Find out more about the Sula Foundation at our full-featured website,

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Max is looking for a Happy New Year

This is Max, our latest Sula dog. He and his foster family have been waiting very patiently for a spot in our program, and with two recent adoptions, we're finally able to welcome him into the Sula family. Max is a young male, still a little shy with strangers, but quite playful and friendly once he gets to know people. He gets along so well with his foster sister that we think he'd probably like to go to a home with another female dog to follow around.

Meanwhile, our recent adoptees are enjoying the holidays in their new homes. Congratulations to Luna (a former cruelty case from the LA/SPCA) and Louis (a three-legger from Jefferson Parish).

Our own New Year's plans include a vaccination and spay/neuter clinic in the Lower Ninth Ward on January 9th, followed by plans for clinics in Algiers and Bywater. Funding for these events comes from our calendar sales, so thank you to all who have chipped in already. If you still need some calendars for holiday giving, we're filling orders as fast as they come in (and if you order by 12/20 we should be able to get it to you by 12/24.) We also have these holiday events and pawtographings coming up:

Thursday 12/17: Holiday Happy Hour at The Transportation Revolution, 901 Julia Street at Baronne, 6-8pm (with Fido, Mr. March...and complimentary wine and food)

Saturday 12/19: Bywater Art Market, Markey Park, 9-4pm

Friday, November 27, 2009

Annie makes her television debut

It was inevitable. After charming her way across several states before settling into her new life in New Orleans, Annie has modeled in a fashion show, appeared in our calendar, made the local society page and inspired our first greeting card. Breaking into television was the next step.

The Pit Bulls of New Orleans 2010 Calendar

There's still time to order for New Years! Orders received by 12/28 should arrive via Priority mail by 12/31.

The 2010 Calendar features two dozen dogs in locations all over town. (You can preview some of the photos on Facebook.) You can order it online, or pick it up at Canine Connection, Canine Culture, Petcetera, Beth's Books, Garden District Bookshop, The Transportation Revolution, 45 Tchoup, FAB, Neophobia, Snake and Jakes, Juan's Flying Burrito, Fair Grinds Coffee House.

Two holiday pawtographing events: 12/17 at The Transportation Revolution, 901 Julia, from 6-8pm; 12/19, Bywater Art Market from 9-4.

Just $18 plus $4.95 postage, with proceeds going to continue our work. You can use a credit card via the PayPal button below, or send a check to The Sula Foundation, PO Box 3780, New Orleans, LA 70117. (Or via Amazon, if that makes you more comfortable, although we earn less with Amazon sales.)

Calendar plus shipping

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Babe at Bud Rips

Babe was found wandering the Lower Ninth Ward last fall after we returned from a hurricane evacuation. (He had formed a pack with the English bulldogs Harold and Maude, who we also rescued.) Babe was fostered at Zeus' Place and there he fell in love with Charity and her beagle, Hubig Pie. So, of course, they're all living together now. In this shot from our 2010 Calendar, Babe makes a very confident first visit to a bar. (And somehow manages to look twice his actual size.)

If you haven't ordered your calendar yet, get on it! And pick up a few for your family and friends too.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Send holiday greetings with Annie

When we saw this photo from our calendar photo shoot, a greeting card was born. If you ordered your calendar already, you'll find our thanks inscribed on this card. And soon you will be able to order a set of cards to send your own holiday wishes.

The cards are 5.5" x 4.25" and the inside reads "Here's to getting everything you wish for..." The back features a small photo of Annie in her Oklahoma kennel and the details of her rescue.

Annie card bundles

Thursday, October 29, 2009

In Memory of Houndy Girl

(The following update was included in one of our newsletters several weeks ago; if you would like to be on our mailing list, you can sign up on the upper right of this page).

It is hard to believe that three months have passed since we brought you the news of the "largest dog fighting bust" in US History. Even harder to fathom: the majority of those dogs are still being warehoused in St. Louis, awaiting the moment when they might be allowed to go to rescue. The numbers of dogs kenneled there have grown as those who arrived pregnant have now given birth to puppies. It makes us even more grateful for the efforts of Bad Rap, who invited us to join them in evaluating a small group of dogs who were fortunate enough to land at the Claremore Animal Shelter in Oklahoma. Eight of the twelve dogs there went to rescue, including our own Annie, who has been happily unwinding and enjoying an increasing social calendar that includes playing chase with Doug and wrestling with Beast, a four month old puppy that lives down the street.

Houndy Girl, pictured above with Ken Foster, wasn't one of the lucky ones. We don't have video of Houndy, because she was too busy kissing and sitting in his lap for Ken to get anything. But she passed her evaluations, and then waited for a possible placement in a foster home. During this waiting period (because there just aren't that many qualified homes waiting to take in a fight-bust dog), Houndy demonstrated some issues that hadn't been seen in the evaluation. In particular, she was fearful of women, in much the same way that many dogs who have been abused are fearful of men. She also didn't know what to think of children. Both of these are things that can be worked with, but with so few homes available, and so many other dogs waiting, the decision was made to give Houndy some special time and care, and then put her down.

It is important to recognize the limitations we have in saving these dogs; and it is even more important to recognize that their failures were not their own. Molly Gibb, who took good care of Houndy and called in tears when the decision was made, has a great, honest essay about the experience at the Bad Rap website.

But we also want to remember the others we met there, none of whom had any of the human aggression so often assumed in fighting dogs. In addition to Houndy, we lost Black Dog, Bailey, and Scarface.

Rest in Peace.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

National Pit Bull Awareness Day, Saturday October 24th

This Saturday is National Pit Bull Awareness Day and we'll be celebrating all day long in New Orleans.

The day starts at 11 with a walk along the Moon Walk in the French Quarter; we'll meet at the Mint (facing the French Market) and walk along the river and through Jackson Square.

From 11-12:30, Ken Foster will be signing books at Tisket a Tasket in the French Market.

From 12-3 we'll be station the Gallery Rinard on Royal Street, so be sure to stop by and meet a variety of well-trained pit bulls who will be taking shifts in the gallery and walking through the Quarter. We'll have information and resources on hand too.

And from 4-8pm, we'll be uptown with our adoptable dogs at Canine Connection's Barktoberfest, 4920 Tchoup.

Monday, October 12, 2009

It's almost here: the 2010 Pit Bulls of New Orleans Calendar

The 2010 Calendar features two dozen dogs in locations all over town. You can order it online, or pick it up at Canine Connection, Canine Culture, Petcetera, Beth's Books, Garden District Bookshop, The Transportation Revolution, 45 Tchoup, FAB, Neophobia, Snake and Jakes, Juan's Flying Burrito, Fair Grinds Coffee House.

Just $18 plus $4.95 postage, with proceeds going to continue our work. You can use a credit card via the PayPal button below, or send a check to The Sula Foundation, PO Box 3780, New Orleans, LA 70117. (Or via Amazon, if that makes you more comfortable, although we earn less with Amazon sales.)

Calendar plus shipping

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Meet Louis "Toots" Pibble IV

Two weeks ago we received an email from Tessa at the Jefferson Parish Animal Shelter, asking if we would come evaluate a pit bull that had recently come in--with a fractured leg. She knew this would be a special case for us--and we knew that the dog must be pretty special for her to be asking us, so off we went. In the dormant lobby on a Sunday afternoon, this little guy came scrambing through the door on his three working legs and proceeded to take turns burying his face in the lap of each stranger present. Typical pit bull, making it nearly impossible to say no. But we didn't say yes without subjecting him a few more tests, pinching his toes, bringing him out to meet a few dogs, and then, the ultimate challenge, a very controlled encounter with a crabby Jack Russell. Newly christened Louis (think French aristocracy) Toots (as in the Maytals) Pibble (you know) the IV (even though there is no other dog like him) is now recouperating from his amputation surgery and looking forward to a meeting with his new mentor, our three-legged wonder, Bella. If you'd like to contribute to his care, you can donate via PayPal.-s

Friday, August 21, 2009

Here's Annie

This is Annie. We're not sure how old she is, but we do know that she's spent her life being bred to supply a dogfighter with fresh puppies. She was part of the enormous federal bust involving dogfighters in Iowa, Illinois, Oklahoma, Texas, Missouri and Mississippi. While the bulk of the dog victims are being held in St. Louis, several pockets of dogs are being held elsewhere and have been able to be evaluated and released into rescue.

Because there are still some dogs awaiting transfer to rescue from this location, there are details we cannot yet share. You can see more of the dogs in the video "Meet the Oklahoma Dozen."

For most of the dogs, their interaction with the outside world had been limited; several had not been outside in over a month. Yet, aside from an initial hesitation--possibly due to the 100 degree weather--most of them completely unwound as we worked them through their assessments. They wanted to play. They wanted to kiss.

After the assessments were complete, Annie's custody was signed over to The Sula Foundation. But by then, Ken had already returned to New Orleans, so the question became how to get her safely to our custody, and this was complicated by the fact that, for security reasons, we still didn't want anyone to know where these dogs were being kept. No funds were available for vaccines or spay/neuter surgeries during the six weeks the dogs were held. And an intact dog without vaccines is at the bottom of the priority list for most dog transport operations.

Fortunately, a number of people stepped up to help with the top secret transport. (Thank you to: Lori Leonhardt of Catahoula United Rescue Society; Sandy Ray of Pryor Animal League; Shelley Seitz; Bill and Linda Wissen; Broad Street Bakery; Ed Fritz and Patty Meehan). Annie left her first location on Friday evening, made her way to Little Rock on Saturday morning, then onto Memphis, Winona and Jackson, where Ken picked up the end of her trip. She arrived in New Orleans on Saturday, August 22nd, at midnight. We're looking forward to introducing Annie to everyone at an upcoming event, but first we're going to give her time to get used to sleeping in a dog bed, eating decent food, and just being a regular dog.

But she also has some additional hurdles to face. Nearly all of the dogs in Oklahoma had terrible teeth. One had no teeth at all. Even the younger dogs had severe tartar or, in at least one case, a purple tinge to the enamel of the teeth. Annie, unfortunately, is no exception. We've discovered that at least five of her teeth are fractured and need to be extracted.

Our little Annie is holding together well, considering all these changes. On her way uptown to her spay appointment, she sat upright, craning her neck to check out all the mansions as we passed. Yes, she's looking forward to a good home.

If you'd like to help support Annie and our other activities, please consider making a donation or contact us at

UPDATE: Take a look at an almost unrecognizably happy Annie on her shopping trip.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Treating dogs as individuals

A funny thing happened on our way to dinner with some folks from Bad Rap and Animal Farm Foundation last week. First, Donna Reynolds, the wonderful co-founder of Bad Rap, had to cancel in order to head from their home-base in Oakland to the middle of the country to evaluate a group of dogs that were part of the enormous multiple-state dogfighting bust that took place earlier this summer. Previously, The Sula Foundation joined Bad Rap in urging the Humane Society of the United States to reverse their policy of euthanizing all "bust" dogs without evaluation.

The largest group of dogs from this recent bust are being held in St. Louis with the Humane Society of Missouri. The Sula Foundation has reached out to them several times in the past month offering our volunteer support to come up and help clean kennels or take custody of a dog or two once they have been released and passed their evaluations. But, as often happens in the rescue world, we're still waiting to hear back. So, in a Freaky Friday sort of twist, Sula-founder Ken Foster took Donna's place, and met with Bad Rap co-founder Tim Racer at a still-undisclosed location to meet and assess another group of dogs that are part of this same expanding federal case.

We can't give all the details just yet. But we can throw out a few adjectives: Moving. Intense. Emotional. Rewarding. (You can read a bit more over at the Bad Rap blog.)

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Happy Birthday Meg!

Our friend Meg Lousteau is celebrating her birthday this week and she's asked her friends and family to donate to her favorite charities--including The Sula Foundation--instead of gifts. What a great, painless way to raise money! Money raised from Meg's friends will go toward our upcoming low-cost vaccination days, free spay/neuter and other efforts to help keep dogs off the streets. Thanks Meg! And Happy Birthday!!

Here's a great video of Meg's dogs waking up a houseguest:

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Could Michael Vick become a Saint?

Early this week, news broke of Michael Vick's reinstatement with the NFL. He can play ball immediately, although the initial terms stipulate that he must sit out the first six games of the season. In justifying the reinstatement, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell cited Vick's remorse and his work with the Humane Society of the United States. Yet many have pointed out that at his most recent trial, on state charges in April, Vick pled not guilty to animal cruelty even while entering guilty plea on the charge of dogfighting. Is it possible to be remorseful for something for which you still avoid taking responsibility? And, while Vick and HSUS do, indeed, have an agreement to work together, that work, so far, has been limited to press releases promoting their partnership.

There has been speculation, going back to last spring, that Vick might make a "great" addition to the New Orleans Saints. On Tuesday afternoon, Saints player Lance Moore told WWL-TV that he would love to have Vick join the team. "He'd bring a whole other dimension to this team that we don't really have," he said. "I think he's more than paid his debt to society," Moore continued. "He's done everything that's been asked of him and I would assume you are not going to see any problems. I'm sure the damage that it has done to him mentally is plenty for him to have learned his lesson." Elsewhere, one online report even sketched out a scenario of how to reintroduce Vick to New Orleans, with a joint press conference featuring the Louisiana SPCA.

Certainly Vick deserves a shot to return to society and earn a living; but does that mean that he is fit to serve among the elite of the NFL, among athletes who are regarded as role models to millions? Some argue that denying him the game is robbing him of his livelihood; others say that he can find a job doing something else. Yet what is often missing from this debate is a careful look at the actual facts of the case: one still hears the words "alleged dogfighter" or comparisons to hunting. Vick was involved in an illegal dogfighting operation that included gambling; he and his cohorts admitted to killing dogs that didn't perform; among the methods used to kill the dogs, they electrocuted some by attaching car batteries to their live bodies; these electrocutions were performed at the bottom of an empty pool, where it was possible, months later, to see the claw marks made as the dogs frantically tried to escape; during the investigation, Vick lied to law enforcement, to federal agents, and to his employers and teammates; and, in April of this year, while still serving time in a federal prison, he pled not guilty on state charges of animal cruelty.

Of course, the Saints and the NFL can choose to do what they feel is appropriate, and already they have heard from many fans and players who feel Vick should return. But wouldn't it be something if the teams actually took a vocal stand against dogfighting and animal cruelty this season? If you want to make sure they know how you feel, here are some helpful contacts:

212-450-2000; 212-450-2027

New Orleans Saints:
New Orleans Saints
5800 Airline Drive
Metairie, LA 70003
(504) 731-1080

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

UPDATED! Events this week: Hug, wash, kiss, adopt...

Join us this Saturday, July 25
at the new location for Canine Connection, 4290 Tchoup
11-3pm, with adoptable dogs and $10 dog washes for your own dirty pooch

Saturday, August 1st
Dog Daze at Fortier Park, a benefit for the LA-SPCA, The Sula Foundation and City Bark

Sunday, June 28, 2009

A stroll with Mardi, Tiramisu and Empanada

Here's a sample video from our new YouTube channel, which features our adoptable dogs.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Dusty, now available via The Sula Foundation

Dusty was a stray a few months ago and was taken in as a foster by a woman uptown. Unfortunately, her landlord threatened her with eviction. Meanwhile, Dusty's been neutered, treated for heartworms and is up to date on his vaccinations. Here's a video from shortly after he was found:

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Our newest addition

Watch Luna learn how to play in this video with her foster-brother, Monty.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

"Who's Your Daddy?" Thursday May 21st, 6-8pm

Party, Dogwash and DNA tests!

Join us Thursday May 21st, 6-8pm
Canine Culture
8110 Hampson Street

$10 Dog Wash while you enjoy refreshments
Last chance for discounted DNA tests
And, we'll reveal the genetic identity of Brando and Zephyr! (And we'll have a little guessing game before the reveal!)

Saturday, May 2, 2009

More Dog Day on Julia

Here's video from our Dog Day on Julia Street. The gallery will be open tonight from 6-8pm, and the show runs through May 23rd. Robert Tannen will be donating 50% of sales of his ball portraits to The Sula Foundation!

And yes, I do look awful. But doesn't Gus look great?

Monday, April 27, 2009

Dog Day on Julia Street: Friday May 1st

Friday May 1st
527 Julia Street

Celebrate the life of Rocky with your four-legged friends. Attend the first-ever dog-friendly art show on Julia Street. See Robert Tannen’s “A Show of Balls,” sure to be a hit with Fido. Also visit “Rocky’s Ballroom.” Low-hanging art, water, and lots of balls. Treats for dogs and their humans.

Rocky was a 65 pound pit/lab mix. Twenty percent of the proceeds from art sales during the show will benefit the Sula Foundation for local rescue pits.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Gambit features the Sula Foundation

The current issue of Gambit features a story on the Sula Foundation. It also features some of our favorite foster dogs, including Roosevelt (aka Ghost), Tiramisu and Empanada. Thank you Gambit!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

For your consideration: Nana and Mardi

These girls have been waiting too long for their permanent homes.
Mardi is a young, female pit bull who was found on Magazine street in January and fostered for a month in a house with four other dogs and two young children. When they had to move across the country for work, they realized they could no longer keep her as they had planned. We found room for her at Canine Connection. She's up to date on shots, spayed and on heartworm prevention.

Nana is a white pit bull mix who was adopted from the LA-SPCA as a puppy. After less than a year, he developed health complications that forced him to leave his job and move in with relatives. He contacted us, because he was worried that Nana would fall into the wrong hands, or possibly be euthanized if taken to a shelter. Nana's been staying at Zeus' Place since October! She is spayed, heartworm negative, friendly with children and dogs. Yet so many other dogs have come and gone while she continues patiently waiting.

You can view our other adoptable dogs at Petfinder.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Sula Foundation announces our first annual five-minute film festival

We're still putting the plans together, but this summer The Sula Foundation will be sponsoring our first film competition. The basic guidelines: you have five minutes to portray the American Pit Bull Terrier on film. You may use a documentary style, PSA format, or narrative short. Finalists will be broadcast on our YouTube channel and the winners will be screened at our first Pit Bull Film Festival this summer in New Orleans.

More details--and entry forms--will be online in a few days.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy Anniversary

Originally uploaded by kfoz
Ken Foster found Sula five years ago today. Happy Anniversary!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Special Meeting: The Future of Pit Bulls in New Orleans

A few weeks ago, The Sula Foundation contributed toward the expenses of two LA-SPCA staff members who flew to Oakland to join Bad Rap for a week of training and education at Oakland Animal Services. Join us for a talk with LA-SPCA Humane Education director Amy Lundeen, as she fills us in on what they learned and what we can all begin working toward regarding the pit bulls of New Orleans.

Thursday, March 19th, 7pm
Canine Culture
8110 Hampson Street
New Orleans, LA

Also, this week marks two important dates in pit bull history. Monday March 16th marks the anniversary of the death of Sgt. Stubby, the most decorated dog in military history. Tuesday, St. Patrick's Day, is the five year anniversary of Ken Foster finding his dog Sula as a stray. You can honor them by making a small contribution to the Sula Foundation, or by contributing to our efforts to raise money for the LA-SPCA's annual Dog Day Afternoon campaign.

Help Dominick and find out what makes up your mutt

I'm not sure what kind of dog Dominick is. When I picked him up a few weeks ago, he was eating garbage out of a gutter in front of a McDonalds on St. Claude Avenue. At first he didn't want anything to do with me, but eventually he got into my car and within a few blocks he was in my lap, on his back, getting his scrawny belly rubbed as I drove. Please, don't try this in your own car. Dom stayed for a few weeks with a vet uptown and then moved over to Zeus' Place, where he has been delighted to be fed, petted and surrounded by dozens of other dogs. But like most strays in New Orleans, he has heartworms. In order to pay for his treatment and that of other dogs, we need to do a little fundraising. (In addition to Dominick, in the past week we vaccinated and neutered five dogs, and we're treating a pair of puppies for mange.)

Beginning March 21st, The Sula Foundation will be holding an ongoing Swab-a-thon. We're working with the folks at CanineHeritage, and in addition to sharing the proceeds on their canine DNA testing kits, they've also, for the first time, agreed to drop the price from $120 to $99.95. The test involves collecting a DNA sample from your dog's mouth, which is then compared to 100 breeds. It should be noted that they do NOT test for "pit bull." But if you have ever wondered, debated or argued about what your rescue dog is made of, now is your chance to get scientific proof. You won't love your dog any more or less, but you might learn some surprising things about his or her past. We'll have the kits available March 21st at the Bywater Bark Market, and also at Canine Connection and Canine Culture, as well as other upcoming events. You can preorder your kit online now, for pick up when they arrive.

Canine Heritage DNA kit preorder

Friday, February 20, 2009

The Sula Foundation joins coalition of animal welfare groups

Earlier this week, The Sula Foundation joined a coalition of animal welfare organizations demanding temperament evaluations before the euthanization of 145 dogs seized in a North Carolina dogfighting/breeding case. The coalition includes BAD RAP, Animal Farm Foundation, Villa Lobos Rescue Center, Downtown Dog Rescue, and Our Pack. You can read more about it here, and here, and read our recent email to our members here. For the best coverage, and more links, go to BAD RAP's blog. We'll continue to post some updates and important links as things progress.

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Louisiana SPCA's Dog Day Afternoon is coming...

On March 29th, the Louisiana SPCA's Dog Day Afternoon will take place in City Park. This is the first time that City Park has been the location for the event--in the past, it has always been held at Audubon Park.

You can make a contribution to our fundraising efforts or you can join us as part of The Sula Foundation's team. We're hoping to raise at least $1,500 for the SPCA, and show how strong the pit bull community can be!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Barkus on Sunday

We'll have a booth at Barkus on Sunday, with free samples of Racheal Ray's Nutrish, posters of Leo (the Vick dog turned therapy dog), bumper stickers, shirts and more.

Also, in addition to needing help with our own booth at Barkus, the Barkus parade krewe is looking for volunteers to help throughout the day. The parade is Sunday, February 15th. Available shifts: 8AM – 12Noon or 10AM – 2PM or 1PM – 5PM. Volunteers cannot bring their dogs. This is a great opportunity for middle/high school students who need service hours for school, as well as college students and adults who want to be part of the fun! When you sign up as a volunteer, be sure to list the Sula Foundation as the organization affiliation so we get credit for having the best volunteers!! To sign up email put ”volunteer” in the subject line.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Pit-Bull Love-In on Saturday February 7th

We're having a snuggle-fest/adoption day at Canine Connection, 3440 Magazine Street, New Orleans, on Saturday February 7th from 11am-3pm. Come on by and meet some of our dogs, pick up a 2009 calendar, etc.
(Note: the great poster is from