As part of our ongoing celebration of National Animal Shelter and Rescue Appreciation week, PetMeds is profiling shelters and rescue groups across the country. Today we interview Cassie of Operation Keep A Bull, a non-profit organization dedicated to keeping pit bulls and their people together.
Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions. Tell us a little bit about your shelter.
We serve the Portland Metro area of Oregon!
How did you become involved in helping to rescue animals?
I have worked with local shelters since I was a little girl baking cookies and passing them through the kennels. My heart has always been pulled to the under-dog! (Pun intended:)
How do you feel your animal shelter differs from those in your area?
We work with the families of Pit Bull and Bully Breed dogs that are facing hardships. We try to fix the problem before they dog ends up in the shelter. We work with families that need food, spay/neuter, are dealing with behavior issues ect. One of the largest problems we face is finding landlords that will rent to a family with a bully breed dog, we help with that too.
What does National Animal Shelter Appreciation Week mean to you and your organization?
I love the extra attention the shelter animals get. I wish people would understand that our shelters are full of every breed you can think of. If you want a certain breed, I’ll find it for you from a shelter or rescue.
Do you have a favorite adoption story you would like to share?
I have included pics of Sookie to help tell her story! She was left in a yard of a busy street tied to a pole for most of her life. This sweet dog had no shelter or bed to hide from the elements. When her owners moved they left her there tied to the pole for her to die! Once another organization asked if I could help I went and got this sweet angel. She was so dirty that I thought she was brown. After a few baths she turned out to be black! She is thriving in my foster care and loves my dogs, children and husband. She dreams of finding her forever home soon!
We know the work you do is selfless and many may even say underappreciated. What do you feel is the most frustrating part of your job?
Getting people to wake up! It’s hard to get through to many people about the problems these dogs face. Since I work with Pits it can be extra difficult to break through the stereotypes.
On the other hand, what do you feel is the most rewarding part of what you do?
There is nothing better than seeing first hand a dog go from a terrible abuse or neglect situation and then watch them thrive with a little love and patience.
Is there any advice you would like to give to pet owners, or potential pet owners?
Be responsible! Pet ownership is a forever thing. I you cannot commit to taking care of your pet by giving it all of the love, training, medical, housing that it needs then please do not get a pet.
Lastly, what advice would you give to others wanting to become involved in animal rescue?
Please do! I feel like the animal community needs to band together to solve these problems. It takes a village and a lot of networking to get these dogs placed. I encourage any pet lover to jump on board, and I promise it will change your life.
Cassie, thank you so much for telling us about your rescue group, and for the important work you and Operation Keep a Bull does to help these wonderful dogs.
(Interview conducted via email)