie crossed the Rainbow Bridge. Heartbroken, I swore off dog ownership. It didn’t last long – we soon met and adopted our handsome red dog Teddy and a short while later, our blondie Molly. But it all started with Jessie, my “gateway dog”.

ASPCA – Find a Shelter: www.aspca.org/adopt-pet/find-shelter
Petfinder.com – www.petfinder.com/ 

Ambassador Pit Bull Alliance – www.ambassadorpitbulls.org/available-ambassadors

Meet APBA Volunteer Lawrence

The core of Ambassador Pit Bull Alliance is our volunteers. These are people with full-time Final_iconjobs, families, and their own dogs but choose to donate their time to help spread APBA’s message when they can. Each volunteer has their own story so we’re featuring one Ambassador Pit Bull Alliance volunteer each month to highlight their connection to our cause. Thank you to our volunteers, for all you do!

Our Featured Volunteer for July: Lawrence Tuitt

By Lawrence Tuitt

I have a ten year old pit bull named Saki who I’ve Lawrence & Sakihad since she was a puppy. She still has the energy to go on long walks & loves people. I have loved dogs since I was child.  I feel that dogs create communication bridges for human authenticity & balance.  The greatest example of this contribution is in their ability to bring happiness & comfort in a variety of challenging situations without words.  This requires both the human & dog to connect on the same wavelength. I have always been drawn to work with dogs.  So joining Ambassador Pit Bull Alliance was a clear decision after a search to find an organization balanced rescue with community outreach. Lawrence & Paul

The community outreach portion of the APBA mission allows me to directly contribute to human-dog balance. The Ambassadors in Motion Pack Walks bring humans & dogs alike together to move towards the same goals. I scout walk locations, usually Virginia state parks, with Saki. We look for nice wide paths, shaded areas along the walk, & of course, beautiful scenery. Once we find a good location we invite the community out for group walks. The walks can be anywhere between one & three miles long, moderate terrain, & all breeds & training levels are welcome.

 

By Sean Brennan, Susie Bruckschen, Michelle RiveraLawrence & MP

Lawrence’s initiative & leadership are key contributions to APBA’s success. The last “A” in APBA is “alliance” & Lawrence is a huge part is helping APBA align with other organizations in the area. He has an uncanny ability to help people at events who may be struggling with handling their own dogs. Just by giving them a gentle pointer or two on how to hold the leash differently he can change dog-handling stress into confidence & comfort. He is gifted in his ability to observe both human & dog body language. We are so lucky to have Lawrence a part of Ambassador Pit Bull Alliance & especially as a friend.

Meet APBA Volunteer Phuong

By: Sean Brennan, Susie Bruckschen,  Christina Jones, Michelle Rivera, Adrian Schmitz, Lawrence Tuitt, Kristie Wood, Jessie Zepeda

The core of Ambassador Pit Bull Alliance is our volunteers. These are people with full-time jobs, families, and their own dogs but choose to donate their time to help spread APBA’s message when they can. Each volunteer has their own story so we’re featuring one Ambassador Pit Bull Alliance volunteer each month to highlight their connection to our cause. Thank you to our volunteers, for all you do!

Our Featured Volunteer for June: Phuong Ngo

Our Featured Event for June: Springfield PetFest Saturday June 4, 2016 from 9am-3pm

Phuong Ngo is Ambassador Pit Bull Alliance’s Events Coordinator and our featured Phuong 3volunteer for June! However, instead of writing her own biography, Phuong’s fellow APBA volunteers worked together to share their love and appreciation for who she is as a person and all that she does for the group.

When Phuong joined Ambassador Pit Bull Alliance she was highly respected for her connections and her organizational abilities. Little did we know that she would end up being the big old dollop of glue that holds us all together and keeps us out in the community. She knows everything there is to know about the history of the “breed” we all know and love so well. She and her girls are excellent ambassadors for pitties in general and for APBA in particular.

Phuong is highly passionate about pit bull Phuong 2advocacy and her energy and commitment for APBA is limitless. When she isn’t busy running APBA events she is supporting other rescue initiatives like Rescue Well and Project Mickey. She is artful and her dedication and resourcefulness are essential to the success of the rescue. Her compassion and drive is what makes her shine.

Phuong is a wonderful friend, a strong asset to the animal rescue community, & undeniably the heart of APBA.

Meet APBA Volunteer Christina

Final_iconThe core of Ambassador Pit Bull Alliance is our volunteers. These are people with full-time jobs, families, and their own dogs but choose to donate their time to help spread APBA’s message when they can. Each volunteer has their own story so we’re featuring one Ambassador Pit Bull Alliance volunteer each month to highlight their connection to our cause. Thank you to our volunteers, for all you do!

Our Featured Volunteer for May: Christina Jones

Our Featured Event for May: Brown’s Manassas Subaru Adopt with Love Saturday May 21, 2016 from 10am-3pm

 

My name is Christina Jones and I joined Ambassador Pit Bull Alliance in April 2013. I’ve been an animal lover my entire life and growing up my family always had dogs. We had many different breeds – from Jack Russell Terriers to German Shepherds – all of whichAPBA-Cali-Newman were either shelter or rescue dogs. My parents taught me early on that it was better to save a shelter dog from being euthanized rather than buying one from the pet store and supporting a puppy mill. I never grew up thinking that one particular breed of dog was more “dangerous” than another. So when I rescued my first dog Newman in July 2012 with my husband Ryan, we honestly didn’t think twice about the fact that he was a pit bull type dog. It wasn’t until we started looking at places to rent that we realized how big of an “issue” having a pit bull was in regards to housing – this realization is what prompted us to get involved with APBA! We did eventually find a place to rent from a homeowner who allowed pit bull type dogs. In November 2013 we adopted Cali from APBA! Cali and Newman have become inseparable. They like to go on walks, play ball, ride in the car, stroll through the pet store and now that we own a home with a back yard they love to run around and explore all day long!
Sadly, there is so much misinformation spread by the media about pit bulls. However, being involved with an organization like APBA has helped to spread truthful information across various mediums and educate people about the true nature of the pit bull. In the last few years image1(1)alone, several states have put an end to breed-specific laws and more recently the FBI has added animal cruelty to its list of Class A felonies – the more people who get involved, the greater impact we will have to be a voice for the voiceless! One way I’ve vowed to help make a difference personally was to work on getting both Cali and Newman to pass the AKC Canine Good Citizen (CGC) Test. The Canine Good Citizen Program is a two-part program that stresses responsible pet ownership for owners and basic good manners for dogs. Newman became CGC certified in August 2014 and Cali will be taking her test this year!
For the past 6 years I have worked with the Brown’s Car Stores organization in marketing and advertising. Another way I’ve been working to help make a difference in the community was to connect Ambassador Pit Bull Alliance with Brown’s Manassas Subaru .Subaru for IG Knowing that Subaru as a brand is very dog friendly, I decided to organize an adoption event at our very own Subaru dealership in Manassas, VA! The 4th Annual Brown’s Manassas Subaru Adopt With Love Event will be held on Saturday May 21st featuring APBA and several other local animal rescue groups. At the event there will be a dog wash, free dog tag maker, food, drinks, music and a raffle! All proceeds from the raffle will go to the rescues and any donations received during the event will be matched up to $100 by Brown’s Manassas Subaru. Additionally, Brown’s Manassas Subaru will be donating a large bag of dog food to the rescues for each test drive taken on the day of the event! Hope to see you there!

May 2016 APBA Events

This May we have a wonderful variety of events all over the Northern Virginia area! Please SM rewardsemail contact@ambassadorpitbulls.org or write on our Facebook wall if you have any questions about the events. Click on the links by each event to RSVP on Facebook and join the discussion. Looking forward to seeing you all there!

Social Media Rewards! If you attend an event, tag us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and use the hashtag #teamAPBA you’ll enter our monthly drawing for a FREE APBA t-shirt!

 

Sunday May 1 at 10:30am – Lake Ridge Park AIM Pack Walk 12371 Cotton Mill Dr. Woodbridge, VA 22192AIM 4.3.16 Occoquan

This AIM Walk is the perfect way to burn off your dog’s extra energy before Bark In the Park at Potomac Nationals Stadium. The AIM Walk location, Lake Ridge Park, is a short 10 minute drive to Potomac Nationals Stadium so if you plan to attend both events you’ll have plenty of time to get to the game. All breeds and training levels welcome! Great way to socialize your dog in a structured and judgement-free environment.Bark in the Park Logo

Sunday May 1 at 1pm – Bark in the Park  7 County Complex Ct. Woodbridge, VA 22192

Potomac Nationals vs Wilmington Blue Rocks baseball game. Bring your favorite 4-legged P-Nats fan out to the ballpark! All dogs are welcome to enjoy the game with their owners! Dogs (and owners) are also welcome to participate in a pre-game dog parade. Presented by Ambassador Pit Bull Alliance.

Saturday May 7 at 10am – Reston Pet Fiesta 1190 Market St. Reston, VA 20190pet fiesta

This outdoor festival brings together local businesses, animal rescue groups, and pet owners for an exciting day of activities, demonstrations, and animals galore. Meet adoptable animals looking for their forever homes and check out the latest pet products. Enjoy onstage entertainment, face painting, and caricature artists. Gather the kids and join us for a day of pets and fun for the whole family!

Saturday May 14 at 11am – Dog Days at Breaux Vineyards 3688 Breaux Vineyards Ln. Purceville, VA 20132

Join us for Breaux’s annual Dog Day celebration and bring your 4-legged friends for a day of fun at the vineyard. Live music by Steel & Oglevee from Breaux_Vineyards_logo12:30-4:30pm on the patio, wine tastings, and authentic Cajun fare for sale by The Cajun Experience, as well as several local rescue organizations, doggie-based vendors, and crafters on site for you to enjoy. There’s also a contest for all of your beautiful and talented pooches. No admission fee! *If you plan to bring your 4-legged friend they must be friendly, vaccinated, and on a leash at all times*

Saturday May 21 at 10am – Brown’s Manassas Subaru Adopt with Love 9018 Liberia Ave. SubaruManassas, VA 20110

The Brown’s Manassas Subaru Love a Pet Event gives the community an opportunity to meet wonderful adoptable dogs and cats looking for their forever homes. Bring your friends, family, and dogs for a day of wagging tails, food, drinks, music, prizes, and more!

Saturday May 28 at 11am – Unleashed by Petco Adoption Event  19800 Belmont Chase Dr. Ashburn, VA 20147

Come out to Unleashed by Petco Ashburn to meet our adoptable Ambassadors! Get your pit bull microchipped for FREE, other breeds $15 donation. Learn about our Pet Owner Support Program, Ambassadors in Motion Pack Walks, and learn about Fostering through APBA.

Lost Dog Awareness Day Event April 23-24

By E. Adrian Foster & Michelle Rivera

April 23 is Lost Dog Awareness Day where we bring attention to all lost dogs each year and celebrate the thousands of dogs that have been successfully reunited with their families.12932647_10154249875692784_683433820037806854_n

Ambassador Pit Bull Alliance is offering a Donate, Scan, Chip incentive to encourage dog owners to microchip their pets. Come out to our events Saturday April 23, 2016 at Pet Valu Springfield, VA from 12-3pm & Sunday April 24, 2016 at Pet Valu Chantilly, VA from 12-3pm and make a donation, get your dog scanned for a microchip, or get your dog microchipped and you’ll receive a free gift for being an awesome and responsible dog owner! It’s also National Pet Adoption Week and Pet Appreciation Month so please stop by Pet Valu Chantilly, VA anytime this month and buy a bandanna to help support our work.

Now back to losing dogs…

It’s a sensitive subject that is the “worst case scenario” and people just “don’t even want to think about it” but it’s important to ensure your pet is prepared for the day they get lost. No matter how careful we are, doors are left ajar while bringing in groceries, lawn gates unlock during a windy storm, and that jerk squirrel that’s been taunting your dog all spring seemed worth wiggling out of the leash and collar to go catch.Microchip 3.2016

The facts:

  • 1 in 3 pets go missing and without proper ID and unfortunately, 90% don’t come home.
  • Virtually all shelters and veterinarians are equipped to instantly read your pet’s microchip ID which contains your contact info.
  • Microchip company Home Again has reunited over 600,000 pets with their owners.

So dog poop happens, how can you prepare?

  • Keep a collar on your dog at all times with up-to-date contact tags.
  • Microchip your dog and keep the registered contact information up-to-date.
  • Be sure to have an recent full body photo of your dog for “lost dog” signs.

OK so now the worst has happened and your dog is lost, what do you do?

  • Post on local “lost dogs” social media pages, most shelters will repost personal lost dog postings.
  • Maintain a base where you lost your pet, keep your scent in the area strong!

It’s important to remember that not all stray dogs Home againare feral, some can be missing dogs unsure of how to get home. If you find a dog who looks lost, contact your local humane society or animal control officer. Share the dog’s photo and description on social media which has been an extremely effective tool in reuniting dogs with their families.

Ambassador Pit Bull Alliance will repost any “missing/lost dog” posts from the Washington DC, Maryland, and Virginia areas so “like” our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter and Instagram. APBA also microchips pit bulls for free and other dog breeds for a $15 donation (Virginia microchipping average cost is $30).

Please email michelle@ambassadorpitbulls.org if you have any questions about microchipping.