Amazing things happen with collaboration

This week marks the start of our partnership with Paws and Think! Casa del Toro current adoptabulls Brewster and Opie, along with recently adopted Ollie, are participating in Paws and Think's Youth-Canine Program. Through Paws and Think's Youth-Canine Program, youth learn how to nurture, understand, communicate with, motivate and reward (vs. punish) their dogs. Many of the principles the youth learn in the program transfer to their own lives since they see the benefits they are providing their dogs.

This partnership provides Casa del Toro adoptabulls with much needed training opportunities while also broadening the network of potential adopters through Paws and Think's advertising of the program. Most importantly to us, however, is the fact that this partnership provides us the opportunity to get pit bulls into local schools to educate that pit bulls are just normal dogs and dispel the myths.

We have been working on this partnership since October 2016. There are a lot of partners, moving pieces and logistics to coordinate and, oftentimes, it is very easy to forego the additional work it requires to work as a team and just go it alone, but we can achieve so much more as a community working together. So this partnership really says a lot when groups, that work in emotionally charged field of animal welfare, can put aside their own "I'm busy trying to do my work to achieve my mission" and work together to achieve more. 

I am so grateful to have such collaborative, communicative partners in this program and am glad to work together to achieve mutually beneficial goals. Check out the segment that was featured on WTHR's evening news at the bottom!

No joy in being the angel of mercy

Euthanasia is a reality for every animal rescue. Even though Casa del Toro is a no-kill rescue occasionally we must perform euthanasias in extreme situations where it is been deemed medically necessary by a veterinarian. Casa del Toro believe that every dog deserves to be surrounded by people that love them when they leave this earth.

Every time I assist a dog with leaving this earth, I feel like my moral center is fractured and I loose a piece of myself. I always cry. One rule that we have is to not cry until after the dog passes so that our emotional upset doesn't upset the dog anymore than being at the vet office already does. Sometimes afterwards I'm angry. I'm angry at the person that bred the dog in the first place, the person that raised the dog and didn't care enough to properly take care of it or claim it when the dog ended up at the shelter, the fact that we just don't have the resources available to save all of the pit bulls in need in Indiana and because once again, I'm the one left hurting. Not the breeder, the owner, me. Does it make me feel better to know that it only hurts because I care? No.

Today after I held a dying dog and spoke words of love and companionship until they passed, I realized that I really do loose a piece of myself. More importantly, I realized that it's okay. The piece I loose is the part of my love and compassion that the animal takes with them. It doesn't matter if I've never met the dog before, I unselfishly give of myself in the way a dog gives to humans every day. It is easy? No, it is the hardest thing I have ever had to do. But it is worth it.

Gone but not forgotten

Gone but not forgotten

Sweet reunion

After being a pit bull rescue for 18 years you would think we have experienced everything there is out there, but everyone once and a while something still shocks you with awe and wonder. 

You see, some of our foster homes have color preferences when it comes to their dogs. I personally like white pit bulls while some of our volunteers like red dogs ands some like blue dogs. It just so happens our blue dog foster home was open and while a foster mom was volunteering at the Indianapolis shelter when she met Paloma. 

Isis at the shelter

Isis at the shelter

Paloma came into the shelter as a stray and was put on the rescue only list because she was growly during her dog-dog introduction and potentially has rear leg issues. Our foster home fell in love at first sight. Here's what her foster mom said:

"What is it about this fat blue dog with the gimpy back legs that I couldn't resist? I tried and tried to not bring another one home already. I was drawn to the shelter by her blue mind wave...I took her out in the long run to watch her...She was ignoring me and I watched as she walked around snuffing. I left for a bit and then came back.. She ran up making happy huffing sounds and bouncing around like a little bouncy girl that she is. I sat down on the ground and she smiled at me and hung her tongue out and happy huffed some more and then came and leaned up against me...Shit...It was a done deal..What could I do? How could I ignore this fat little dog with the take me home eyes and happy smile. Before you could blink your eyes I was in the car with her paperwork and a happy blue dog...She jumped right in that car with those gimpy legs and smiled all the way home. Upon getting out we went out to see the horses. She was interested but not TOO interested. She settled down pretty quick and ended up sitting on my lap..just soaking it all up. We walked down the lane slow...and then back to the room. The Blue crew won't be allowed to be around her till we know she is healthy. She was loose as a goose but I think it is just from nerves. Hopefully all is well. I sat with her in the dog room and made up her crate. She got a worried look on her face and panted and heaved heavily as she watched me zip tie the corners and put a blanket in. I let her settle down by sitting on the chair with me for awhile. She soon was sleeping and very happy. Of course when the time came to put her in the crate she didn't look too happy. Hopefully the crate will be in one piece in the morning. She howled and cried as I shut the door forlorn and sad. They always have separation anxiety of some degree when i first bring them home. I am hoping it passes soon as she gets used to my routine. She is very over weight and I am going to start her on a swimming program with Lucy's bobber vest. I am hoping her back legs can be helped by the water exercise and a loss of weight. She will need to see a vet to see what is going on with those sore back legs. Hopefully a good program will bring her back to health. Send healing prayers and energy to this kind soul. She is a sweet girl ,,,I want her to have a second chance at a family...Thank you Casa Del Toro for pulling her...She will be a good one when she is well....Good night all..." So here's Paloma during her first 24 hours in foster care.

So we rescued Paloma on a Friday night and introduced her on Facebook on Sunday morning. Within fours hours of posting Paloma we received a family 45 minutes away contacted us and said that Paloma is their dog Isis who disappeared three years ago.

It took us about an hour to confirm Isis's identity and make plans to reunite her with her family. Then Casa del Toro volunteers loaded Isis up and took her home. It was an emotional journey for everyone involved. 

We are so grateful to have had the opportunity to reunite Isis with her forever family and generate the awesome pit bull friendly media that her story has created. The story was picked up by WTHR Channel 13 and repeated on local TV and radio outlets. 

Reuniting Isis with her owners was a very fulfilling opportunity for us and it really made us feel that all of the hard work, dedication, sacrifice and tears that rescuing pit bulls takes is worth it. 

100% worth it!

Going global

We've had a busy summer. 10 of our 16 bottle-feed puppies are at the age to be adopted, which is keeping us on our feet. The remaining 6 are 3 weeks old so they've made it past the hardest part and we will now start posting updates.

A huge thanks to Bonnie, Lisa, Jason, Jenni, Jes, Karen, Stephanee & all of your anonymous donors. These supplies made it just in time and saved us a trip to the store!

A huge thanks to Bonnie, Lisa, Jason, Jenni, Jes, Karen, Stephanee & all of your anonymous donors. These supplies made it just in time and saved us a trip to the store!

Did you see our article in the Huffington Post? We're flattered to have the spotlight put on the work we do everyday. Thanks to everyone who donated supplies for the puppies. It has been an expensive endeavor not only in supplies (food, wipes, toys, detergent, etc) but also with the regular veterinary care puppies require.

It is because of the work of our amazing volunteers and foster homes that we have been enjoying the 2014 Summer of Puppies!

Share the ride.