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Thursday, November 24, 2011

Beau's Journey

Jamie and Beau
Many of you already know our dedicated Volunteer Coordinator, Jamie Patterson. But when she’s not rounding up volunteers for our events, visiting our foster dogs at Canine Connection or snapping photos of adoptable pets, she’s at home, hanging out with her own furry friend, Mr. Beau. This handsome blue boy was featured in our 2012 Calendar, but we didn’t have enough room to share his incredible journey there. 

In the world of pit bull advocacy and rescue, we’re often forced to be reactive: we speak out against Breed Specific Legislation when it threatens our communities; we pull wonderful dogs from area shelters that wouldn’t make it to adoption otherwise; we provide support to pit owners in need. So on this Thanksgiving, we’re thankful for responsible pit bull owners, like Jamie, who are spreading the truth about pit bulls and keeping these amazing creatures out of shelters. 

Here’s Beau’s story:

Baby, bobble-head Beau
Beau came to Jamie’s family as a special needs pup—a former pick of the litter that had developed neurological problems and couldn’t walk in a straight line. He navigated the world as best as he could, wobbling around with his bobble head before running into whatever came into his path. Jamie was told that Beau wouldn’t be as active as other pups, and that he’d have a considerably shorter life span. But she was determined to give him a home filled with love, no matter had long he had. 

In the beginning, he was weak and groggy, but battled his health issues valiantly.  He would run three steps, fall, pick himself up and keep going. Soon after adopting him, Jamie discovered another health problem—Mr. Beau would need to undergo surgery for a hernia. But once the operation was complete, he came back at a miraculous full recovery. He went from running sideways and falling, to racing around the backyard like an arrow released. Beau was a dog with a new lease on life. The resiliency of these animals never ceases to amaze me. 

Special needs who?
 In Jamie’s words:

"Today, Beau Diesel Patterson is in beautiful health—80 lbs of stubborn, sofa-hogging snuggler.  He spends equal time infuriating us and making us fall in love.   He thrives on schedules—a.m. walks, keeping his toys in the same spot, play dates with the pup next door.  When something in his routine changes, he expresses a disapproval that is comical in its intensity.  He can say more by fixing you with a look, than most people can in a long conversation.  He has a special howl he saves for when he’s really frustrated.  He’s sneaky, affectionate, charming.  He’s stolen countless socks, food within reach…and our hearts.  We go to battle daily—him for more sofa time, me for more Beau photos.  He’s my exercise buddy, my best friend, my furry son. He has taught me never to give up.  I’ve tried to remember life before him and can’t.  And life without him now would be unbearaBEAU. Just like any other family with kids would say—it’s hard work but so worthwhile."

Mr. Beau in front of Jacques-Imo's on his calendar photo shoot

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Pit Bulls of New Orleans 2012 Calendar

Our 2012 calendar is at the printer now ... Pre-order your copies and they will ship the first week of November!    Alongside our city’s distinctive urban fabric, you’ll find the pit bulls of New Orleans seated on stoops, relaxing on porches, hanging out at local shops, restaurants and bars, and together with some of our favorite graffiti art.  

$18 per copy; $4.95 shipping per order.


Thursday, October 6, 2011

Introducing Chandler

Chandler being his usual happy self

Meet Chandler, a young pit-mix who was found a few months ago wandering near a heavily-trafficked intersection in New Orleans.  We were thrilled to discover that he was microchipped, but disappointed to learn that his owner didn’t want him back.  Forewarned about his “severe” separation anxiety, we were up for the challenge and offered him a foster spot in a home with two other dogs.  

And what a gem little Chandler has turned out to be.  We were prepared to tackle the typical behavioral problems that often accompany rescues.  But much to our delight, he came to us house-
trained, was crate-trained within a week, and had no destructive tendencies.  And as for the alleged separation anxiety?  No doubt, Chandler enjoys the company of his people.  But we’ve also discovered how much he loves the company of his foster siblings, who seem to have quelled his fear of being alone.
Chandler and Villere practice their snuggling

It was a match made in heaven with his foster brother, Villere.  Since day one, they’ve been non-stop play buddies, chasing each other around our shotgun house and playing tug to their heart’s content.  But it’s not all rough-housing with these two; they know a thing or two about relaxation and spend most of their down time using each other as pillows.  

But it took a little more time for him to win over his foster sister (former Sula Foundation adoptable), Kiana.  Kiana was dog-intolerant when we adopted her a year and a half ago, but had been making major strides on walks and at home with her brother.  By the time Chandler arrived, she’d learned to tolerate most dogs, but still wasn’t comfortable at close distances.  She had never played with another dog, but we knew that type of positive interaction would go a long way for her.  And Mr. Chandler changed all that.  For the first month or so, he patiently followed her around, keeping as much distance as she needed.   As she became more and more at ease, he got closer and closer, until they were ending their days cuddled up against each other on the sofa.    

And just a couple days ago, she finally let her guard down....  

It was such a major breakthrough for her, and it wouldn’t have been possible without Chandler’s patient persistence, his incredible intuition and ability to gauge her play style.  The next day, Kiana was playing with her brother Villere and they’ve been at it ever since!  We’ve worked on behavior modification with her for a year and a half, and made great progress, but it was Chandler who was able to show her that other dogs can be trusted.  

I’m often commended for “everything I do” for homeless dogs.  Less often are the dogs commended for what they give me and my family in return.  Chandler is one special boy who deserves to bring all the laughter, joy and trust he has brought to my family to a family of his own.  

-Kelly and Chandler

Saturday, August 27, 2011

We love getting letters like this...

August 22, 2011

Greetings Ken Foster and Sula Foundation,

Over the last few years we have read Ken’s book “The dogs who found me” and
subscribed/given (many) of the annual Sula foundation calendars to friends and family. We also have followed all the information on-line via the blogs from both of you and enjoy hearing what is going on with your continued efforts.

Because of the influence you have provided we have successfully adopted a 9-12 month old pit bull mix (pit and mastiff) named Monty from the Southwest Washington Humane Society three weeks ago from the writing of this letter.

We also have a 9 ½ year old Rottweiler, Stacia, that in recent months has become very arthritic and is unable to play at the pace her brain thinks she can. In raising Stacia we have found many people realize these breeds are not “dangerous” but very loving and friendly. We cannot even get close to telling anyone the amount of opinions and mis-perceptions this dog has changed. We thought it would be great if another dog learned from her mannerisms and after careful thought we adopted Monty with the intention to carry on your/her influence and a positive change to these breed of dogs. Each day we continue to make all the efforts we can to follow your lead and tell everyone not to be afraid, but embrace the love these animals give.

Although a couple of our neighbors were leery of the breed, this dog has won over many a heart already and changed a few perceptions. Because of Ken and the Sula foundation we are proud to say, this is not a “bully breed” but a loving, wonderful, sensitive breed.

For your enjoyment we have attached a couple of pictures of Monty and ask that you continue to do your valuable work and positive influence to potential owners all over the US.

Thank you both for all the hard work you and the foundation do, we have been blessed for 9 ½ years and look forward to many, many more.

Andrew, Stephanie and Cameron Bremner

Saturday, July 23, 2011

August isn't slow around here

We've got a whole lot happening in the coming weeks, so here's our slate of events, all featuring some of our foster dogs. Come by and support our work, snuggle a dog, and possibly even take one home!

Saturday July 23rd, 11am--2pm
Sula Foundation Open House
Gallery Rinard, French Quarter

Saturday July 30th, 11am--4pm
Pitty Fairness with Ken Foster and Shorty Rossi
Louisville, KY

Saturday August 6th, 11am--4pm
A Cool and Clean Canine Event, with doggie baths and the NO Fleas Market
Pinkberry, Magazine Street, New Orleans

Tuesday August 9th, 5:30-7:30
Yappy Hour at Fetch Midcity
Join us for winetasting, dog baths and adoptable dogs

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Hercules, Shorty and Me

This past Saturday I was invited as a guest at the American Pit Bull Foundation's
first annual summer benefit concert in Charlotte, NC. It was a great day, with a fair full of vendors and rescues throughout the afternoon, and five bands performing in the evening, including the "Pit Bull Blues" guy, John Shipe. But the big lure for all of us was the guest MC (or MCs): Shorty Rossi and Hercules from the Animal Planet show "Pit Boss." You never know how a celebrity will be when you meet them in person, but Shorty was totally cool, and devoted his day to signing autographs, taking pictures and making sure everyone knew that we were there to support adoption and spay/neuter, not breeding (which, as he said, may have pissed some people off.)

As you can see from this photo, someone forgot their sunblock. I was a little red after an afternoon signing books and selling Sula shirts in the sun, but it was worth it. Shorty and Hercules and I will be at it again on Saturday, July 30th in Louisville for the Pitty Fairness event organized by Saving Sunny. Come by if you are in the area! -- Ken Foster

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Join our Summer Fundraiser and we'll thank you with our new bumper sticker

Summer can be a long dry stretch when it comes to fundraising and we usually plan to coast through to the fall with frugal spending. But instead of paring down the number of dogs in our foster program, we've actually taken on quite a few more. Chandler was found in downtown New Orleans near Mardi Gras World. Betty was wandering in the Bywater. Wilson was on the side of a road on the Westbank. And so we're asking everyone to chip in if you can. Any donation of more than $5 earns you a free bumper sticker.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Help us foster responsible adoptions

Here's a new flyer promoting our adoption program. We currently have nine great dogs looking for new homes, but our adoptions have been at an all time low. While there are no doubt a number of reasons why, we've become aware of the fact that some people would rather quickly grab a dog from a shelter or rescue that is grateful to be rid of it, rather than go through the home check process and adopt one of our foster dogs, who come with training and a list of all of their potential quirks. If you are looking to adopt, or are interested in helping promote our dogs through distributing flyers and planning events, please contact us at or We'll be featuring some of our foster dog stories on this blog in the coming weeks.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Pit Bulls for Peace shirts

Sizes (Unisex and Women's)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Special offer for Sula supporters: see "My Dog Tulip" at a special price, courtesy of Chalmette Movies

For all of you who live in the New Orleans area, we have a special offer from the Chalmette movies. Print out this page and you and a guest can see the new animated film "My Dog Tulip" for $5.50. The movie opens exclusively at the Chalmette Theater, Friday March 11th through Thursday the 17th, with shows at 2:15 and 7:15.

Also, on Sunday afternoon, we'll be at the theater with an info table and a dog or two from 1-3pm. The theatre is located at 8700 Judge Perez Blvd, about six miles from the French Quarter.