“What Kind of Dog Donated?”

As some of you may or may not know, I have my degree as a Veterinary Technician and work at a local Animal Hospital that offers emergency services. While working recently, 2 dogs were hospitalized, both in need of blood transfusions. Often, blood transfusions in a veterinary clinic require a donor dog to be available or located quickly. In this instance, I brought one of my kids into the clinic as he is an ideal donor candidate. He is a large dog, young, never had any compromising illnesses, heartworm negative, and is a happy dude overall. He donated blood, and the recipient received the blood without any complications. Her bloodwork showed marked signs of improvement and she began to come around.

This dog has an auto immune disorder that causes her body to attack its own red blood cells. Without a transfusion, she wouldn’t have had an adequate amount of red blood cells in her body to sustain life. She is a young dog with much life ahead of her. A transfusion was necessary. It was the right thing. And, my big handsome donor boy, was a hero dog that day.

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When her people came to visit she was noticeably improved. Enough energy to eat and go outside to go to the bathroom, excited to see her people. While discussing her diagnosis and explaining the transfusion process and the desired results, her people looked at me and Dad said, “What kind of dog donated the blood?” They seemed VERY concerned about what type of dog may have donated blood to their very proper, pretty, purebred small/medium breed pooch. I responded simply with, “Well, it was my dog that donated, actually.” And with that, I attempted to continue to discuss their dog’s condition. Dad interjected again, “No… but what KIND of dog donated the blood?” I said, “Really, he is just a great big mutt.” He says, “But, what does he have in him?” I was trying really hard to not focus on something as trivial as breed in this instance. I was trying to focus on their dog, her diagnosis, her current condition and explain the procedure she had undergone the day before.

For those who are unfamiliar, and honestly I would expect that most folks are if you’re not in the world of Veterinary Medicine, there are certain criteria that make for an ideal donor candidate. First off, in this instance, size IS important. The larger the dog, truly, the better. The average blood transfusion requires approximately 500ml of blood or more. In kitchen measurements, that is 16.9oz. That is a little more than 2 cups of blood. Smaller breed dogs wouldn’t safely be able to give up that quantity of blood. Obviously, dogs that are healthy, without infection, blood parasites or on certain medications are going to be ideal candidates. Burley is all of those things, so bringing him in to donate seemed like a no-brainer.

Back to dad’s concern about what type of dog donated… I finally said, “Well, if I had to guess he has some large breeds in him. Most likely Great Dane/Pit Bull or large Retriever/Pit Bull. But, I don’t know what his breeds are.” Insert audible gasp here. Dad was absolutely mortified. He turned his head away from me and said, “Pit bull!?” he snuggled his little fluffy dog close. Mom began to “explain”. Their adult son was attacked by a “130 lb Pit Bull” in the inner city where he lives. She went on to explain how they know that all Pit Bulls are vicious, but their son who was attacked has a pit bull at home, but his dog is good. Only good pit bull they know of. They were so concerned about the fact that there might be some “pit bull” in the dog that donated LIFE to their dog that they couldn’t get past that he wasn’t a purebred small/fluffy like their own dog.

They tentatively asked me if they could just contact one of the families that had one of her puppies from a litter she had previously to donate blood if she ever needed another transfusion. I tried to explain transfusions, blood types, antibodies, cross-matching, but I could see it going right on past them in that moment. I simply said, “No. Truly, her best bet for a transfusion will be to have my dog donate again if she needs another.” “But her puppies are related. Why can’t they donate?” I tried to explain that being related doesn’t equal a guarantee for a match. They were certainly a bit distraught over learning their pretty little dog had been saved by a “beast”.

I eventually had to walk away and do my best to not be offended. But folks, I am offended. I am offended for my dog. I know he doesn’t feel offended. He was just happy to be with Mom at work, then he got some drugs that made him sleepy, then he was awake and happy again. He didn’t care, but I care.

He is not somehow less worthy of saving a life than any other dog because he doesn’t have a traceable pedigree. The other dog isn’t any less in need of blood because it comes from a mixed breed dog. And, certainly, the way he looks has no bearing on his personality, nor do either of those things have anything to do with whether or not his blood will save her life. Even if he did have “aggressive tendencies” his blood would not transfer his personality traits to her. I have taken this situation, likely, more personally than I should have. In my opinion this situation is truly no different than finding out that you received a blood transfusion from a person of a different ethnicity and being upset that the person has a different ethnic background than you do, or (gasp) a completely different skin color. At the end of the day, the transfusion was successful and the recipient is better off because of it.

blood donation dog

Photo credit: DailyTelegraph.au 

I brought my dog in to save a life. He did that.

At the end of the day, this is an opportunity to change some minds. I know that.

As far as the “taking this personally”, I don’t know that I will let go of the sadness of the judgement of my dog’s physical appearance being more important to these folks than the fact that he likely saved her life any time soon. So for now, I will thank my dog. I will understand that his donation was life-saving and I will know that the general ignorance displayed in that moment was from misguided information. The kind of misinformation that the Pittie Committee strives to overcome.

 

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Sometimes The Universe Speaks To Us

This blog is courtesy of a guest author. Stacy Hill is our newest board member at the Electric City Pittie Committee. Stacy has jumped in with both feet to get involved with the ECPC this year and we wonder what we ever did without her!
Thank you, Stacy!

Stacy Hill

 

 

SOMETIMES, THE UNIVERSE SPEAKS TO US

I don’t put a lot of personal things on Facebook; I don’t generally accept friend requests from people I don’t actually know; and you’ll have a hard time finding any relationship drama. But one thing you’d learn very quickly after a visit to my profile is that I’m passionate about animals, namely DOGS. Big. Goofy. Dogs. And I’m guilty of using Facebook as a platform for promoting all things canine, whether it’s human interest stories, photos, snoopy cartoons, etc.

In a matter of seconds you’d notice innumerable posts that involve rescue organizations and pets looking for their forever homes. I try to comment on or share as many as possible so that they show up on news feeds and the word spreads. Some of those rescues have far reaching (i.e. nationwide) audiences. I often read through the comments, and see so many people say if only an animal was located in their region they’d scoop it up. And I think (and even on occasion comment on the post), that every shelter in every community has an animal with a similar story looking for a home and if they truly have room and resources to provide for that pet in California, Texas, or New York, why not look right there at home??

I’m well aware that we can’t save them all. I’d have a “Dalmation Plantation” if I could save them all. But I feel lucky here in Montana that the homeless pet population is such that, for the most part, animals don’t seem to be facing inevitable death if not claimed in short periods of time. Rescues, and even most Animal Shelters, provide a safe place where an animal will stay until a new family comes along. Granted, there are always exceptions and circumstances. I know that first hand, having worked for a rescue/shelter where I made some of those life and death decisions. It haunts me to this day. But we don’t often see a dog posted here in Montana urging that if someone doesn’t come forward, that beautiful creature will no longer exist come tomorrow.

Well, in early March, I saw such a post. An announcement for a shelter in California where they were pleading for the lives of 8 dogs who, through no fault of their own, had found themselves on the short list due to overcrowding.

Charlie blog 1

I commented on the photo of Rosalie; something in her eyes grabbed me. The threads under the photos of each of those 8 dogs had people pledging money, love, prayers, shares, hope…. that each would find a savior in time. All of those caring people in their own small way, even though not able to adopt for their own reasons, at least sent out those ribbons that can weave their way into the universe to find a possible rescue or adopter. So I posted that I hope she found the loving home she deserved.

Charlie blog 2

a woman with a pit bull rescue in Wyoming replied… “transport could be arranged.” Word came to me the following day that Rosalie had been moved into the EU (euthanasia unit) of the shelter and her time was up. And with that, I was hooked.

So, my comment led to a conversation which led to a chain of organizations lining up to save just one of those lives. Call it fate, luck, divine intervention, I don’t know. Somehow all of the stars aligned and the wheels turned in a matter of hours to accomplish what a month of Facebook pleas hadn’t yet accomplished.

Shelter rules required that a local rescue had to pull her if I wasn’t going to be there in person. The Montana and Wyoming rescue groups called all of their contacts and found one in California who would try to save her in time. I didn’t know until that evening if we would be in time.

A woman came through, a woman who was away in Minnesota dealing with the death of her father, to make arrangements to get Rosalie out at literally the last second. I did my internet sleuthing and found out her father’s name had been Charles, and decided to rename Rosalie in his honor. And with that, Charlie was saved. She was moved to the vet clinic and spayed the following morning, then moved to a boarding facility until the proper health certificates could be obtained and transport arranged.

Little did I know how trying this next step would be. Turns out volunteers in California aren’t “volunteers.” They expect to be paid, for EVERYTHING. I’ve driven dogs across Montana and halfway across Wyoming in a single day to help them to their new life, but just getting Charlie a couple miles from the Shelter to the Boarding Facility cost $40! So every time my rescue friends started to get something lined up another financial or technical difficulty threw a new wrench. I even looked into airlines, but crates and coordination were a problem, and no airline allows the short-nose pets to fly except United but only during colder months when overheating is less likely. I was just about to buy a ticket myself, fly to California and rent a car for a road trip back.

Then I had a thought… I have an uncle who was a long-haul truck driver, often going to California; he had just recently retired. Surely he’d know someone?! Well this wonderful man, my Uncle Ray, went a step beyond. He decided he’d contact his old boss and see if he could do one more trip, just so that he could pick up Charlie and bring her to me.

The schedule got made and off he went. He’d pick her up on a Thursday and would meet me in Three Forks to deliver her to me the following Monday or Tuesday. He was even so kind as to try not to bond too much with Charlie and have it be an easier transition for her. (Side bar: it was the trip from hell for Ray, juggling several stops, traffic, loads not being ready when there were supposed to be, etc.. He said it was a blessing because it was what he needed to convince him that retirement was the right thing! LOL)

So on a cold April day with snow flurries, California girl Charlie arrived! This is where I should mention that I already have 2 other dogs and 2 cats who I now had to find out if Charlie would be compatible with. I had a friend who works with city animal control help me with the introductions. I didn’t go in to this unprepared.

Jazzmyne is my 8 year old Lab/Great Dane mix that I adopted several years prior, and Jack is my (technically my boyfriend’s) 2-1/2 year old Kelpie who was rescued just over a year earlier. All big dogs and they seemed to do fine. But the cats… Mud & Bog are about 11, declawed, and have never had to worry about a dog that may not like them. Mud is the adventurous one and seems to think he’s a dog anyway, so he came over to meet Charlie. She was on leash, he didn’t hiss, swipe at her or run, but she thought maybe she should taste him and lunged. She didn’t make contact, but it was off putting to Mud and very traumatic for me.

Oh no! After all of this effort, it’s not going to work! I can’t put my cats in a dangerous situation. What was I going to do?! I took Charlie to a boarding kennel that night and cried for a while. I can’t remember if I reached out first or if the Electric City Pittie Committee reached out to me. But they got me a muzzle and a crate that night or the following day so that I could better control the situation. And I waited for their Ace trainer to return from a seminar in a few days to better assess the situation.

I tried to limit Charlie’s interaction with the cats so that I didn’t make the situation worse; she had to be in a muzzle or crate the entire time. A couple times while loose but muzzled, she cornered Mud and pounced him pretty good.

My hero, Jessica with Jessica B Dog Training, came to my house as soon as she was back in town. She spent a little time with Charlie, and literally within 5 minutes it was like I had a different dog. And more importantly, I had the tips, tools, and hopefully the confidence to start addressing the issues. Charlie and I established the relationship we needed and she quickly learned the cats have a place in the household and she was expected to respect that. Mud, months later, has even forgiven her.

Rescuing Charlie, having never met her in person, going on emotion and a little bit lunacy, could have had any number of outcomes. I adopted Jazzmyne sight unseen from a rescue several states away, too. But I’ve never had a new introduction that required so much work. Animals need an adjustment period, both the one you’re bring home and the one(s) that may already be there. They are individuals. That can’t replace ones that have passed. They can’t read our minds or know what we expect from them until we give them time to learn. And to love and trust.

What a whirlwind. But I look at Charlie, and then I see the posts that come across my feed, every day, almost every hour; and my heart aches. She could have died that day. We can’t save them all, but we can save one at a time. And there’s more than one way. Adopt. Foster. Volunteer (at a shelter or transporting or any number of blessings). Donate. Share. Every little bit helps.

I want to thank the rescues and individuals that helped. And I want to thank all the people that shared, and those that donated to Charlie’s rescue (although most pledges weren’t collected). It does make a difference! It encourages rescues to pull these dogs and know that the funds are available for proper vet care, transports, boarding and every day needs. And most important it gives time needed to let destiny find them.

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Author: Stacy Hill

What Is A Bully Breed

Last month, in our blog we approached the “What is a Pit Bull?” topic. Today, we are going to dive in to “What is a Bully Breed?” Seriously, these 2 things are enough to drive a seasoned dog person crazy. Truly, since both of these are kind of “catch-all” terms, one can argue that anything a person decides is a Pit Bull qualifies to be a Pit Bull, and anything a person decides is a “Bully Breed” qualifies to be called a Bully Breed, and, well, that doesn’t help us narrow down a definition.

For all intents and purposes we are going to stick to a pretty traditional definition of a “bully breed”. There is often a misconception that “Bully” refers to attitude or personality when we talk about Bully Breeds, or about discriminated breeds. For example, some breeds that I have heard referred to as bully breeds based on discrimination, pre-conceived ideas about what the breed behaves like, are Huskies, Malamutes, Chows, German Shepherds, Heelers. These guys are being referred to as “bully breeds” because they can sometimes be pushier with other dogs, kind of “bullies” in the sense of their attitudes. But, truly, the term refers to dogs with a shared lineage that includes bulldog somewhere in their breeding lineage. This visual is the most inclusive representation I have seen about “What is a bully breed.”

the bully breeds

These are representations of purebred dogs, keep in mind that variations of these breeds and mixes of these breeds will still qualify as “Bully Breeds”. Bully Breeds can trace a common lineage back through Ancient Greece to a a particular breed of dog called Molosser dogs. (This is a whole 2 hour presentation from this point forward… no, really. Its really interesting information, though. If you’re interested, let me know and we can talk about doing a “History of…” blog.)

In this day and age, saying the word “Bulldog” typically conjures up the following images:

But, the truth is, bulldogs don’t just look like this. They look like this:

And they look like this:

And they look like this:

And when you start crossing them with certain Terriers you start to get these:

Bull Terrier

Bull Terrier

And these:

Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Annnnnd these:

Pit Bull Terrier

American Pit Bull Terrier

And all of the other breeds that you see represented in the first visual aid. Truly, a bully breed is any dog, with shared physical characteristics, through breeding lineages that can trace a lineage back to a bulldog. Keeping in mind, that may not look now, like it looked when the breeds were created.

Point being… “Bully Breed” is another term that is pretty open to interpretation. Its pretty fluid and pretty inclusive of so many potential breeds and mixes. If there is any sort of bulldog, any breed derived from any bulldog lineage, any breed mixed with a bulldog or a breed derived from a bulldog, then it qualifies as a “bully breed” type dog. Most share the same characteristics as dogs that are commonly called “Pit Bulls”.

So, now that we have made this muddy subject as clear as milk, and clarified well, nothing, really. We hope you at the very least enjoyed this little wander through bully breeds.

What is a Pit Bull? an observational study

As we start October, National Pit Bull Awareness Month, the Electric City Pittie Committee amps up for a busy month. So lets talk about this thing we have identified as a “pittie”. What is a pit bull?

This is often a touchy subject for people who both want their dogs to be called a “pit bull” and those who certainly do NOT want their dogs to be called a “pit bull”.  Webster’s dictionary defines a “pit bull” as:

1or pit bull terrier :a muscular, short-haired, stocky dog (such as an American pit bull terrier or American Staffordshire terrier) of any of several breeds or a hybrid with one or more of these breeds that was originally developed for fighting and is noted for strength, stamina, and tenacity
2:an aggressive and tenacious person

First off, I think Websters got a few things wrong, but this is the “accepted definition” of a “pit bull”. Gee, thanks Webster’s that was clear as mud. A muscular dog with short hair of any number of breeds or combination of breeds. huh. Let’s try a few other resources. Wikipedia, maybe? (I know, I know… I’m not a huge Wiki fan, but they have just about the most comprehensive definition. Click here for the whole link, its actually worth the read.)

Pit bull is the common name for a type of dog. Formal breeds often considered in North America to be of the pit bull type include the American Pit Bull TerrierAmerican Staffordshire TerrierAmerican Bully, and Staffordshire Bull Terrier.[1] The American Bulldog is also sometimes included. Many of these breeds were originally developed as fighting dogs from cross breeding bull-baiting dogs (used to hold the faces and heads of larger animals such as bulls) and terriers.[2] After the use of dogs in blood sports was banned, such dogs were used as catch dogs in the United States for semi-wild cattle and hogs, to hunt and drive livestock, and as family companions.[3] Despite dog fightingnow being illegal in the United States, it still exists as an underground activity, and pit bulls are a common breed of choice.[4][5][6]

The term pit bull is often used loosely to describe dogs with similar physical characteristics, and the morphological (physical) variation amongst “bully breed” dogs makes it difficult for anyone, even experts, to visually identify them as distinct from “non-pit bulls”.[7][8][9] While mixed breed dogs are often labeled as “pit bulls” if they have certain physical characteristics such as a square shaped head or bulky body type,[10] visual identification of mixed breed dogs is not recommended by the scholarly community.[7]

 

Ok, so that is a little muddy still, but slightly less clear than the Mississippi. Sigh, still not sure what a “pit bull” is? Don’t worry… most people don’t know either. But, most people are sure they know and can identify a “pit bull” on sight. Let’s try a legal definition or 2. Places with BSL have to have a clear-cut definition of what a “pit bull” is if they are going to make them illegal, right? Let’s start with Denver. Denver.gov’s website has a “friendly” breakdown of how to tell if your dog is a banned breed. You can click here for the whole read-through.

Under Denver’s Ordinance Sec. 8-55, pit bull breeds (American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, or Staffordshire Bull Terrier) are banned in the City and County of Denver.
Pit bull type dogs are defined as any dog displaying the majority of physical traits of any one or more of the above breeds, or any dog exhibiting those distinguishing (physical) characteristics, which substantially conform to the standards established by American Kennel Club or United Kennel Club.

If your dog is impounded by Denver Animal Protection as an illegal pit bull, American Pit Bull Terrier, Staffordshire terrier or Staffordshire bull terrier, it will be brought to the Denver Animal Shelter for an official breed evaluation.

So, wait… let me get this straight, Denver identifies a “pit bull” as APBT, Am Staff and Staffie, got it. But, it could be any combination of breeds that includes those breeds, OR shares the same physical characteristics as those breeds, then it is considered a “pit bull”? And who decides? How do they decide? If you read the website it tells you that 3 Animal Protection Officers will visually identify the breed(s) within your dog. No DNA, no behavioral analysis, just 3 folks looking at the dog with a checklist of characteristics comparing it to a picture of an APBT, an Am Staff and a Staffie. So… we still don’t know what a “pit bull” is. Maybe Miami has a better definition. Lets see. Here is the Miami-Dade Pit Bull Law.

It is illegal in Miami-Dade County to own or keep American Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, or any other dog that substantially conforms to any of these breeds’ characteristics. For more information, view the Miami-Dade County ordinance, Chapter 5, Sec. 5-17.

There is a $500 fine for acquiring or keeping a pit bull dog and court action to force the removal of the animal from Miami-Dade County.

They include this handy little reference guide for the breed standards of each of the above listed breeds. UKC standards referenced from 1978. And if your dog conforms by visual identification to 51% or more of the UKC breed standard, then your dog is a “pit bull”.

Ok, so what do these breeds look like? I’m kind of a visual person, so I like to have a visual reference for things. Lets focus on the 3 breeds that everyone has mentioned so far. American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier and Staffordshire Bull Terrier.

American Pit Bull Terrier

American Pit Bull Terrier

UKC Breed Standard:

General Appearance

The American Pit Bull Terrier is a medium-sized, solidly built, short-coated dog with smooth, well-defined musculature. This breed is both powerful and athletic. The body is just slightly longer than tall, but bitches may be somewhat longer in body than dogs. The length of the front leg (measured from point of elbow to the ground) is approximately equal to one-half of the dog’s height at the withers.

The head is of medium length, with a broad, flat skull, and a wide, deep muzzle. Ears are small to medium in size, high set, and may be natural or cropped.

The relatively short tail is set low, thick at the base and tapers to a point.

The American Pit Bull Terrier comes in all colors and color patterns except merle. This breed combines strength and athleticism with grace and agility and should never appear bulky or muscle-bound or fine-boned and rangy.

 

American Staffordshire Terrier

American Staffordshire Terrier

AKC Breed Standard:

General Impression: The American Staffordshire Terrier should give the impression of greatstrength for his size, a well put-together dog, muscular, but agile and graceful, keenly alive to hissurroundings. He should be stocky, not long-legged or racy in outline. His courage is proverbial.Head: Medium length, deep through, broad skull, very pronounced cheek muscles, distinct stop;and ears are set high. Ears – Cropped or uncropped, the latter preferred. Uncropped ears shouldbe short and held rose or half prick. Full drop to be penalized. Eyes – Dark and round, low downin skull and set far apart. No pink eyelids. Muzzle- Medium length, rounded on upper side to fallaway abruptly below eyes. Jaws well defined. Underjaw to be strong and have biting power. Lipsclose and even, no looseness. Upper teeth to meet tightly outside lower teeth in front. Nose definitely black

Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Staffordshire Bull Terrier

AKC Breed Standard

At 14 to 16 inches at the shoulder Staffordshire Bull Terriers don’t stand particularly tall. But we classify them as medium-sized because, weighing anywhere between 24 to 38 pounds, Staffordshire Bull Terriers pour a gallon of dog into a quart-size container. These are rock-solid, muscular dogs renowned for their strength and agile movement. The head is short and broad, with pronounced cheek muscles, and the tight-fitting coat can be one of several colors along with white. Staffordshire Bull Terriers are smaller than their Colonial cousin, the American Staffordshire Terrier.

 

So, we are looking at a medium sized dog, 25-65lb(ish) with a square head and jaw, short hair coat, muscular build, long tail that tapers to a point, big cheeks and no underbite… well, heck; that could be a number of breed combinations. I wonder what would happen if you crossed a Frenchie with a Boxer. Ooh, what about a Bull Terrier with a Lab?! What about an American Bulldog and… just about anything? Well, chances are good you will end up with a dog that carries a number of the same characteristics of the dogs above with absolutely no “pit bull” in them at all.

Is your head spinning yet? It kind of should be. There is no breed called a Pit Bull. There is no standard definition for the catch all term “pit bull”. There is a rather large size variety in the accepted breeds included in the “pit bull” term.

This is the reason that I get a little touchy when people look at a dog and say things like, “Oh, is he pure Pit?” the first thing I want to ask them is, what is YOUR definition of “pit”? Cause Lord knows the world can’t seem to agree on what that is.

Next time, we’ll focus on “Bully Breeds” and how they differ from “Pit Bulls”. uff-da.

Ponderings of the Crazy Dog Lady

Its been awhile since I have blogged for the Pittie Committee, and partly because I haven’t had that “light bulb moment” as far as what is great topic to write about. Believe me, my brain is always going 90 miles a minute, we have big plans and awesome things happening in the background. But, what about the blog? I apologize because it has been lacking!

 

In many of my interactions the last few months, I have noticed some things; People always know my dog better than I do. Dog folks are a friendly bunch who typically don’t have the kind of personal boundaries that “cat people” do or people without pets. My mother pointed out recently, my animals amuse me to no end. (and truly, they amuse me quite easily.) Non-pet people find that odd. I find that the best part of my day, every day.

 

Let’s talk about these 1 at a time. “People always know my dog better than I do.” You can tell there is sarcasm dripping from that statement, right? In a recent interaction while I was at PetCo, an ECPC member and a recent rescue she adopted were there to start training classes together. A young girl asked her dad if he would put her down as she wiggled to get to the floor to come pet the beautiful doggie. Dog and Dog Mom were both a little nervous as the little person bounced and moved toward the cautious dog. Mom had the dog’s leash firmly in her hand while the Jessica (ECPC board member and dog trainer at PetCo) and I stood there observing. The adorable little person did exactly what most people do and she went over the top of the weary dog and started patting and petting her on top of her head. Jessica and I breathed a heavy sigh and Jessica instructed her to pet the doggie on her shoulder or her chest because she didn’t much like being pet on the top of the head. At this point the dog, being a super fantastic dog, and tolerating a position she both wanted to be in to get the attention, and really didn’t want to be in because it made her uncomfortable, tolerated this little person so well. Although she was nervous and took a slightly cautious body posture, Jessica moved in to ensure proper interactions with little person and dog. To which the little person’s father commented “wow, if you can’t pet her on the head, she must be a really skittish dog.” Jessica and I both tried to explain that the action of coming over the top of the dog, who doesn’t know you and isn’t comfortable with you, can be incredibly unnerving for the dog. Some dogs just don’t like when people come over the top of them. To which he responded, as many people do, explaining how many dogs he’s had in his life and how he’s never been around a dog that doesn’t like to be touched that way, and there must be something wrong with the dog in front of us if she doesn’t like that. I tried to engage with him while Jessica engaged with the dog and the child on the floor. Mom had a good hold of the leash and was ready to leave the situation if it escalated for any reason. Jessica had to remind the little person a few times to not go over the dog’s head and to pet her on her side or chest. Meanwhile, he told us about how he can’t afford a dog because people charge too much for just a puppy. As usual, we were in full “teachy” mode. We discussed spaying and/or neutering. To which he wrinkled his nose and said that he didn’t think that was necessary. We discussed proper nutrition and vaccinations. He said that he can do all of the necessary vaccines so he doesn’t need a vet. I reminded him of Rabies, which by law has to be administered by a vet in our state, to which he replied that PetCo does the vaccination clinics periodically so the vet could do that one for cheap. All the while Little Person is interacting with the dog, and really being a pretty darn good little person. And the dog is being a super fantastic dog, but kids and dogs should always be actively supervised.

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When I say “people know my dog better than I do” in this instance it wasn’t my dog, but this guy had all the answers. He’s been around a LOT of dogs, he has had (insert ridiculous # of dogs here) in his lifetime and he knows that dogs like to be pet that way and all dogs like children so there must be something “wrong” with this dog if she was “skittish”. Jessica finally used the “well, she’s a rescue” line. To which he went “Oh, so she was treated pretty badly, then.” *facepalm* nope, not necessarily. We don’t know that. But, if that’s what it takes to keep people from invading your dog’s space… then use it (but please also educate. Rescue doesn’t mean abused, broken, aggressive, etc.). Also, equally acceptable by most people is “we’re training right now, I need him/her to focus, it’s not a good time. Thank you, though”. People tend to be more respectful of our bubbles sometimes than our pet’s bubbles, and occasionally I will pull my dog into my bubble. I mean… WAY in to my bubble. I have been known to put my dog in a down and then stand with them in between my feet, or have them sit or lay as close to me as they can get. It’s just easier to protect their bubble that way.

How not to pet a dog

I also love it when people look at my dog(s) and tell me what their personality(ies) must be like. Not that long ago, a co-worker said to me, (in reference to being around her dog, who she states is very territorial and (I am quoting here) “quite vicious” about people being in her yard) “But you have pit bulls so you will totally be ok.” As in, I have pit bulls so my dogs must be vicious and need to be pulled apart? I am somehow immune to aggressive dogs? My dogs want to disembowel the mailman? My dogs try to tear apart the fence when someone comes over? I have to muzzle them and separate them from people and other dogs? No. Just No. To all of the above. I put my dogs away when company comes over because they get too excited when they are in a pack and there are new people. They lose their ability to have impulse control in a group. They jump, they lick, they compete for attention. Most people don’t appreciate 375# of dog and 16 legs, 4 noses, 8 eyes, 8 ears, 4 tongues all up in their personal space. I don’t put them away because I can’t trust them to be “nice” around company. I just get that most don’t appreciate them in the same way I do. And, honestly, most don’t read them in the same way or exhibit the same type of energy and body language with them that I do. They are, after all, my dogs (even the one who isn’t). I should be able to read them better than most. I know that she didn’t necessarily mean anything derogatory by her comment. She said it as a reflex, without thinking of the implications behind the words. So many people do. With the portrayal of Pit Bulls in media, movies, TV shows, magazines, etc., the general public says things like “you’ve been around pit bulls, so you know (*implication of vicious or aggressive dog tendencies)” or “It’s all how they’re raised. If you raise them right, any dog is a good dog” (I don’t completely disagree with that statement, but if that were the complete truth, dogs that have aged, are sick, have had transitions in their lives, have had to be rehomed, etc. would never, ever bite… because they were raised “right”. Also, if that were the case, any dog that was mistreated at any point during their lives and especially between puppyhood and 5 years old would never be able to be trusted as a solid pack member or family member. It’s just not truth.)

My Face when

My face when someone makes the kind of statements above.

For those of us who hear those things regularly, they grate at us. We know that no matter our dogs’ backgrounds we have a pretty darn good idea of what they are like, and hopefully we all understand that ALL animals with teeth and a heartbeat are capable of biting under certain circumstances. It’s a matter of being able to read my dogs, understand their personalities, not put them in a position where I set them up to fail, and remove them from uncomfortable situations before they feel the need to take control of a situation themselves. I have made a promise to my dogs with my expectations of them; “I will handle it. Period. Non-negotiable. When I tell you to back down, you back down. When I say I will take care of you and of the situation, I mean I will take care of you and the situation.” Sometimes there are sneaky moments where one of my dogs in particular thinks he is in charge and tries to act that way, even with me. Seriously, have you ever had a dog “talk back” to you? Tell him to do something and have him take 2 steps back and “woof” at you in defiance? It’s like a 2-year-old calling you a dirty name and telling you no! Its infuriating. (and hilarious all at the same time.) Now, you have to keep a straight face and follow through with your expectation of them or they, like a 2-year-old, figure out really quick that the defiance got them what they wanted. And I don’t know about you, but I don’t want that snowball rolling downhill.  I have 2 dogs with big toothy smiles, strong jaws, muscular builds and square heads. The kind people run away from and I will never truly understand why. They are already “judged” before they act (even by people who don’t necessarily have a negative view of pit bulls), I don’t need them proving ANY of that perception true. They need to be little, furry gentlemen. I intend to see to it that they are to the best of my Dog Mom ability.

trying not to laugh

When your dog “talks back” and you’re trying not to laugh…

Have you ever noticed that “cat people” have a tendency to be more aware of other people’s personal space (and other animals’ personal space) whereas, dog people are inclined to sometimes be a little bit more of the “close talker” on occasion? This is something we have to address regularly at pack walks. Cat people seem to know that people don’t always want to share their space, but dog people with excited or overly friendly dogs can sometimes be oblivious to the fact that not everyone wants to share space, including other dogs. Picture if you will… a dog who is a little uncomfortable with the surroundings. This might be his first pack walk, he might not be socialized, she may be a rescue with a traumatic background that no one knows anything about. He might just be a dog who prefers his own company to the company of other dogs. Along comes Suzy being drug down the trail by Bounder the “close talker” who is SOOO FREAKING HAPPY to see new friends! “Strangers are just a friend I haven’t met yet!! Hi! Who are you? Are you new here? Is that your mom? Do you like to drink from the toilet? I think it’s awesome! Do you know those guys over there? They look AWESOME! Hi I’m Bounder. That’s what my mom calls me when she’s not calling me ‘No!’ or ‘Handsome’ or ‘Dammit Dog’. I don’t know what those mean but I think they’re my name, too. Do you like car rides? I think the car is the best! I run from window to window and bark at the wind. It’s the best! Hi! Hi! Hi. Hello. Hello. Hello. Look at all these peoples here. Do you think they all carry treats and poop bags like my mom? My mom’s the best. Have you met my mom? This is my mom…” Meanwhile, not so happy dog may not be amused by the antics of Super happy dog. “Hi, I’m Spot. Yes, I’m new here. (looks away in an attempt to get through to happy dog that he is not interested in a conversation. But happy dog is having NONE of it. So, he continues his overly-excited antics) Ugh, no the toilet is gross, dude. Mom… psst, Mom… can you make him go away (moves to Mom’s other side) ugh, dude… I just wanna be alone, ok? Mom… really? (mom takes 2 steps past Bounder’s leash boundary) sigh, thanks mom. Can we go now? I don’t want new friends. That’s way too much work if they’re all like that.” As a friend said to me recently, “that one came from the factory defective”. His point being, dogs are living creatures, when they don’t react the way others expect them to we are reminded that they are not “pre-programmed” to behave a certain way. We can’t buy a dog knowing what we are getting like we can with machines. Dogs, much like kids, have their very own little (sometimes not so little) personalities. We have to respect that, we have to acknowledge that “one size does not fit all” when considering things like training, socialization, appropriate interactions and supervisions. Every dog is different.

Personal bubble

IMG_5795.JPG

Mr. “No Personal Bubble” Loves to have his belly rubbed.

This is so incredibly important in ensuring appropriate and safe interactions between dogs (and people). I equate dogs to perpetual toddlers in most cases. “Where are you?” “you’re too quiet.” “What are you in to?” “no, you can’t go to the neighbors and help yourself to the burgers on the BBQ. Not appropriate.” “GET OUT OF THERE!” “Down.” “leave your brother alone!” “Why are you digging?” “What is in your mouth?! SPIT IT OUT!” (Come on now, people with kids… you know this sounds familiar, and people with kids and dogs, am I too far off the mark here?) In my assessment of perpetual toddlerhood for our dogs, that means a doggie lifetime of toddler-appropriate supervision. Uff-da. That sounds exhausting. Well, it can be. Which is why it’s so important to reinforce the good behaviors. Teach appropriate boundaries (for people and other dogs as well as property and leash).

 

With personal boundaries, all my dogs have different ideas. Trace is pretty good about maintaining his own bubble. He sits and waits. He reads other dogs pretty well. He isn’t overly eager to charge into another dog’s personal space, and although he doesn’t particularly LOVE dogs pushing their way into his personal bubble, he pretty well rolls with the punches. His body language is always sending mixed messages, so I am always cautious of his interactions in the beginning. He meets a new dog and almost immediately, it looks like this: Hackles up, tail soft and wagging (like crazy usually), back legs stiff and straight, front legs half play bow, ears up, nose sniffing like crazy and he has even been known to be licking his new friends. I’ve always told him he’s socially awkward and doesn’t send out the right signals to new friends. Hackles up, stiff legged is a bit off-putting sometimes. He’s so weird, but He’s never not met a “friend” that way. Then, there’s Target. He LAYS DOWN The boundary from the get go. “This is my mom. This is my brother. This is my fence, my yard, my leash and my circle. Everything I can reach is mine. If I let you in, it’s because I like you and you’ve passed the friend test. We can go to my yard after our walk. I will teach you how I catch bees, and how to ‘man-up’ when they sting you. I’ll teach you the secret paw shake later where no one can see us.” Target is my heart dog. Seriously, everything about this dog speaks straight to my heart. He is sensitive, and protective, and he knows me. But, I know him too and he has a bubble. One that not every dog or dog handler respects. When Mr. Protector is on the clock, I have to constantly keep him in check and remove him from overly social dogs or people who are oblivious to his body language, subtle and not so subtle. Because of those things, I don’t take him places as often as I would like to, or as he would like to. Its not because he is a bad dog, or uncontrollable. Quite the opposite. I choose to set my dogs up to succeed, so he doesn’t go to the dog park where I can’t control the interactions and especially the introductions. We don’t go off-leash in places where there may be other off-leash dogs. Controlling what I can about the situation allows me to create boundaries, both psychologically and physically. Its allows us all to remain as safe as possible (or at least as much as we can control and prepare for.

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like peas and carrots, but different as night and day

 

If you are anything like me, these faces bring the happy to your every day. I know they do to mine. Even on the days they frustrate me, make me question my sanity, and the amount of dog hair the vacuum can contain, they make me laugh, like down to my toes laugh. I am either easily amused, or dogs are really just that awesome.

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I’m going to land on, “Dogs are really just that awesome.” And it seems there is something especially charming about a block head, a big smile and a goofy attitude. Burley has had a rough go of the last year, long story, but he has been a bit insecure. A little shy of men who look a certain way, and just sure that he needs to be touching me at all times. I forgot how carefree he used to be, until he wasn’t anymore. My goofy dog had suddenly become all business, and I didn’t notice, because I was all business most of the time too. We had to recreate boundaries around the house. He needed reassurance and consistency. He needed to know he didn’t get to push boundaries, and that life would all still be ok. When he started rolling in the grass again, throwing his own ball for himself again, finding his 5 foot vertical “hop” at the front door, cocking his head to the side, tongue hanging out around his giant tennis ball again… I realized I forgot how much fun this dog was. How much he made me laugh. How much he made me enjoy things, the little things. I started to watch my other boys, Target- The Fierce Hornet Slayer makes me laugh with his antics. Chasing bees with complete and total disregard to the fact that he looks like a goober. Trace is shameless. He steals the chair the second I move from it, promptly spreads out as much as he can and wills me to find a different seat. The back scratches in the grass. Trace’s need to have a “Throne” atop the outdoor table on the deck. Smiles, tail wags, hugs; it all makes my day. Some might say I need more time with humans vs dogs, but I disagree. My dogs keep me grounded. They remind me to enjoy the little things. They are a fabulous example of why life is good, no matter what. They keep me silly, they keep me sane, they keep me smiling.

 

2017 ECPC Art Auction!

It is the first part of June, the 3rd Annual Art Auction is in the books. We have so many people to thank and so many reasons to be grateful. The feel to the art auction this year was a bit more polished than it has been in the past and we were so thrilled to watch it come together. We have the most amazing support in our community and our volunteers and sponsors are always there for us in the best ways!

Our board member, Rikki put her love of flowers, her arranging experience and her great eye to good work and took on the centerpieces for this year’s event. The flowers were spectacular and Rikki’s touches really made the place feel like spring and added a real touch of class.

Several weeks ago, Kristen of Blue Sapphire Photography took photos of several ECPC dogs and we were able to show off some local pitties and highlight Kristen’s work at the same time!

We had fantastic food from Penny’s Gourmet to Go, Jimmy John’s, Clark and Louie’s and Terryiaki Kitchen and beer from The Front Brewery. As usual, the Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art was beyond accommodating and worked with us every step of the way to help create the event we were working toward. Tables, chairs, linens, set up, tear down, audio/visual hooked up and even help promoting our event with their social media posts.

We had amazing volunteers who were there to help with every step of the process. Planning, preparation, set up and every minute during the auction. We are so, so, so appreciative of the folks who come to support us, and help us pull these kinds of things off! Stacy, Karen, Joe, Stasi, Sarah, Autumn, Bobbi, Koree, Tim, Darcy, Britt and everyone else who popped in on us, helped clean up, helped set up, hung up posters, gathered up donations, manned a table, took a payment, folded a shirt or straightened a table… we so appreciate you all!

We had amazing art donated by some really amazing Artists! Chaz Pahach, Courtney Geary, Loreen Skinner, Stacy Hill… just to name a few. Without you guys and your amazing generosity, we wouldn’t have an event to host every year!

 

About 5 years ago, the art auction idea was born of a common vision with Ashley, Erin and Crystal. We all had a vision of promoting pit bull type dogs in a positive light through a medium that spoke to all people. Every piece of art may not be for every person, but every person loves some piece of art! We have been so grateful to have watched this event blossom each year.

If you missed the event, we certainly hope that you will join us next year! Thank you so much to all of you who showed up! We look forward to seeing you all at our upcoming events. Watch our facebook page for events, updates and information.

Photography Courtesy of Autumn June Photography

Photos from Electric City Pittie Committee Facebook of featured art

Photos of Electric City Pitties by Blue Sapphire Photography

Puppy Mills- Why should you care?

pup·py mill

noun

derogatory
noun: puppy mill; plural noun: puppy mills; noun: puppy farm; plural noun: puppy farms
an establishment that breeds puppies for sale, typically on an intensive basis and in conditions regarded as inhumane.
(www.google.com)
puppy-mill-kennels
Currently, in our state (Montana), we have ZERO laws against puppy mills. Meaning, unless the animals are neglected or abused (grossly), the law has no recourse to shutting down the operations. In a puppy mill situation you can house a number of breeding dogs and if you call yourself a “breeder” and pretend to know things that other people might not know, you can snowball a lot of folks. Which means, you can make some pretty good money in a pretty short period of time. If average gestation is around 65 days and you move the puppies along at 6 weeks instead of at a more appropriate 10 – 12 weeks, that means a pretty consistent cash flow every 4 months or so. If you have breeding dogs having litters every few weeks, you can certainly make that every few month income happen every few weeks as puppies become weened. At least that is the theory. And it sounds pretty appealing to some people. Who doesn’t love puppy noises and puppy breath and clumsy puppy feet?!
 cute-frenchie-puppy
When proper veterinary care starts cutting in to the amount of money a person can make from selling puppies, we start to see folks think they can handle their own veterinary care at home. Worms treated with home remedies, cleft pallets untreated, puppies un-vaccinated or vaccinated incorrectly or too young. Poor Nutrition and inadequate prenatal care. Truly, by the time puppies are born, there is a whole series of appropriate veterinary care that hasn’t been addressed. Was mom receiving appropriate nutrition? Were X-rays or ultra sounds done so that there was a way to anticipate how many puppies should be arriving? (That way, if one doesn’t, it isn’t too late before you start wondering why mom isn’t eating well.) Were tests done to ensure certain breed-specific genetic abnormalities wouldn’t be passed along to the puppies? These are things that reputable breeders do before breeding. Reputable breeders maintain certain standards of medical care, prenatal care and puppy care. Living conditions are commendable and the animals receive stimulation, affection and attention. (Like this little momma below.)
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Now, I am going to step out of the current tone of this post and insert a little of my personal thoughts about breeding:
STOP IT! JUST STOP IT!
There are so many people out there who don’t give two shakes what their dog does or how many litters the dog has. There are so many people out there who don’t spay, neuter or contain their animals and then discard them when they are pregnant. There are so many people out there who don’t consider the true impact of bringing a pet into their home and the cost and time it takes to care for a pet. Companion animals die in the MILLIONS every year because people aren’t considering the animals beyond whether or not they can bring in some cash. These are animals that we have domesticated and we have changed their basic animal brains to crave human attention and many breeds are wired to want to work for their people. What kind of a cruel hoax is it that we allow them to be mistreated by people? That we create creatures of affection and companionship and then allow them to be denied the very things we have created them for? The average person has ZERO business breeding animals. Children can witness the miracle of birth another way. Watch a you tube video or contact your local vet. If they have things like a c-section they may even allow you to be present to watch.
Some of you may be reading this and find yourselves very offended. “Who does she think she is?! I can do whatever I want, my animal is my property.” You’re right. The current lack of law says you’re right. But being legally right doesn’t always equal being morally right.
Here is “who I think I am”… I started working in veterinary clinics when I was in high school. I started out as kennel staff. I worked for a little over 2 years at my first clinic. I then worked at the WSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital. I worked at a clinic in Northern Idaho. Then I went back to school to get my degree as a Veterinary Technician. I worked through school in a Veterinary Clinic. We worked very closely with our local shelter and area rescues. I got one of my own dogs from a “dumped” momma who the family didn’t want to “deal with.” So the local shelter and a wonderful foster got to deal with her and 11 puppies. That is a lot of money and resources handed out because someone allowed a litter they never wanted in the first place. I got involved in rescue and transports. I began networking with people who scoop up and care for the animals that the rest of the world throws away. I worked for veterinarians who have developed amazing relationships with rescues and shelters and who donate time, medications, materials and expertise to keep these animals happy and healthy, because their previous people didn’t care enough to do that themselves. I have been in veterinary clinics and most recently rescue and advocacy for the better part of 20 years, now. I am not nearly as knowledgeable as some, and yet, have more experience than most. I beg of you… STOP BREEDING! Every time you watch a dog in a rescue end up euthanized because their previous people have failed them and they have been starved, fought, attacked by other dogs or wildlife. Because they were dumped on the side of a road, tossed out of a moving vehicle, kept on a chain and have become so reactive they are no longer able to function as a rational being. Because they were never spayed and have become septic, because 8 litters later they have a closed pyometra and their people aren’t willing to pay for the surgery. Because they have mastitis and they become septic because their people aren’t willing to bring them in for treatment. When the puppies become ill from nursing and the whole family fails to thrive or even dies. Every time you watch a situation like this play out in front of you, day after day after day, you become acutely aware of the fact that very few people are truly equipped to breed appropriately. You become aware that people don’t like the uncomfortable reality of pet overpopulation, so they just don’t think about it while creating more little lives that will most likely see the inside of shelter and/or rescue group at some point in their lives if they survive that far. So… I have more than a little experience on the “dark side” of breeding. And it is certainly not the minority. These are the every day truths from the inside of a veterinary clinic and the inside of rescue. Choosing to believe that they don’t happen doesn’t change the every day reality that they do. Backyard breeders, less than reputable breeders, and those who breed with the intent to make money through their animals feed this chain of tragedy.
sad-puppy
Not every “puppy mill” looks like a scene from a horror movie. Sometimes, they are cleaner than we might imagine, but are still breeding on a production scale. Even these operations, in my opinion, need to brought to a halt. I know what you’re thinking, “If no one has puppies on purpose, there won’t be any puppies and dogs will become extinct.” No. Seriously… No. I ADORE dogs, I would never want to see dogs cease to exist. What I do want to see is fewer dying  and suffering greatly because we as humans can’t be responsible stewards of these amazing creatures. I don’t even advocate for abolishing “pure bred dogs” (I put quotes around that for a reason… Pom Chis and Doberhuahuas are not pure bred dogs.)

These photos aren’t *too* horrible, right? There aren’t piles of feces, the animals look reasonably well cared for. Do you think these animals are truly getting the socialization and structure they need to be well rounded furry kids? What about exercise? Are they getting enough exercise to have healthy bone structure and muscles? What about their cardiovascular health? Are they stressed because they are frustrated? What about their GI health? Are they getting regular veterinary care? Do they get individual attention, basic leash training, a walk or learn to be a part of a family? Chances are good that the answer to these things is “no”.

What about these kids? We know the answer is no to the same questions, just based on the fact that they may never ever leave their tiny cages.

Join us along with the Humane Society of The United States- Montana and the Humane Society of Western Montana Legislative and Advocacy Committee on Saturday, October 22 to discuss a proposed bill regarding ending puppy mills in Montana. We will be meeting at 1 pm at Great Falls College MSU in room B101 to learn how we can help influence change in our state laws. Get the details of the proposed legislation and have your questions answered. How can you help? Watch our Facebook event for more details.

September Meeting Notes

Happy September to all! Where did our summer go!? It ran away from us far too quickly. Now that the evenings are coming sooner and the air is getting crisp, we are planning for the fall and even into next year.

 

September meeting was kind of a long one, we had so much to talk about!

Last pack walk of the year and Pit Bull Awareness Month kick off
October 1, 2016
Elks Riverside Park
2PM
Wear your ECPC gear if you have it, and join us for a great afternoon of socialization!
*Pack walks are not just for pibbles and their people- we welcome all dogs. And most people. If you want to join us but don’t have a dog to walk, touch base with us, maybe someone needs a hand walking one of their dogs, we can connect you! You don’t even have to have a dog to join us!*

National Pit Bull Awareness Month

 

National Pit Bull Awareness Month Movie
This year we are opting to show “The Champions” Documentary again.
Champions Poster- Web
For those of you who came to the theater in March to see it when we were able to be a part of the select screenings on the Big Screen, you know what a wonderful, positive, uplifting story this is. We want to share this movie with the community again. It is definitely worth a second watch! If you’ve seen it before, round up some friends and join us again!
Location: We are hoping to be back at the Paris Gibson Square Museum for movie night. We will keep you updated as we lock in our location!
Friday, October 21, 2016 7pm
Empty movie theatre

 

 

 

We have been brainstorming some ideas to help you all see our posts on social media better, we will keep working on this. Facebook tends to limit what we all see based on how we use our facebook “Likes”, comments and followings. We want to make sure we can get information to you all appropriately and not have to rely just on Facebook to get it out there. If you are reading our blog, please subscribe so that we can notify you of our updates via email!

 

Our 501(c)3 application process is well underway. And our goal is to be completely filed and registered by the end of 2016. We are very close and this is a very exciting step for us!

deadline

 

Volunteering- We need YOU!
Volunteers needed

As active as we are, we have realized that the ECPC needs to be a better volunteer resource for our community. Are you interested in Volunteering? We want to put together an ECPC volunteer group who would be willing to do things like volunteer at local spay/neuter clinics, help out at the shelter, work with local and state organizations who might need some help effecting positive change in legislation, just to name a few that came to us right away. We are asking to put together a roster of folks that are interested. If that’s you… please let us know!

Our current need is a few volunteers from the Pittie Committee folks to help out on Thursday, October 6 with the Humane Society’s Cat and Kitten spay and neuter clinic. Please contact us!

 

 

 

Do you have a Gentleman in your life? Need a birthday gift or a Christmas Gift? Click above to get yours  here! We can ship if you’re not local, we don’t mind.

Show your love for your pittie with our limited edition tanks. These are so cute and are great for every day. The gym, the office and the grocery store all seem a little more fun with this simple printed tank. Click the pictures to get yours here. Again, we can ship if you’re not local.

 

Put this on your calendar

Don’t forget, each month, we have a monthly meeting to plan and discuss upcoming events and the direction of the Electric City Pittie Committee. We want to hear from you, work with you and get to know you. So mark your calendars and watch our Facebook page for any changes to our meeting times. Unless otherwise specified, currently our meetings are held on the first Thursday of each month at 6:30 pm in the coffee shop at Barnes and Noble.

 

It is almost time to start thinking about the Art Auction again! (How is that even possible?!) Do you know anyone who is looking for a way to expose their artwork and would be interested in participating? Send them our direction!

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We appreciate your feedback and your ideas. Please feel free to comment, email or come to meetings with ideas. We want to hear from you!

 

The ECPC marches onward!

Over the last several months the ECPC has been toiling over our 501 (c) 3 application and the processes involved in getting a tax-exempt status that will open doors to us for so many additional opportunities. I’m not even going to pretend that this is a fun process.

501

Jeremy finally took over the application process because my eyes start crossing after staring at the documents for hours. “Have you ever, will you ever or do you ever plan to: _____?” heck! I don’t know!  We haven’t purchased any property for the ECPC yet, one day we might like to, but currently we don’t have any solid plans to (yet). How does one answer all of these “have you ever, will you ever, have you considered, do you think one day you might want to leave this door open for your organization?” questions and keep our options open for growth in a way we hope we haven’t begun to realize yet? Well, you over-analyze and drive yourself crazy, that’s what you do. You beg help of any of your family or friends who have gone through the process before and you become more grateful for someone who has done 7 of these than you ever thought was possible. At first glance the application and required documentation is overwhelming, but bite by bite, document by document, signature line by signature line, things start to come together. Our biggest goal this year was to file our 501 (c)3 application and “legitimize” the ECPC. We are well on track to meet that goal this year with the dedication of our board. I am not even going to pretend that 4 years ago when I first put a logo on a banner and showed up at the Animal Foundation’s Strut Your Mutt in 2012 that the ECPC would ever be here. I was one person on a mission to give others like me information to help them stand up to prejudice. Little did I know that there were others out there ready to join the crusade and help move my vision forward. I am not going to say that I don’t have big dreams for the ECPC, I have HUGE dreams for the ECPC and I feel like we are moving along slowly, growing with each other and learning how to operate as best we can within the confines of our small budget, our large dreams, and our time limitations.

I feel like 2016 just started! Harriet showed up in January and has been a big part of our year. The Champions Movie in cooperation with Best Friends Animal Society and The Humane Society of Cascade County began its march in February and hit the screen in March. The Art Auction was a huge success this year and we were so humbled by the donations, the time and effort everyone put in to helping us pull that off again this year.  The Legislative discussion regarding 2017 session Anti-dog fighting language was in June, although we didn’t have a packed house, we had a really insightful evening and we are so grateful to the Humane Society of Western Montana for coming to Great Falls to give us the opportunity to effect change. Pack Walks have been great this year! We are really enjoying seeing new faces at each and every walk this year! We still have a few months left in 2016 and we have some things coming up that we really hope you’ll share in with us! October is Pit Bull Awareness month, and we intend to start the Month off on October 1 with a pack walk. Please mark your calendars and watch for specifics!

National Pit Bull Awareness Month

Don’t forget this week is meeting week as well. For those that want to join the Board for our monthly meeting, we will meet on Thursday, September 1 at Barnes and Noble in the coffee shop at 6:30. Come meet the board, come have some input in where we go next and what is on the agenda for this fall, winter and even into next year.

 

meeting day

 

Don’t forget to order your tees and tanks!

 

 

August meeting notes

Hey all! Sorry I am a week behind!

Monthly meeting August 4 6:30 pm at Barnes and Noble

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We revealed our new Men’s t-shirts and women’s tank tops. Keep watching the site for your option to buy! They are must-haves! We are in love!

 

National Pit Bull Awareness Month.jpg

Did you know that October is national Pit Bull Awareness Month? We intend to be doing a little something throughout the month.
Mark your calendars for Saturday October First. We will be having a big pack walk that day. Stay tuned for more details!

We are looking into some “must have” ECPC gear and we will let you know when we find the best possible ECPC stuff!

August 20

It is August, and school is almost back in session… That doesn’t mean we can’t get in an August Pack walk! Mark your calendars for Saturday the 20th at 7pm. We will meet down at Elks Riverside Park again near the parking lot by the skate park and the girl scout house. 🙂 We will do the Gibson Park Trail Loop again. We can’t wait to see everyone there!

Gibson Park