The fundraiser helps the Fort Wayne Pit Bull Coalition care for dogs and place them with a new owner
Most of them are clowns. They love to be with children and play with other dogs.They are smart, easy to train and like to have a job to do, such as doing agility drills, chasing and catching a ball, or carrying things.A golden retriever or black Labrador? No. Megan Close uses all those positive attributes to describe pit bulls.The Fort Wayne Pit Bull Coalition and pit bull owners will celebrate those qualities during the fifth annual Pits in the Park event 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday in Freimann Square. Activities will include food, live music, a children’s area, a pet parade at 2:30 p.m. and more.Admission is free and also open to dogs of other breeds that are friendly to people and other dogs. Proceeds will help the coalition care for more pit bulls and place them with adopting families.”We really focus on education,” Close, the coalition’s president, said of the event.The name pit bull actually refers to a variety of bull terrier breeds, she said. In the early 1900s, the dogs were known as good family dogs because they love their family and children.In the 1990s, some people began breeding them for aggression and training them to fight, said Close, whose five dogs include two adopted pit bulls.
The dogs since have become a popular status symbol with some young people.Many people still associate the dogs with the aggressive, dog-fighting reputation, but the Fort Wayne Pit Bull Coalition has been working to educate people about the good nature and qualities of the dogs.Founded in 2010 as an information resource, the organization gradually has evolved into a full-fledged pet rescue operation, taking in pit bulls from Fort Wayne Animal Care and Control, Allen County SPCA and some other area dog rescues and preparing them for adoption.”Safety is one of our biggest concerns,” Close said. “We safety-test all of our dogs.”
Before being placed with a family or individual, all dogs suitable for adoption are spayed or neutered and receive a microchip that makes them easily identifiable if ever lost, she said. Coalition members also check out the prospective owner’s housing, existing pets and other factors, trying to determine the best match between a dog and a new owner.They placed 104 dogs last year and already have placed 130 as of Sept. 9 this year, Close said.Some of the adoptions get started when the coalition brings adoptable dogs to public locations or events, such as Pits in the Park.Marika Meeks went to one of those events at a local store with the idea she may consider adopting if it was the right dog, and only if it was the right dog. She was dealing with Stage 4 cancer at the time, and didn’t want to take on any extra stress.Minutes later, she was on the floor playing with Stella, a brown-and-white pit bull whose previous owner had abandoned her and her sister in a field.”She literally changed my life overnight,” Meeks said, adding that the loving and lovable Stella also has uplifted the spirits of her daughters, Caitie, 17, and Carly, 20, and husband, Brian.Stella now is receiving training to detect when Meeks has a low blood-sugar level, and Meeks also has begun the process to have Stella certified as a therapy dog that could cheer up nursing home or hospital patients with a visit. In addition, Stella will have her tongue working in the dog “kissing” booth Saturday at the Pits in the Park event.”We had no idea of the hole in our life she fills until she filled it,” Meeks said
Fun with dogs
WHAT: The fifth annual Pits in the Park event will include a pit bull pet parade, dog-owner costume contest, live music, food and other activities. People also can meet pit bulls available for adoption and shop for dog supplies. Proceeds benefit the Fort Wayne Pit bull Coalition, which rescues pit bulls and makes suitable dogs available for adoption by new owners.
WHEN: 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: Freimann Square, Main and Clinton streets
COST: Free admission
The nonprofit organization Nooters Club, which advocates for pet spaying/neutering and raises funds for pet rescue, will operate an online pop-up store at nootersclub.org/pitsinthepark during Pits in the Park. The store will sell the group’s humorous apparel for people and pets, with $5 from every T-shirt, $2 from every dog tank top and $1 from the price of all other items sold during the event being donated to the Fort Wayne Pit Bull Coalition’s spay and neuter fund for pets of low-income families. The online pop-up store will take PayPal and credit cards, and will ship all items on the next business day.
About the dogs
Pit bulls with an aggressive nature may be the result of a poor-quality dog breeder, said Megan Close, president of the Fort Wayne Pit Bull Coalition. Reputable breeders don’t breed aggressive dogs, microchip the dogs they sell and require buyers to sign contracts agreeing to get the dog spayed or neutered, Close said.
Published By news-sentenial.com
Forwarded By Jennifer Rice of Sugarsoil