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.

Barking Breweries

By: E. Adrian FosterRita Bud

Ambassador Pit Bull Alliance is hosting Bartending for the Bullies a fundraiser at The Ashburn Pub in Ashburn, VA on Wednesday April 20, 2016 at 7pm. The event includes door prizes, raffle items from local businesses, guest bartender APBA volunteer Kelsey, and pit bull lovers galore! In honor of this fundraising event, each week leading up to the event, we’re highlighting local dog-inspired breweries and wineries!

Beer probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the mid-Atlantic but Maryland and Virginia are trying to change your mind by winning your heart with their dog-inspired breweries.

Virginia

Beer Hound Brewery All of the Beer Hound beers are named after famous hounds in movies and history, with an attempt to link the beer style to the hound. Beer Hound  Brewery serves a variety of beer styles fresh daily, so stop by and enjoy a pint! Currently, Beer Hound beer is only available at the brewery and in local Culpeper Max Bartendingand Warrington restaurants, take a trip out there to try them! 201 Waters Pl. #102 Culpeper, VA 22701

Wild Wolf Brewing Company Mary Wolf and her son Danny renovated a 100 year old Nelson County schoolhouse into a restaurant, built an adjacent brewery, and began the story of Wild Wolf Brewing Company. Wild Wolf distributes their six year-round beers and over a dozen rotating and seasonal beers throughout the entire state of Virginia and Washington, DC. 2461 Rockfish Valley Hwy. Nellysford, VA 22958

Blue Lab Brewing Company Bill Hamilton and Tom Lovell turned a hobby into a business when they opened Blue Lab Brewing Company to brew craft beers for their community. They offer five standard brews year-round and they have unique seasonal specials. Currently, Blue Lab brews can only be found at the brewery and in the Lexington area but who doesn’t love a long weekend in Charlottesville?! 123 South Randolph St. Lexington, VA 24450

MarylandBrox Miller

Flying Dog Brewery As one of the more popular local breweries, Flying Dog’s story is as interesting as its name. Check out their website for the full adventure. They have 13 year-round beers, 13 seasonal styles, and six limited edition brews. You can likely find Flying Dog at your local beer store but make a visit to the Flying Dog Brewery in Frederick if you can! 4607 Wedgewood Blvd. Frederick, MD 21703

Not Local But Honorable Mention

Lagunitas Brewing Company Okay, so Lagunitas is brewed in Petaluma, California BUT we have to mention them because they have an adorable pit bull on their label! Lagunitas hoped that the loyalty of man’s best friend would resonate with customers and translate to loyalty to the Final_iconbrand. All we have to say is: SOLD!

We don’t want to leave our best friends out! Here are two non-carbonated dog beers so you can both enjoy a cold one at the end of a long walk.

Bowser Beer

Dawg Grog

 

Don’t forget to join us for Bartending for the Bullies a fundraiser at The Ashburn Pub in Ashburn, VA on Wednesday April 20, 2016 at 7pm!

 

Meet APBA Volunteer Kelsey

 

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 beginning this April, 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 April: Kelsey Marshall

Our Featured Event for April: Bartending for the Bullies April 20 at The Ashburn Pub

By: Kelsey Marshall

Hi! My name is Kelsey Marshall and I’ve been volunteering with APBA for the last year. I grew up in the area and am a GMU grad. While at GMU, I studied Sociology with a concentration in Social Change and Inequality so being an advocate for those who are Kelseydiscriminated against, whether human or animal, has always been a passion of mine. I never really knew the amount of discrimination pit bulls faced until about three years ago when my partner Jesse and I were looking to move in together to a new home with his 4 year old pit bull Fiona. We were turned down time and time again purely based off of the dogs breed. I was heartbroken that our sweet animal was being judged especially by complete strangers. Being an animal lover, this did not sit well with me and I began doing research: breed discrimination, petitions to end BSL, the incredible amount of pit bulls in shelters. I just had to get involved. Whether it was sharing an adoptable dog’s Facebook link, spreading the word to my friends who were looking to adopt, or adopting myself (we’ve since added two more beautiful pit bulls to our family—Pedro & Amelia). I was determined to try anything I could to help. I had just graduated and wanted to spend my free time giving back to the community and my friend Christina (a fellow APBA volunteer) suggested I look into volunteering for APBA as well. Best decision yet! I love the work that we do, the animals we get to meet and find homes for and the happy endings we’re able to be a part of. I think the program I’m the most interested in is the Pet Owner Support Program as we get to partner with local families on the struggles they’re facing being an owner of a pit bull and work to make recommendations to ensure the safety & happiness of both the family & the pup! To me, image1the best way to spread ABPA’s mission is to start with our local community which is why I wanted to partner with Kevin & The Ashburn Pub for the Bartending for Bullies fundraiser. The Pub is a local business with tons of people that make up my immediate community so where better to host a fundraiser? The Pub is notorious for hosting events that spread the word on so many great volunteer groups and our mission is definitely one that needs to be heard. The event will run from 7-9pm on April 20th and I’ll be guest bartending! Other APBA volunteers will be there to spread the word on our rescue and help sell raffle tickets. The raffle tickets will be for our awesome prizes that have been donated by some AMAZING local small businesses. A sneak peek at some of the prizes include: wine tastings, fitness classes, and salon gift cards. The Pub has also generously agreed to donate 10% of all food sales to APBA so if you’re with the family that evening, The Pub will be the perfect place to host your dinner! Hope to see you at one of our events soon.

 

Tidy Up for Your Pup: Spring Cleaning for Your Pets

By: E. Adrian Foster4371919184_4aa55a6ee2_z

With spring already beginning to show its bloom, it’s natural for us to begin thinking about spring cleaning, decluttering, and redecorating. However, don’t forget Fido’s Feng Shui! We’ve got some tips on how to keep your pup in mind while tidying up the house.

Spring Cleaning

We clean all our most visited spaces: bedrooms, living room, kitchen, bathrooms. But 4320811707_0a25ed41cb_zwhat about the spaces your dog visits most?

Dog Crate & Bed: Give your dog’s crate base a good wipe down and wash any blankets or beds inside. Most dog beds have a removable cover so take a look and see if there’s a way to unzip the it for easier washing. If not, consider purchasing one from Molly Mutt or making one with this tutorial from Fab You Bliss.

Food & Water Bowls: It’s extremely important to regularly wash your pet’s food and water bowls. Most pet bowls can go in the dishwasher on the top rack or you can hand wash them. It only takes a second and can prevent harmful bacteria and mold build up. NSF International, a public health organization, rated these little containers as the fourth dirtiest spot in our homes!

Poopy Yard: Yes, it’s gross, but cleaning up your pet’s droppings is essential to their health and the health of the environment. From Doody Calls Website:4948377552_d546e48059_z “According the EPA, dog waste is considered non-point source pollution along with herbicides and insecticides, oil, and grease. Roundworm is one of the most common parasites found in dog waste and it can remain infectious in contaminated soil for years.” Not a fan of scooping poop? Consider hiring a pet waste management company to visit your home regularly such as Doody Calls.

Decluttering

We all need to do it, even when we don’t want to. Decluttering isn’t just tossing things into the trash, finding a new home for unwanted items is a wonderful way to prevent contributing to landfills and giving old products new life!

Donate: Have any old e-collars, towels, blankets, or sheets? Make a tax deductible donation to a local animal shelter.

Pay It Forward: Dog toys, collars, leashes, and 6236610894_b72c902201_zun-expired food items might seem disposable to some people but to others they’re pricey items they wish they could provide their pets. Consider posting these items for free on Craigslist or on your local Freecycle group. You’ll be surprised how quickly they get picked up!

Recyclable Dog Bed: Got some old clothes not suitable for donating to Goodwill? Stuff a Molly Mutt dog bed or make your own dog bed case and stuff it with your old rags!

Redecorating

Sometimes all you need is a little change in scenery to brighten Purina Art Projectyour mood. Spruce up your walls and counter tops with these fun doggie art projects!

Make Art with Your Dog: Be sure to use pet safe, non-toxic paint when trying out these fun DIY pet projects!

Treat Your Eyes & Your Dog: Try making a beautiful, fun, new treat jar using this tutorial from My Dog Likes.

Brighten Up Your Walls: Making art not your thing? Consider purchasing original and unique art from Etsy.com artists.

Cleaning up after your pets is an easy way to improve their quality of life as well as yours.

What are your go-to pet clean-up projects? Share in the comments!

APBA’s Microchipping Program

By Michelle Rivera

I went from never owning a dog to having three within 8 months! I started out with a senior Yorkie who was full of spunk.  After only 5 months, I decided to get another dog but wasn’t sure what type until I fell in love with a pit bull named Max and let me tell you, I
wasn’t fully aware at how different pit bull owners were treated until I became one. The same people who would run and Michelle & Dogspick up my Yorkie Lola to cuddle were now crossing to the other side of the street when they saw Max.  I was blown away at how quickly I became an outcast amongst the same pet parents at the dog park that I was once friendly with. So I made it my mission to become an advocate for this awesome dog who is so intuitive to what I’m feeling and is nothing but a huge cuddle bug. I was so determined to be an advocate that I decided to get another pit bull but this time a puppy! I was in way over my head but she was just what we needed to complete our family. After having Brooklyn for just a week, the unthinkable happened, she bolted through my door as I was closing it and she was gone.  I looked for her everywhere and thankfully, she came home 15 hours later. I was so relieved but also completely unaware at how lucky I was that she managed to find her way back to her very new home because most pet owners aren’t so fortunate.

Since then, I’ve learned that 1 in 3 dogs will go missing in their lifetime and 90% of them never make it home. Pet owners can change this statistic and drastically improve the Home againchances of reuniting with their irreplaceable companions if they simply microchip their pets.  Unlike a collar, a microchip can’t be removed and will stay with your pet forever.  The chip is the size of a grain of rice that is injected subcutaneously and does not hurt or irritate your pet. No anesthesia or surgery needed.  Microchipping your pet is not a tracking device, it is a radio frequency identification device (RFID) that is easily scanned by any universal scanner. The scanner will reveal a unique number which is registered to your contact information so the finder can contact the owner. Over 6.5 million pets are enrolled with HomeAgain, a microchip database, which responsible for reuniting over a million lost pets with their families.

After my personal ordeal of having my beloved Brooklyn go missing, I have never been more adamant about microchipping. As a volunteer for Ambassador Pit Bull Alliance, not only do I get the amazing support on how to be the best dog owner I can be but I also get Michelles Dogsthe opportunity to share my story and advocate the importance of microchipping and how it could potentially save your dog’s life. APBA offers FREE microchipping for all pit bull type dogs and will gladly microchip all other dogs for a donation of $15. The process only takes about 5 minutes and can be done anywhere, no need to make an appointment at the vet.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to find out when we’re hosting events. We will have a microchipping station with us at most events so all you have to do is stop by!

 

Photographs courtesy of Jeanne Taylor Photography/Pet Portraits

APBA’s Pet Owner Support Program

By Kristie Wood

I have been involved in rescue for the last 12 years. I’ve volunteered with all breed dog and cat rescues, breed specific pit bull rescues, and even ferret and rabbit rescues. I’ve been a part of Ambassador Pit Bull Alliance (APBA) since the beginning, and two and a half years ago, I started volunteering at the Fairfax County Animal Shelter. That’s where I was able to see things that I never got to see in rescue.

For me, being in rescue made me feel kind of jaded towards people who surrendered their Kristiepets to animal shelters. I asked myself week after week, when the rescues I volunteered with announced their new arrivals, how anyone could dump their pets like garbage. How could they live with themselves after ridding themselves of animals they promised to love forever, but now found to be inconvenient? It made me so angry, especially if the animals I cared for as a foster and handled at adoption events were old, or sick, or old and sick.

What I learned at the shelter is that the average pet owner who surrenders a pet doesn’t actually WANT to do it. Most times they just don’t see any other option. Some examples of reasons for surrender are:

  • They’re moving and can’t find affordable housing that will accept their pet
  • They just had a new baby, and the pet isn’t adapting to the change as well/quickly as they should
  • Their house was foreclosed and they have to move in with family who won’t allow the pet
  • They’ve fallen on financially hard times and can’t afford basic care
  • Their pet is sick/injured and they can’t afford treatment

More often than not, I also witnessed the anguish and tears from the people, and the confusion and anxiety of the pets as they parted ways. It actually made me feel kind of ashamed of myself for being so angry for all those years.

I started wondering if there were resources out there that could help keep people and their pets together. After a lot of research, and after taking a lot of classes offered at the shelter, I discovered that there are, but in order to use them, a person has to know where to look.

APBA gets a lot of emails from people looking for help. These are people who love their dogs, but don’t know how to keep them for many of the reasons listed above. All they know is they don’t want to surrender their pet to the shelter. And so, I started answering these emails and pointing them towards existing resources. I have referred them to trainers that I personally know will use positive reinforcement. I have found pit bull friendly realtors to help them find housing. I have visited their homes with another volunteer to assess behavior and offer safe management advice. And, sometimes, if there really isn’t another option, I’ve been able to assure them that if they surrender their pet to a shelter, their pet will be safe. Volunteering in the shelter system has taught me which ones are on board with finding homes for the majority of their animals and which ones aren’t. Luckily, in this area, most of our shelters are progressive. Still, if an animal can stay with his or her family, that’s always the best outcome.

I’m so excited about the launch of APBA’s Pet Owner Support program. Making it known to the pit bull loving public that we are here and we want to help is a dream come true for us, and we hope will be a lifeline for those who need help, but don’t know where to look.

If you or someone you know in the DC Metropolitan area is looking for resources to help them keep their pit bull, or is looking to rehome their pit bull, please contact us at support@ambassadorpitbulls.org

Sister of Fallen Soldier Seeks Pit Bull Friendly Housing to Keep His Dog

Kay recently lost her brother, an Army paratrooper in the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, the 82nd Airborne Division. In addition to his sister, he left behind a young wife, three small boys, and three dogs. While his widow would of course love to keep the dogs, it has become very difficult for her to manage them and her three boys while adjusting to a new life full of challenges.

Kay has decided to care for and provide a home one of them, his precious baby girl Mavis.  She tells us that Mavis is a wonderful, beautiful show dog that is extremely well behaved, good with children (even small) and other dogs…but she is also a pit bull, so finding housing that will not discriminate against her has been challenging to say the least.

If you know of a kind heart that wouldn’t mind renting space in the DC metro area to Kay and Mavis (even temporarily), please share her story with them. She does not want to lose the opportunity to keep a little piece of her brother and provide Mavis with the home that she knows her brother would want her to have.

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About Kay:

Kay is a graphic and web designer and manages a career consulting company.  She’s female, 33, and doesn’t smoke, drink or have parties or nonsense where she lives.  If you do, she doesn’t mind – your place, your rules.  She’s told us that she is open to any size living space, a studio, 1 bedroom, basement, shared house, anything – as long as she is able to keep Mavis, and a piece of her brother.  While she’d love to have a yard or patio for Mavis, she also wouldn’t mind taking her to a nearby park every day.

Mavis will also be taking her AKC Canine Good Citizen test with us on November 8th.

If you can help or know of somewhere Mavis will be welcome, please email Kayleene.