Putting the FUN in fundraising

We cannot overstate the importance of all our volunteers, foster homes, and donors. Rescue is labour-intensive and expensive – we spend tens of thousands of dollars on vet bills alone, and that is with significant discounts and subsidies. So when our community members come forward with creative ways to gain financial support, we are thrilled and grateful.

Here is a roundup of a few current campaigns that are ongoing and offer creative ways to support the work we do:

10922561_1575982762618677_2314723720472394558_nKnits for Pits
JoAnna is a committed pit bull advocate and loving guardian to her own sweet pittie gal, Chia. She loves making fun and functional scarves (for humans!) and started a “Knits for Pits” project on Etsy, where $10 from each sale is donated to our foster dogs.

Check out Knits for Pits on Etsy or Facebook and do a little shopping! It may be spring but you never know when a cloudy day may call for a stylish scarf for a cause.

Every BarkBox delivery is like Christmas morning for your canine. This service sends a box of high-quality treats, toys, and goodies to your home. If you use the HugABull promo code of

Follow this link  or use the promo code HUG2BBX1 to receive 10% off your subscription while HugABull receives a $15 donation…and your own pup feels very lucky!

Shop for a cause! UKUSCAdoggie is a local company that specializes in high quality supplies and accessories for dogs and cats. They are currently offering a $10 discount for purchases over $70 (before taxes) and 10% of your order will come to HugABull when you use the promo code above.

Shipping is free and they will hand deliver to orders within the Greater Vancouver area. Check out their website and use the promo code ADOPT ME. Be sure to indicate in your order that you wish to support HugABull, as it will otherwise default to another rescue!

Dogsafe First Aid Course
DOGSAFE CPR_-_FUll2_blogMichelle of Dogsafe First Aid is a long-time supporter of HugABull, and about once a year she donates her time to offer a canine first aid course as a fundraiser for HugABull. These courses provide important, easy-to-understand information that may help you save the life of a pooch you care about. At the same time, a portion of your registration fee will help save the life of a shelter dog. How great is that?

The session will be held on Sunday, May 3 at Dizine Canine Training Centre. For more information or to register, contact info@hugabull.com.

Interested in starting your own project or campaign? Email HugabullFundraising@gmail.com with questions or to start brainstorming. We are always happy to collaborate on fundraising projects and help however we can. Some ideas:

- Organize an event. It can be as simple as a birthday party where cash or supply donations are collected in lieu of presents, or something public like a car wash, bottle drive, pub night, barbeque…the possibilities are endless and lots of fun.

- Have something you can sell? Whether you have an established business or wish to put your baking or DIY skills to work, this can be a fun way to collect donations and inspire people to give.

And remember – we now have our charity status so anyone wishing to make a cash donation can receive a tax receipt!

Thank you to Knits for Pits, BarkBox, UKUSCAdoggie, and Dogsafe and the many other supporters who make our work possible. We hope you’ll enjoy these great opportunities to support HugABull while getting something fantastic in return.



Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

South Point Pet Hospital provides care and compassion for all breeds

jake for web

Jake, from the 2010 seizure

Surrey’s South Point Pet Hospital has treated thousands of animals over the years, but some who have impacted the staff most, and elicited the most conversations among their other clients, have been HugABull’s foster dogs.

HugABull connected with South Point in the summer of 2010, after an SPCA cruelty seizure of over two dozen dogs, mainly pit bulls. HugABull worked with the Surrey SPCA and other rescues to assess, triage, and find foster care for all of these dogs within mere hours.

South Point volunteered to care for several of these dogs, and we had such a great experience working with them that we brought in more foster dogs…then still more…and soon they were our go-to vet! The veterinarians at South Point provide excellent care, and are flexible and accommodating to the needs of rescue, where all kinds of health problems arise and not always on a schedule that is convenient for everyone.

blog moxie

Sweet Pea, treated for mange

This group of professionals comes through for us every time, because they share our commitment to rescue work and to this breed. “We value the work that HugABull does and their dedication to helping and creating breed ambassadors,” says Manager Cathy. “In the last five years, we’ve seen over 100 HugABull dogs, and they’ve all been complete sweethearts!”

Cathy and her team have become breed ambassadors in turn. “We sometimes receive questions or comments from our other clients, telling us they are nervous of pit bulls or feel we are ‘brave’ for going up to greet them.  “For our part, we do our best to explain that the dogs aren’t born mean or aggressive, and that it’s bad owners, not bad dogs! Any breed can be aggressive; any breed can be sweet. These traits are not ingrained in any one breed.”

Pancake, now re-named Tia

And as we all know, education works. Some clients who have interacted with HugABull dogs or witness the staff with them start to understand that, all these dogs really want is attention. “We have even had some of our clients adopt them.  How life affirming is that?” says Cathy.

Although over 100 fantastic HugABull dogs come through South Point’s doors, a few of them have made a particularly strong impression. Pancake was scheduled for a routine spay but the South Point vet quickly discovered that she had a prolapsed rectum and suffered from giardia. Pancake responded well to treatment, and was successfully spayed and adopted. She is doing great in her new home and seems to have made a full recovery physically.

Sasha sweater_opt


A very sad and uncomfortable Sasha came in with dry and inflamed skin, suffering from mange and a severe flea allergy. She’d been found all alone as a stray, at just seven weeks when she should have been with her momma and littermates. With a high-quality diet and meds she made a slow but sure recovery and now has a wonderful forever home and a shiny, glossy coat!



Gracie not only had complications from a spay that required a blood transfusion, but she also had an undiagnosed nerve problem in a back leg that caused her to drag it. This not only affected her movement but caused painful sores on her foot. After treating her wounds and providing acupuncture and other treatments, her mobility and quality of life was greatly improved.  She now has a fantastic family that adores her and is happy to order braces and footwear that provide her with a great quality of life.

South Point has provided us with so much subsidized and donated vet care over the years – if we added it up it would be an impressive five-figure sum.  And what’s more, they even help us with additional fundraising! They sell our fundraising calendars, while also collecting food and supply donations for us and making us the recipient of fundraising events.


Georgia, getting cuddles and vet care

This helps us immensely, as vet bills are by far our biggest expense. By helping us maximize our resources, we can spread donations further and ultimately help more dogs. They have saved lives in so many ways.

Thank you to Cathy, Dr. Grubac and everyone else who have provided veterinary care and TLC over the last five years. We are so proud and fortunate to partner with you!

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Remembering Bronte

bronte luv u

Last night, 13-year-old Bronte was laid to rest following a six-month palliative cancer treatment. We are taking time to grieve his loss, but also to celebrate his life and the many contributions this busy little 50 pound boy made to the world.

cave bedIn many ways he was your typical family pet – he loved to sleep under the covers on the bed; he would grunt to go outside when he sensed there were sunbeams on the deck; he’d get so excited by a bully stick that he couldn’t contain himself long enough to eat it, burying them in the couch cushions for Lauren to discover later.

But in other ways, Bronte’s story stands out because he was extremely lucky to enjoy these creature comforts in the later part of his life – luckier even than your average rescue dog. Bronte came to us as a “dangerous dog”. He was impounded at a city shelter because he had been in several dog fights. His first owner, probably without realizing it, set him up to fail by taking him to the dog park and allowing bronte happyscraps to happen. Bronte was given up by that owner and labelled with a designation, which would normally mean immediate euthanasia. Rescues are usually unable to help with these dogs for liability reasons or because they don’t have suitable foster homes to handle the restrictions.

But Bronte has always been amazing with people and had a ton of great qualities, which didn’t go unnoticed by shelter staff. In his temperament assessments, trainers noted that he was selective with his dog friends and willing to stand up for himself if challenged by another dog, but they also felt strongly that he would do well in the right home. We happened to have a suitable foster space with Shelagh, a new volunteer at the time, and we offered to take him into our program.

rex and bronteBronte did extremely well with us, and even made friends with the other dogs in the home. He was adopted to a great family, but unfortunately they faced some serious health problems within the first year and didn’t have time for the training and exercise he needed. He bounced back and came to Lauren, a recent adopter who expressed interest in foster care. She agreed to take him temporarily on a “crate and rotate” basis with her resident male dog, Rex. That arrangement lasted only a few days and a “bromance” quickly grew between them. We all remember photos of Rex and Bronte sharing a dog bed, their limbs intertwined.

Unfortunately, Rex developed neurological problems and passed away several months into Bronte’s foster period. Lauren and her partner at the time, Luke, didn’t want to lose another animal and thought that giving Bronte a good home was a wonderful way to honour Rex. All three of them were pretty happy with the decision to give Bronte a forever home.

bronte Nov 30It was a great fit, because Lauren had a strong background in training and behaviour management. She and Bronte attended obedience classes, reactive dog classes, and Rally-O, where Bronte thrived – he was a dog born to challenge himself not only physically but by engaging his considerable intelligence. In 2009 Lauren and Bronte took the Canine Good Neighbour (CGN) evaluation and the audience waited breathlessly while they went through the various steps – including passing a strange dog without any reaction.  Their years of training paid off and when the evaluator announced that Bronte had passed, the observers applauded and Lauren and Shelagh may have shed a tear or two. It was a moment not many of us will forget. It showed just how far Bronte had come over the years. From bearer of a “dangerous dog” label to certified “canine good neighbour”!apbt clubThat doesn’t mean he was perfect or never again barked at another dog giving him a stare-down. And that’s okay. You don’t need to be perfect to be a great dog or a great owner. You just have to keep trying. And keep learning. And most of all, you have to be willing to acknowledge where you are in your training and to do what it takes to keep everyone safe and comfortable. That’s what Lauren and Bronte did together, every day.

We all have a special spot in our heart for this athletic blonde with the prancing walk and lolling tongue. First and foremost he was just a very cool dog, but he also reminded us to look beyond labels. While we take any aggression seriously, it doesn’t define an animal – it defines a behaviour. And in the right hands, with the right level of commitment, sometimes those behaviours can be extremely manageable.

bronte and kidDespite being on a leash or long line for most of his excursions, I don’t think that any of us would question whether Bronte had a good life. He had a great life. One that was well worth saving, and well worth remembering today. We are privileged to have been a part of it.

Rest in peace little guy.

bronte sun

Bronte, CGN, 2002 – 2015


Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Kim – A Woman Who Wears Many Hats


Kim Rose knows how to have her cake and eat it too…well, providing that cake is a dog friendly one!

Although she was raised in a multi-dog household, Kim never knew what a pit bull was until a bully breed puppy entered her life and quickly became her soul mate. Her name was Flex, and she motivated Kim to become the most responsible dog owner she could be.

“Sadly, I was often faced with the unwarranted stigma attached to the bully breed in general and my dog in particular,” explains Kim, “and I found myself vigorously defending them both. When Flex passed away from cancer at the early age of 6, I was devastated. But her death galvanized me into action. I decided then that I would devote myself to helping pit bulls in any way I could.”

After discovering HugABull, she and her husband adopted Tava. But soon, adopting wasn’t enough for Kim. She wanted to do more. “Fostering fell into my lap,” she says, “with Tava playing ‘dogmother’ to all of the other HugABull dogs we’ve welcomed over the years, starting with Honey in 2010. Fostering is easy for us. Not only do we enjoy bringing these dogs into our home, but they fit perfectly into our active, outdoors lifestyle.”

Jack 2Raising her two boys, aged 4 and 2, around dogs, Kim is teaching them how to respect a dog’s space and how to care for them. The result is that her sons are actively involved in such “age appropriate tasks” as feeding, brushing, and training. But, for her, one of the most gratifying aspects of fostering is when they are out in the community and someone stops to ask the boys about their dogs. “These are foster dogs who were rescued and need families,” they eagerly explain. “We’re looking after them until they find their families.”

In addition to caring for her human and canine “kids”, Kim also does home checks with potential fosters and adopters, and transports dogs on Vancouver Island. AND she works as a full time nurse and part time photographer. Are you breathless yet? She modestly admits that balancing everything is “BUSY” but rewarding. She has volunteered many hours photographing our various events, including taking Santa photos and doggy portraits for our annual calendar, and even hosting a HugABull photo fundraiser in her hometown.

399818_353175218047316_700723979_nA vocal advocate for the bully breed, Kim ignores the occasional “crazy dog lady” comment and focuses on the positive reactions that she, her dogs, and her fostering elicit. “People are interested in what I do and why I do it, often saying they could never foster. That’s when I encourage them to visit our house, to meet and interact with our dogs, and to watch them playing with our two boys. I urge them to see for themselves why these extraordinary dogs are often called ‘nanny dogs’.

This is why I got involved,” Kim concludes. “To change people’s minds, one person at a time.”

Written by Nomi Berger


Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Open Letter to the Editorial Board of 24 Hours

Sent by email January 13, 2015

When you provided column space to Bill Tielemen last week to post gory statistics and stories in an attempt to argue for a pit bull ban, most breed advocates did not, in fact, send him emails laced with the F-bomb.

Most of us rolled our eyes and ignored him. Because this type of hysteria has been a mainstay of news reporting for 30 years and it’s far from new. The vitriol hurts, but it’s also self-evidently wrong to anyone who has been around dogs, has a shred of knowledge about dog behavior, or who has spent a few minutes doing honest research.

I’m not writing to “defend the breed” or to run through the common-sense arguments against this kind of hysteria. I could talk about the breed standard or temperament testing statistics. Or post any one of dozens of peer-reviewed articles about the predictive factors in dog aggression (hint: it’s never breed). I could give you background on the characters behind Dogs Bite Dot Org (the data source quoted by Tieleman) their research methodologies, and their general level of credibility.

I’m not going to go into that, because all of it is easily accessible to anyone who wants balanced information. There are also countless local experts on animal control and dog behavior in BC who could have been consulted on this matter and provided a thoughtful Op-Ed. Instead, we have fire and brimstone and opinion polls I can only consider “clickbait” – and clearly it worked, because Tieleman was given the opportunity for another go-round.

Every indication is that public perception of “pit bull” breeds is changing for the better. They are one of the most popular breeds in most urban centres, including Vancouver. They are owned by celebrities. Breed banning is becoming a thing of the past, with jurisdictions overturning these laws every year. In fact, 19 American states now have legislation making breed discrimination illegal. Do you know why? Because when you take the time for a sensible, evidence-based review, the rationale for breed discrimination falls apart.

Maybe one day 24 Hours, the media as a whole, or Mr. Tielemen will decide to live on the right side of history when it comes to this issue. I hope so. Until then, my readership and clicks and social media shares go elsewhere.


April Fahr
Executive Director
HugABull Advocacy & Rescue Society


Blog readers – did you miss the articles in question? Please don’t bother looking them up. This only feeds the phenomenon whereby sensationalized reporting draws valuable clicks and readership. For more information on this, read our previous blog post on Clickbait.

If it helps to have background on these articles, here’s a summary. Bill Tielemen’s first Op-Ed was published on January 5 and titled “Time to ban pit bulls in B.C.” It begins with a laundry list of attacks by alleged “pit bulls” followed by paragraphs of statistics from Dogs Bite Dot Org. (For background on this group, read this post by KC Dog Blog). Tielemen’s article was posted online along with a public opinion poll on banning “pit bull” breeds.

The second article was published on January 12, and began with a dramatic quote from another Op-Ed writer in the US likening the “pit bull” category of dog to “…a loaded gun with the safety off on the coffee table.” Tienemen then described insulting emails he received following the article, as well as the vast number of shares and online poll votes that ensued. He listed, very dramatically, a few more alleged “pit bull” attacks that occurred recently in the US before proclaiming that pit bull advocates were in denial and reiterating his support for a ban.


Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

7 Things You Don’t Know About Kittens That Will Make You Shake With Fear

By Leigh Oxley, HugABull Volunteer and Online Marketing Professional

I have good and bad news for you.

The good:  there really isn’t anything about kittens that will make you shake with fear, unless you have a severe case of ailurophobia.

The bad: you just fell for the oldest trick in the book.

This blog post has absolutely nothing to do with kittens (I’m sorry!), but it will get lots of traffic and views – possibly more than many of our other posts. You might be wondering how I can say that with any level of confidence, while I’m still writing the first 100 words… well, it’s all about marketing.

For the last 8+ years, I’ve been working in the digital marketing industry. I spend my days talking to marketers and marketing leaders about what drives their business, what generates revenue, and how they measure success. For today’s “modern marketer”, more traffic and page views means more success; they’ve all got the same business objectives: to increase reach while decreasing resources (time, money, effort, etc.). They need to get their message in front of as many people as possible in order for it to be effective.

Enter the concept of clickbait.

Clickbait is an attention-grabbing, emotion-inciting piece of content that helps to drive traffic to a particular web page, aimed to drive online advertising revenue. By using a sensationalistic line of text or imagery to encourage visitors to click a link, businesses can drive more site traffic; when there’s more traffic to a page, more can be charged for online ad space.

Think of television commericals as an example. National networks charge considerably more for commercials aired during Superbowl, compared to commercials which run during regular day-to-day shows. In 2011, a 30-second Superbowl spot cost $3.5 million on average, while the same commercial during the weekly American Idol airing that year ran about $450,000. To have your commercial run during Superbowl, when hundreds of millions of people will see it is more valuable than airing it during American Idol, which has only 20-30 million viewers per week.

GameDog Guardian - Pitbull story

Photo credit: GameDog Guardian – www.gamedogguardian.com

Alright – marketing, clickbait, Superbowl… I thought I came to the HugABull blog to read about kittens?! So how does this all tie back to the dogs, which is why we’re all really here? Well, let’s start by replacing kittens with “pitbulls”. There’s a sad but true editorial cartoon from GameDog Guardian that highlights the issue at hand, and it’s very much like Superbowl commercials. The words “pit” and “bull” together in a media post grab attention and incite emotion – it’s textbook clickbait. So when an online media organization needs to drive more traffic to their site, they want to increase readership and charge more for ad space, they need to run stories that get attention. Pitbull stories do just that.

So what do we recommend? Ignore it. As tempting as it is to click through, comment, share, and vote on polls, it only hurts the cause overall, because it shows the media sites that pit bull stories really do work, they really do generate more visitors, and you can make more money if you keep running them. If we stop feeding the beast, it will look elsewhere. Remember when you were a kid, and your mom gave you some sage advice about the schoolyard bully? “Just ignore him and he’ll go away – he’s just looking for attention.”

Bored? Check out this fun clickbait generator to see how it works.

Also, because we feel bad for our foray into yellow journalism, here are some kittens to look at.

Kittens with stars and bubbles

Photo credit: Microsoft Office

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Dave and Delilah – Dynamic Duo

dave and delilah

She was a bachelor’s Valentine’s Day gift to himself and she was named for the Tom Jones ballad “Delilah.” Almost delicate in form and figure, this butterscotch beauty is as sweet as the colour of her sleek, shining coat.

Dave’s first experience with the bully breed was in 2010 when he helped a friend adopt a pit bull, and once connected to HugABull online, he found himself “hooked” on the breed. His second experience was up close and personal, when he offered to transport an adopted bully to her forever home. But the third time was the charm.

Laid off from his camp security job and searching for something meaningful to do, he agreed to foster a 4-month-old pup who had popped up in the shelter. Despite the fact that she was all angles and awkwardness, uncertain and untrained, for Dave, it was love at first sight.

delilah kissesSoon Dave was back at work with a four-legged sidekick beside him. The pair quickly became an overnight sensation when Delilah was invited into some of the places they visited for “informal pit bull puppy therapy sessions.” It was a win-win situation for everyone: Delilah was being socialized with people and they were learning about a bully’s particular brand of love.

In mid-May 2011, with potential adopters looming, Dave made the quick decision to make Delilah his. Officially. Although she was house-trained and walked well on a leash, he brought her to doggy daycare to perfect her socialization skills. Then he began fostering again.

“I felt it was my job to help to teach the dogs about family,” Dave explains. “To show them they are loved and could count on humans to protect them, while Delilah helped them to trust other dogs.” And this dream team has already fostered 14 dogs in the last 3 1⁄2 years.

calendar coverGentle and polite, Delilah is an ideal “spokesdog” for the bully breed, performing tricks, attending pet events and fundraisers, and walking in the Pride Parade, as Dave delights in “proving all the haters of the breed wrong by her example.” She is such a HugABull poster child that she was chosen to be the face of the organization’s 2015 calendar!

But, for Dave, it’s Delilah’s gentleness that makes her so special. At one particular event, a woman approached him, asking, “Did you hear about a girl being bitten by a pit bull a while ago?” As he nodded, she said, “That was my daughter. Can you help me show her that all pit bulls aren’t bad?” No sooner had he agreed than she led a shy 8-year-old over, who first asked Delilah’s name, then asked if she could pet her.

“Suddenly, Delilah turned, sat on the girl’s lap, and gave her a big kiss! Then she allowed herself to be petted, hugged and scratched while the young girl smiled the entire time. As I looked over at the group around us with tears running down my cheeks, they were tearing up too.”

“And this is why I do what I do.”

Written by Nomi Berger


Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Calendar time!

calendar cover

Each year we pour our hearts into creating a calendar that shows off the beautiful bullies adopted through our program. This year’s theme was “black and white” featuring some stunning photography that captures the essence of 12 very special dogs.

Once again, this was only possible through the work of some creative geniuses who donated their talents to this project.

Ashleigh Wells Photography - Vancouver area photographer
Photography by Kimberly Rose - Vancouver Island photographer
Caitlyn Chapman Photography - Okanagan area photographer
Jiaan Co - graphic designer

Calendars are available now for the spectacular price of $20 each! We have a number of stores who are selling them on our behalf. This year we are especially excited to announce that Tisol will be carrying them in all nine of their locations in Metro Vancouver. You can also pick up a calendar at one of our upcoming events, or have one shipped to you (details below).


Tisol – Gilley
Tisol – Market Crossing
Waterworkz Paw Spa

Tisol – Langley

Tisol – Richmond 
Tisol – Richlea Square (South Richmond)

South Point Pet Hospital  
Tisol – South Surrey

Bow Wow Haus (2821 West Broadway location)
Long Live Cats and Dogs
Tisol – Main Street
Tisol – Arbutus
Tisol – Grandview

Vancouver Island

Prevost Veterinary Clinic - coming soon

Ocean Pet Supplies

Woofles Barking Boutique

Shake and Bake Tanning - coming soon

Okanagan and Interior

Twin Rivers Animal Hospital

Salmon Arm
Shushwap Vet Clinic

Old Dogs New Tricks

Healthy Spot Pet Nutrition and Supply
Pet Planet

Calendars can be ordered through our online store, or by mailing a cheque to 1730 Vernon Drive, Vancouver, BC V6A 3T8. Cost is $25 for mail-ordered calendars, which includes shipping and handling.

Questions? Email HugABullFundraising@gmail.com. Thank you for your support of this incredible project!











Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Now is the time to talk BSL in BC

NO-BSLWith BC elections just over a month away, this is an important time to speak up for better, fairer, evidence-based dog laws in BC. There are still many areas in our province that have antiquated legislation, and in some cases council members haven’t been motivated to bring their animal control policies into the year 2014. Right now, as they are seeking their votes and networking within the community, is the time to bring these issues into the public conversation.

The best thing you can do to start is to get talking. Start speaking to your neighbors and friends (and even strangers!) and help spread the word about breed-specific legislation in BC. We all know that discrimination based on looks alone is wrong, but it seems some city councils aren’t hearing that message… yet. Get in touch with your current city councillors, and their opposition, and find out their stance on BSL. Let them know your feelings, and that your vote goes to the councillor with the most level-headed perspective – not someone who refuses to listen to reason and enact responsible dog laws. Having an objective view, and focusing on education and prevention – instead  of punishing proactively based on looks – is what we want from the people running our cities.

Doggie PlaytimeRemember that even if your neighbors don’t specifically care about dog- or breed-related issues, they should care about their city councillors listening to their voice; council is meant to represent the public, and if our concerns are pushed aside and ignored, we’re not really living in a democracy at all. There are some communities in BC (like Burnaby and Richmond, for example) where councillors have openly stated they would never consider repealing BSL. If you live in one of these places, get in touch with city council, and ask if they still feel that way. Letting council know this is something that matters to their voting public helps to show that it isn’t something that will just go away, and they can’t ignore their constituents. If you’re lucky enough to live in an area that already has breed-neutral, responsible laws, contact your councillor and let them know you support them – and tell them why!

Globally, the trend is towards repealing BSL in favor of more neutral laws that promote responsible ownership and target based on behaviour, not breed. Entire countries like Italy have completely removed long-standing bans, and eighteen US states have actually put legislation in place prohibiting BSL-type laws; even the US White House administration has publically spoken out against BSL, saying it’s ineffective! Locally, New Westminster and Coquitlam have recently adopted some of the most progressive animal control bylaws in the province, after taking the time to fully review their existing laws and take public input into consideration. Let’s start helping our communities to see BSL for what it is, and start taking the steps towards responsible dog ownership.

oppose_bsl_button-1-e1276386496288Finally – the last step after all this questioning, supporting and educating is to get out and vote. Mark November 15th on your calendar, head to your local polling station, and put your voice on paper. All our hard work in trying to overturn BSL will never work if we don’t all get out and vote. Figure out which candidate is the right one for you, and show your support on election day.

Between now and then, if you’d like to learn more about breed-specific legislation in BC, please take a few minutes to check out the BSL page on our website.

Here are some BSL communities in BC, where restrictions range from muzzle and leash laws to a full ban within the city limits. If we have missed any, please email info@hugabull.com and we will add them to the list.

Metro Vancouver
West Vancouver

Northern BC
Fort Nelson
Prince George

Vancouver Island



Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Featuring One Fabulous Foster Family

Gerry, Bebe, and Miss

Gerry, Bebe, and Miss

We could not do the work we do without the amazing volunteers that help us through fostering, transporting, fundraising, and so much more. This month our guest writer Nomi Berger profiles Karla and her family, who are active volunteers on Vancouver Island.

For Karla, it started with two simple words: “Come play.”

Miss and Bebe

Miss and Bebe

The event was Pits in the Park, and Karla and Erin, her husband-to-be, obligingly brought their two dogs to the park to play. “It was an awesome experience,” she recalls as if it was yesterday. “Being with other pit bull owners, people who knew what it meant to own and love them while being aware of the myths and stereotyping surrounding them.” She herself had long ago fallen in love with the breed because, as she says, “they are the most loyal, sociable, squish-able dogs I’ve ever come across.”

She soon began volunteering for HugABull at various events, then helped out with home checks, and in June 2013, she and Erin fostered their first HugABull dog. His name was Gerry, and although he came to them “raw”, by the time he was adopted six months later, he was not only well mannered and well behaved, but he also knew no end of great tricks.



Why did the couple choose to foster pit bulls? The answer is simple. “There are so many dogs in shelters who are closer to being euthanized than being adopted,” explains an impassioned Karla. “They are there through no fault of their own and they deserve better. They not only deserve to be loved, but they deserve a second chance at having a whole new life. Without enough temporary foster homes available, rescue groups like HugABull simply can’t save enough of them.”

And to Karla, nothing is better than “breaking a dog out of a shelter.” Once these dogs are safe in foster care, they are gradually able to leave the stress of shelter life behind and learn, as part of a normal, everyday environment, to become the dogs they were meant to be.



For their part, fosters act as the eyes and ears of rescue. They discover their particular dogs’ likes and dislikes, quirks and habits. They coax shy ones out of their shells, turn weaknesses into strengths, and work on preparing them for their eventual adoption.

“What’s so rewarding about fostering,” Karla explains, “is seeing how, with time and attention, patience and energy, these dogs bloom before your eyes. Letting go is hard, but seeing them leave for their forever home is truly worth it. We love the updates! It warms our hearts to see them so happy and doing so well.”

The couple has fostered three pit bulls since Gerry — one at a time – with their own two pits, Bebe and Little Miss, welcoming them easily into their home and into their space. All of them, Gerry, Teddy, Cole, and now Freedom, have been different, goofy and utterly lovable in their own ways.

“Being a part of HugABull has opened my eyes to many things,” concludes Karla. “It’s educated me. It’s changed the way I think and do things with my own dogs. But most of all, it’s allowed me to change people’s minds about pit bulls. And I LOVE that!”

Written by Nomi Berger


Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off