2013-10-16 / Columnists

Pets, Pets, Pets

The annual Pit Pilgrimage is about to begin with the third Bully Breed Brigade (BBB) quickly approaching. The event is musical this year, thanks to the founders of Rock & Rawhide. Our “Woodstock for Pibbles” is set to start this Sat., Oct. 19 at 11 a.m. and run to at least 4 p.m. on Beltagh Avenue in Wantagh between Hempstead Town Shelter and Last Hope Animal Rescue, as long as Mother Nature cooperates.

Think canine concert/convention. The Bully Breed Brigade is a gathering of Bully breed ambassadogs (the cream of the crop), shelters, rescues, trainers, vendors and the media to bring attention to the plight of the Pit plentitude languishing in our Town shelters. [Rough municipal census: About 200 at Brookhaven; over 100 at Hempstead; around 35 at Babylon right now.] This “Pets” is designed to entice you to “Be there at the BBB.”

BBB media attention: You may recall that Tia Torres from Animal Planet’s show “Pit Bulls & Parolees” was the special guest at the previous BBBs. In fact, last year we also held a fundraiser for her New Orleans sanctuary at Mulcahy’s in Wantagh.

This year we have partnered with Kylie Edmond Hillman and her husband Sean Patrick, the founders of Rock & Rawhide, an incredible shelter advocacy group (www.rockandrawhide.org) made up of talented animal lovers with ties in the music industry. They do great things for shelter pets. Also their huge collection drives provide homeless animals with toys, blankets, chewies that alleviate stress and enhance adoptability. (For more about Rock & Rawhide’s good work see Beacon “Pets” 10/3/13.) We are asking that each BBB attendee bring a new or usable item to be donated to a shelter or rescue.

Last Saturday morning Sean Patrick did a segment on Channel 7 Eyewitness News with Michelle Charlesworth promoting the upcoming BBB. He had two young Pit hopefuls from Hempstead Shelter with him. Z100’s Elvis Duran of Z100’s Elvis Duran Show is talking about the BBB on the radio. This week News 12 Long Island will be sponsoring and publicizing the BBB, as well as filming “Dog Days Friday” at Hempstead Shelter Fri., Oct. 18 morning as a BBB prelude. News 12 plans to be at the BBB on Saturday, and word has it that newscaster Elisa Di Stefano will be taping BBB segments.

BBB showcase of bands: We will have two event stages – one in front of the shelter for intros after the Pit Parade and the other on Beltagh Avenue as a stage for the bands, all donating their time and talent. The musical menu is eclectic including teenage bands, Beatles and ‘60s/’70s songs, plus folk/rock/pop/funk/ soul. As Kylie says: “We are rocking these amazing bands in support of Pit Bulls at the Bully Breed Brigade hosted by Hempstead Town Animal Shelter & Last Hope Inc.- The Counter Revolutionaries, The Bronx Singer featuring Daniel Lugo, members of the press, Vintage Peeple and LiLi Roquelin.” Come down and enjoy the free show!

BBB Pit Parade: Current adoptables, shelter alumni and visitors with their dogs will be marching the loop from Hempstead Shelter to Last Hope and back between 1 and 2 p.m.; then waltzing across the stage one at a time while Sean Patrick reads their brief bios. Last year we had to carry some of the stage frightened big babies up the stairs which speaks volumes. The dogs were mushes, not monsters, as often portrayed in the press and on TV. We aim to change the public perception of Pits.

Our grand marshal will be “Gabby Cohen,” a dear Pit who spent a year at Hempstead Shelter and then close to another year at Last Hope. She overcame a misdiagnosis of epilepsy and was adopted by a dedicated Last Hope volunteer before going on to earn an AKC Canine Good Citizen title last spring. We are still working on her outfit, perhaps a Bella Abzugstyle hat and a boa, but in the meantime for Gabby’s full story, see Beacon “Pets” 8/1/13.

BBB participants: Here is just a sampling. Town shelters include North Hempstead, Babylon and Southampton; while rescues include Almost Home which does outreach and free spay/neuter of Pits in Wyandanch, Unchained NY, Bobbi & the Strays and LI Pit Stop. Hempstead Pits will be doing agility demos. Tavi & Friends will demonstrate Touch massage. Kids Adopt A Shelter, an amazing group of young shelter advocates, will be there. Versatile vendors will set up tables. Gourmet dog food, treats and “Benebone” a durable chewie. Handcrafted jewelry, quilts, pet portraits too. Raffle baskets. Face painting. Possibly an honor system flea market in Last Hope’s parking lot. You can purchase event tee shirts and eats for the peeps such as desserts from Bear Berry Baked Goods, sliders and fries from Mr. Nice Guy’s Food Truck and Cuban dishes at the Miami Grill Truck from Baldwin which has 55 foot TV mounted on top. We plan to make a video of some happy shelter adoptions.

Now, please say you are going to be at this year’s Bully Breed Brigade; and if not, that you are going to spread the word.

For Adoption at Babylon

Town Shelter (631-643-9270) Lamar St. W. Babylon: “Cody” #13-552 has the makings of a Pit ambassadog. He sits, gives his paw, prances on the leash and seems quite tolerant of dogs walking by or playing in adjacent yards. Meanwhile “Momma” #3-378, an outgoing tabby, is auditioning for a new Tennessee Williams play called “Cat on a Hot Tin Cage.”

More patient Pits: Parker, Mugsy, Spot- rescued after a house fire in Wyandanch- and Drake, who has been at the shelter three years. Small dogs: Cindy- black Chihuahua mix; Betty White- one-eyed Shih tzu.

Come to “Adopt-O-Fest” at Babylon Shelter on Sat. Oct. 26 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.: Fundraiser and shelter adoption showcase; discounted adoption fees; bake sale; music; BBQ sale by Babylon Meat Market; face art and temporary tattoos for kids; raffles courtesy of Shelter Link. Please leave your dogs at home. It’s a day to make the Babylon Beauty pups shine!

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