Pit bulls...we know that a lot of you have a lot of them at your agencies, and are doing all you can to get them adopted. And yes, it can be challenging. Here's some supa-dupa inspiration on how to get more bully breeds out your door from your colleagues all across the country.
Pit Crew SPCA Wake County, Raleigh, NC
This agency, a 2010 ASPCA $100K Challenger, has a special Pit Crew that trains volunteers working to improve the chances that their pit bulls are adopted. The dogs attend specialized obedience classes, play dates and, yes, monthly glamour photo shoots:
Operation Pit ASPCA Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital, New York City, NY
Check out Operation Pit—this program offers free spay, neuter or vasectomy and wellness care to pits and pit mixes. Oh, and all "recruits" get a camo tank top and an "honorable discharge" after the procedure.
Pittie-Palooza Mohawk and Hudson River Humane Society, Menands, NY
Leave it to this 2010 ASPCA $100K Challenge contestant to get both staff AND adopters equally fired up to help pit bulls! Over the 3-day event, staff donned T-shirts featuring pix of their favorite pits, and adopters got to name their price for pit bulls and pit mixes (minimum $5).
"We got some criticism about the price," the Menands, NY, agency told us, "but we adopted 16 pits in 3 days. Normally we average 20 dog adoptions per week."
"Rediscovering America's Dog—The Pit Bull Terrier" Monmouth County SPCA, Eatontown, NJ
This 2011 ASPCA $100K Challenger held a special educational event this past April to shine light on—and bring out—the wonderful traits of pits. Folks had a chance to meet trainers and vet techs who work closely with these dogs at the shelter, as well as get to know some MCSPCA pitty alums.
Pick-a-PITunia Seattle Humane Society, Bellevue, WA
This 2011 ASPCA $100K Challenger kicked off Spring with an innovative "Spring for a Dog: Pick-a-PITunia" promotion—half off for pit bulls one year and older.
What's fun? SHS bundles the theme beautifully by giving the dogs flower-inspired names—like Diesel Daffodil, seen in this video with his flower-shaped toy.
"Here's The Truth About Pit Bulls" Rock County Humane Society, Janesville, WI
The cool thing about this video is its simplicity (as in, doesn't take a million bucks or years to put together)—five available pit bulls are featured, each with a clever spin on the breed name like "adore-a-bull" or "love-a-bull." According to the folks at RCHS, they "let the photos/videos speak for themselves." P.S. It worked—each of these pits found a home.
Lov-a-Bull Butte Humane Society, Chico, CA
How to promote a better understanding in the community of this misunderstood dog? This California agency, also a 2011 ASPCA $100K Challenge contestant, holds an annual awareness-raising event where the public can meet BHS' stately breed ambassadors and find out if a pit is right for them.
Pit Crew Louisiana SPCA, New Orleans, LA
This 2010 ASPCA $100K Challenge competitor recruits the pit-loving public to act as breed ambassadors. Pit Crew members get matching T-shirts for themselves and their dogs, and they wear them out together twice a month to get the pitty party started. We especially love the way LA/SPCA describes the program on their website—super positive, empowering language!
Bully Breed Program Humane Net, Charleston, SC
Humane Net, a coalition of local animal welfare agencies in Charleston, an ASPCA Partnership community, offers a Bully Breed Program in which pits and pit mixes are spayed/neutered for $20. We love the bulleted list on the flyer that makes it easy-peasy for pit parents to understand the benefits of spay/neuter. And, er, see the image below to catch their attention-grabbing slogan (hey, whatever works, right?!).
BARCS Pit Crew Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter, Baltimore, MD
With the help of a grant from PetSmart Charities and a powerful partnership with Best Friends Animal Society, this Baltimore agency offers free spay/neuter clinics, training seminars, low-cost vaccines and low- or no-cost training for pit adopters. And how happy are these guys: Did we miss YOUR agency's pit bull promotion? Tell us about it in the comment box!