The folks at Born Again Pit Bull Rescue (BAPBR) believe in second chances, not just for the many dogs they foster and place in loving homes, but also in their mission to educate the community about these dogs who have received so much negative attention and are often targets of abuse.
BAPBR began as a private rescue in 2007 when founder Angela Adams fell in love with a Pit Bull puppy and began studying the breed. Disheartened by the negative views thrust upon these dogs and the over-representation of Pit Bull mixes in shelters, she began a mission, according to the BAPBR website, “to repair the reputation of these dogs as the ‘family dog’ through responsible ownership, while working to educate the public to stop their abuse, over-breeding and neglect.” Today, BAPBR is a nonprofit, no-kill organization that has become one of the most visible rescues in the Portland area, and one of very few specializing in rehoming Pit Bull-type dogs.
The organization’s visibility is thanks in part to the amount of community-building BAPBR does with local organizations to establish positive messaging, responsible pet ownership and to foster and promote adoptions.
BAPBR Board President Julie Honse says these partnerships are essential. “For us it’s a mission where everyone is working for a good purpose, so we want to establish strong relationships with other groups. We don’t have a building, we have foster homes; so we can’t take in every dog but we can help save as many as we can through promotion and marketing.”
And education. The website provides information on everything from proper socialization and nutrition to boarding and housing. BAPBR also works hard on messaging, particularly around terminology. “We use the term ‘Pit Bull-type dogs,’” says Honse. “We don’t use ‘Bullies’ or ‘Pitties’ because there are 21 different breeds [in that category] and when you’re talking about behavior, every dog has their own experiences. We embrace that every dog is an individual despite what they look like or what they are labeled.”
BAPBR’s work is paying off. Seventy dogs have been placed this year, nearly twice as many as 2011. Honse says they are working to expand their foster network and save even more dogs in 2013. “We want to blow last year’s numbers out of the water.”
Born Again Pit Bull Rescue
PO Box 304, Sherwood, OR 97140