BENEFITING: ANGEL CITY PIT BULLS
ORGANIZER: ANGEL CITY PIT BULLS
EVENT: 2015 LA Marathon
EVENT DATE: Mar 15, 2015
In 2006, I met Duval, an American Staffordshire Terrier, known to many as a "pit bull." He was originally a petsitting client of mine. The first time he came over to spend the weekend, my husband, who had not met him, expressed concern about having a strange pit bull in our home. "What if he hurts Alex?" (our other dog at the time). I assured him all would be fine. On day one, I stepped out to run an errand, and came home to find Will napping on the couch with Duval's head on his chest. When Duval went home he asked "does he have to go?" We were hooked on the breed. Within a few months we discovered that his owner could no longer keep him, and we adopted him without hesitation. However, we did not take our decision lightly. We read everything we could. We occasionally went to the dog park so both dogs could run off leash, and we spent the entire time following him around and worrying. It became pretty clear that Duval was completely bombproof.
In our 8 years with him, I've never even seen this dog growl or curl his lip. If he is bothered by something, which is rare, he simply walks away. Or lets out one single bark which seems to communicate to other dogs that they better "act right." He loves being around people and especially kids. He is a Canine Good Citizen and Therapy Dog. His specialty is reading education assistance. He travels to schools and meets with kids who need a little extra encouragement, and they read to him. There are times when close to 20 kids are crowding around him and I can't even see him....an extremely stressful situation with most dogs. Duval just stands still and takes it all in.
In 2010, I met the wonderful ladies who started Angel City Pit Bulls while handling my foster dog Roo at adoption events. To me, Roo doesn't feel like a pit bull at all- she is lanky with a skinny face and a curly tail. But t most people who see her on the street, her brindle coloring, short coat, triangular ears and athletic build suggest to them that she is a pit bull. And that is what the shelter had labeled her. And many, many dogs in the LA shelters are like her. Roo ended up staying with me because after months of working so hard to train her, I just couldn't give her up. She has been my training muse throughout the marathon training program....so far she has run up to 15 miles with me, and she doesn't even seem to get sore!
Long story short, I am running this marathon for the underdog, the many pit bull type dogs who find themselves in the shelters here in LA, in most cases, not because of anything they have done wrong, but simply because their owners can't house them. Stereotypes have made it difficult to find housing for dogs that "look" like a pit bull. Or weigh more than 20 lbs, or sometimes, just dogs in general. It is almost becoming cost prohibitive to rent as a dog owner in this city. And dogs are dying as a result. Angel City has been the savior to many of these dogs, many like Duval who have gone on to do therapy work, and many like Roo who are great athletes and go to agility classes or help their owners get exercise. Training hasn't been the easiest for me- last year I trained through plantar fasciitis, and this year both knees have been plagued with tendonitis or "runner's knee." And I have asthma, which means I spend the bulk of my long runs constantly trying to clear my airway of gunk. But I do it for the dogs, because somebody has to.
Sadly, just days after registering for the 2015 Asics LA Marathon, we made the heartbreaking decision to say goodbye to Duval. His spirit was willing but his body was just not supporting him anymore and we couldn't bear to watch every painful step. He is running free and watching over us as we train this year.
How your donation helps:
$50: The Food Sponsor: Provides a monthly supply of high protein, grain-free, premium diet and a enriching beef knuckle bone for one dog.
$100: The Spay/Neuter Sponsor: Provides a spay/neuter surgery for one dog
$200: The Basic Rescue Sponsor: Saves the life of one dog by covering the shelter rescue fee, flea-meds, deworming, a one-month supply of high-protein grain-free premium food, and supplies.
$300: The TLC Sponsor (Basic Rescue Sponsor + Vetting): All of the above plus a trip to the vet and meds for a dog with a simple shelter acquired infection.
$400: The Puppy Sponsor (TLC Package + Vaccines): All of the above provided for a new puppy plus all required vaccines.
$500: The Mange Puppy Sponsor (Puppy Sponsor + Mange Treatment until resolved): In an overcrowded shelter system, puppies with severe demodex are frequently euthanized. This treatable condition can take several months to clear. In the shelter, these dogs are rarely adopted, leaving rescue as an only option for survival.
$750: The ICU Sponsor (TLC Package + Veterinary Boarding): The TLC package plus an admission to a vet hospital for a severe respiratory infection, shelter acquired pneumonia, or virus requiring isolation.
$1000: The Spay/Neuter Angel: Provides funding for 10 dogs to receive spay/neuter surgery.