What do you get when you put an amazing community of people passionate about pit bulls together in one place? The first ever Pit Sisters CockTails for a Cause! This event was held on Friday, April 12th at . The event was sponsored by Brindle Brothers Foundation and and featured performances by nationally renowned singer and song writer John Shipe who flew in from Oregon specifically for the event.
John serenaded the crowd of almost 100 people with songs such as Pit Bull Blues . Guests of all ages, backgrounds and professions joined together to support our dogs and enjoy the beautiful venue, amazing food and flowing drinks. Photographers from Jacksonville.com took photos, while guests mingled, bid on silent auction items, checked out the numerous door prizes, learned about some of Pit Sister's amazing success stories and were inspired by the many efforts currently under way, or in development to continue to improve the lives of dogs. Canine hostesses Skyler the Therapy Dog and Nala the Canine Ambassador were also in attendance, charming the crowd with their loving personalities and dressed for the occasion in tutus and in pearls.
The event raised over $4000 and helped spread the Pit Sisters’ mission to an ever expanding community of supporters and fans. All funds raised will go to the veterinary care of Pit Sister's rescue dogs.
Thank you to everyone who participated in the event. Special thanks to all of our volunteers, foster families, corporate sponsors and trainers.
We could not have done this without all of the special people who support our cause. We love you all for your love of the dogs.
Authored By: Lindsey Campos
hope you will forgive me for how long this email is, but I know of no
other way to express my thanks. Please share it with whomever you feel
appropriate as there are so many individuals that deserve to be
included. I am incredibly humbled as I have realized I have neither met
nor spoken with any of these individuals that I owe so very much to.
Call it fate or luck or coincidence but the morning I stumbled on Gracii someone or something was intervening. I travel that road twice a day every day, and have never had any reason to glance in the direction that I did. Frankly, I am not sure how my eyes saw her from three lanes over and in between the line of cars that separated us that morning during rush hour. Before I even really knew what I was doing, I was pulling a U-turn and found myself parked in a gas station watching her. I wanted so desperately for someone to have tied her there while they quickly ran into the store.
After waiting for some time, I realized something this creature had accepted probably hours before – no one was coming back for her. So I went to her. Upon approaching her, she struggled to stand and limped towards me. My heart fell – she was injured. This was now not just a case of abandonment. At first glance, I noticed a wound on her leg that at the time I believed to be self-inflicted from struggling against the plastic tie tethering her to the bus stop. Grabbing a pair of scissors from the car, I cut the plastic and held onto it for dear life. I didn’t know if she would run now that she was free – I wasn’t about to let her go. Instead she came closer to me - following me all the way back to my car. Not once did I have to coax her or push her. She was trusting me despite all that she had been through.
Once in the car, I scrambled for my next move. Who did I call? Where could I take her? I was terrified to drop her off at the “pound”. I knew what happened to injured dogs – she wouldn’t stand a chance there. I contemplated taking her home, but I could not afford to have my vet take a look at her. I called a rescue – dead end. No Bullies Allowed. It seemed like every call I made ended with “Sorry to tell you this, but . . . An hour passed and there we were, still in the parking lot of this gas station. I made one final call to Pit Sisters. There was hope. For the first time that morning, someone was listening to me – to us. And that someone was you.
After discussing the options with you, the decision was made and it was a difficult one. I was going to have to turn her over to Animal Care and Protective Services. I hung up the phone with a promise that I would leave Pit Sisters information at ACPS. I don’t know why, but I trusted you. I was trusting a person and a team that I had never met to help my new friend. What did we have to lose? Anything was better than starving on the side of the rode tethered to bus stop. My drive from the Southside to Downtown was perhaps the longest drive of my life. The whole time I cried for the creature in the back seat of my car. There were more apologies whispered in that twenty minute car ride than I had ever said my entire life. This was it – I had failed her.
After emailing her ID number to you, I received a reply within seven minutes. You were on it from the get-go! You had already spoken to the people at ACPS, and they promised you they would call me before they did anything. Good, I thought. At least, I will know. The next day you called with bad news. It appeared “my girl” (as I had affectionately been referring to her for the past 24 hours) had a broken pelvis. Surgery would be expensive – something I could not afford. Something Pit Sisters could not afford, but you weren’t giving up. You were championing for “our girl”. Within a day, our girl had gained an incredible amount of attention. I have no idea how or what kind of voodoo you worked, but to find a vet so willing and caring to provide such grossly discounted services was nothing short of a miracle worker. Then you took to Facebook. You called on the community, and they answered. They answered with over $1,700 raised in less than 24 hours. Even a local business got in on the action, and began matching donations as well as holding an auction in honor of this lovely girl. She was no longer just my girl; she was now everybody’s girl.
The amount of pride I feel for this rescue and for this community is overwhelming. The amount of thanks that I owe to you, your team, all who gave, all who prayed – I will simply never be able to convey it. All I can do is write this, and hope you will share it with the over 400 people who liked Gracii’s story, the 125+ who commented on it, and the 400+ others that shared it. Please share my gratitude with the lovely people at ACPS that soothed my fears as I left her in their care that morning, your friends at St. Francis Animal Hospital for taking a chance on her, the amazing staff at Affiliated Vet Specialists for being so incredibly giving and the wonderful folks at Bayview Collision Center for stepping up to the challenge!
With Infinite Gratitude,
We believe that community involvement is critical to changing the lives of homeless animals and in breaking the negative stereotypes of "pit bulls", so we decided to partner with Homeless Pet Clubs as a way to begin engaging the community.
We believe there is no better place to start than with our youth. By educating and working with our future leaders, not only can we help the dogs in need today, we can work to create a better tomorrow for dogs in the future. So, yesterday marked a very special day in our community partnerships. We were invited to Andrew Jackson High School in Jacksonville, Florida to participate in their Club Day as part of the beginning of a great partnership between Pit Sisters and the school. A group of students decided they wanted to work with us to start the first Homeless Pet Club in the Jacksonville area! The students chose 2 dogs to sponsor (Donnii and Mojo). They will be making kennel cards, flyers and posters and sharing these dogs with all of their friends and families to help them find their forever homes..
Close to 100 students attended our first club meeting, and we brought our "pit bull" therapy dog Nala with us. We also brought a special friend of ours, Jim Crosby,(Canine Aggression Expert) with us. For over an hour we had an engaging conversation talking to the students on topics from spay/neuter, myths about "pit bulls", responsible pet ownership, dog fighting and taught them about Animal Care and Protective Services. There were a ton of questions from the students, and even some from teachers and administrators.
There were several highlights of the day, but some of the best were having several students who were afraid of dogs or afraid of "pit bulls" interacting with our Nala. We heard a lot of comments like "We thought pit bulls were mean. She is so sweet." We also had a young gentleman tell us that he has an outside dog but he wants an inside dog now after hearing us talk about making dogs part of the family as opposed to leaving them outside.
Speaking in the community and letting people interact with a "pit bull" are critical elements to changing minds. We know we changed many minds that day and hopefully these students will tell their friends and family as well. This outreach is the start of many similar ones as part of our Give a voice campaign. We are excited to reach out to the community on multiple levels to make an impact for our dogs.