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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Getting ready for 2014

Yes, our 2014 Calendar is out!  This year we sponsored a contest looking for pit bull saints from
allover the country; the winning dogs appear in the 2014 "My Pit Bull is a Saint" calendar, which is on sale now for $20.  This year's calendar is larger (one foot square) and offers more room for writing events and doggie playdates.  It also features a trio of tripod dogs!  As always the proceeds go directly to our programs.  In 2014 we plan to continue offering our low-cost clinics and we're also sponsoring training for New Orleans vets to learn about the new non-surgical sterilization method for male dogs.  You can purchase the calendar online at The Sula Foundation shop, or on Amazon.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Sponsor a heartworm test, a city tag, a neuter or spay at our upcoming clinic

As we get ready for our first summer clinic, we invite you to join us by donating toward one of our clinic services. For just ten dollars, you can sponsor a heartworm test; for $15 a city tag; for $75 or $100, a spay or neuter surgery.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Combating breed discrimination in Westwego

We've gone shopping for billboards in Westwego, and if we get enough donations, we'll be able to mount a billboard campaign before they continue their discussion of breed specific legislation in July. Here's a link to donate:

Monday, June 3, 2013

Pit Bull Saints and Finding Alternatives to BSL in Westwego

We've been in the news the past few days as several local television stations have featured reports regarding proposed breed specific legislation in Westwego.  The legislation has been prompted by an incident in which a woman was seriously injured by dogs that were kept in her house for the purpose of breeding.  It was an exceeding rare, extreme incident, but one that is now jeopardizing family pets who have no history of causing anyone harm.  While the mayor of Westwego has been quoted saying that he doesn't believe there is any law that can be created to keep people safe from their own dogs, councilman Glenn Green has been vocal in the media about his intention to create an ordinance that singles out pit bulls and their owners.  One of the proposed requirements is a special insurance policy--so special, in fact, that we haven't yet found anyone who actually offers it in the state of Louisiana.  Without this non-existant insurance, owners of any "pit bull type" dog will have to surrender the animal.  Because Westwego has no animal control officers, the enforcement will fall upon their police force, who remain untrained in dealing with, or identifying animals.  The burden of the cost of sheltering and euthanizing the animals in Westwego will be taken from the Jefferson Parish animal shelter budget, resulting in reduced resources for the rest of the parish.  And the result will be that no one is any safer than they were before.  

New Orleans recently enacted a breed neutral dangerous dog law that keeps its residents safe from dangerous dogs of any breed.  We'd like to see Westwego adopt a similar law--one that can be enforced and effective.  We were pleased to be asked for our opinion in some of the recent news coverage regarding the Westwego proposal, but disappointed that the coverage ultimately focused on the sensational aspects of this tragic, isolated incident rather than promoting a discussion of effective laws.  We've reached out to the council in Westwego, but remain unconvinced of their interest in seeking out effective policy. Below you will find the text of the letter we have sent to them.  We hope you will also reach out to share your thoughts will them; it is important that they hear from rational, level-headed people who understand that focusing solely on breeds will not keep anyone safe.  You can read the New Orleans ordinances here; and you can find the contact information for Westwego city council here.

Our letter:   

Like you, we were alarmed with the news of the recent, extreme attack on a Westwego woman who was sharing a home with a pit bull breeding operation. Contrary to suggestions occasionally made by non-experts on broadcast and print media, science shows us that the behavior of "dangerous dogs" can not be accurately predicted by breed or appearance. All dogs - from a Chihuahua to a Rottweiler - can be a menace to a community if they are not properly socialized by the humans that own them.
The American Veterinary Medical Association, the Center for Disease Control, the American Kennel Club, the ASPCA and countless other professional organizations agree. The CDC, often misquoted in these matters, does not support breed profiling, also known as breed-specific legislation (BSL). After years of study, the CDC concluded that many other factors mark the probability of a dog displaying inappropriate aggression: reproductive status, heredity, sex, early experience, and socialization and training.
70% of all dog bite cases involve unsterilized male dogs, and an unneutered male dog is 2.6 times more likely to bite than a neutered dog. 94% of all dog related human fatalities in the United States involve unsterilized canines. Dogs kept tethered in a yard account for 25% of all fatal attacks.
More particularly, several recurring claims in the media have absolutely no basis in fact: 
*Pit bulls do NOT have "stronger jaws" than other breeds; all dogs, on average, have a bite with 320 pounds of pressure per square inch.  
*Pit bulls do NOT have "locking jaws"; the University of Georgia found that there were no differences in jaw structure between pit bulls and other dogs 
*Pit bulls do NOT attack without warning; a study by the University of Veterinary Medicine in Hanover, Germany found that "pit bulls signal like other dogs."
Breed specific laws inevitably punish the responsible owners of entirely friendly, properly supervised and well-socialized dogs. Meanwhile, criminally irresponsible owners will continue to endanger the community, either with their "banned" breed, or another breed altogether. For example, studies conducted in the United Kingdom following their ban of pit bull type dogs found that the ban had absolutely no effect in controlling the number of dog bite cases each year.
Cities and municipalities that have enacted breed-specific laws have been surprised to discover the cost involved in trying to enforce it. In Denver, the city shelter has been scandalized by enormous kill rates and faced multiple legal cases regarding their seizure of dogs who may or may not have been pit bulls. Another side effect of breed specific legislation is that it encourages homeowners insurance and landlords to reject pit bull type dogs, which in turn leads to higher numbers of abandoned pit bulls wandering the streets and filling the local shelters.
More recently, several European countries, including the Netherlands and Italy, have lifted decades old breed legislation after concluding that it had no effect on reducing the number of incidents.
The city of New Orleans recently enacted a strong, breed-neutral dangerous dog law that focuses on the behavior of dogs and their owners, rather than vague physical characteristics. We urge you to consider this type of action, which would keep your residents safe from all dogs, not just a particular breed.
Please contact us if you would like to discuss this further; we have a number of colleagues on the national level who would be happy help draft effective legislation.
The Sula Foundation

On a lighter note:
Sula 2014 contest   
After a late start last year, we're already on track to get our 2014 calendar out at the start of September.  The theme this year is "My Pit Bull is a Saint,"  and entries are welcome from all over the world.  You can enter your dog's photo (high resolution please, no Instagram) and describe the miracles he or she has performed at The My Pit Bull is a Saint 2014 Calendar contest.  We've got some great entries already, and each one dollar vote supports our low-cost clinics, training and spay/neuter.  

With sincere thanks to all you,
The Sula Foundation

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Q & A with a Stellar Foster Dad

 Sula Foundation recently conducted an informal interview with Rooney’s fabulous and extremely dedicated foster dad, Gabriel.  We hope you enjoy the informative (and lighthearted) excerpt included below.  There are so many wonderful dogs in need of homes throughout New Orleans.  The dogs are diverse; they are smart.  They are deserving of a loving home.  Competition is high -- this is one explanation as to why Rooney has yet to be adopted.   Another reason might be – that he is such a large dog in stature, and needing of a strong (and smart) handler, or that he’s roughly four years old, and no longer a puppy. 

Or perhaps, Rooney is living proof -- Sometimes… the best really is saved for last. Right?  Then it goes without saying we are extremely eager to meet Rooney’s forever family – because they are going to be good folks with a bright future.  No doubt.

Rooney on Instagram (and on a car ride too.)

SF: How would you describe the perfect home for Rooney?
Gabriel: Rooney, like any other human (or dog) needs love and attention.  He will benefit greatly having another dog and/or someone who can exercise him (jogging, dog park, walks, etc). Rooney is a versatile dog.  He loves his kennel which makes any home transition easier.  For the past few months he has been primarily an inside dog with a clean record (no #1 or #2) 

SF: Would this home have other dogs? Cats?
Gabriel: He gets along great with other dogs unconditionally.

Sleeping Beauty
SF: Share with us something we wouldn’t expect from Rooney.
Gabriel: He can be intimidating at first because of his muscular physique.  But like a Chihuahua, he's not aware of his looks or size.  He is extremely sweet and will cuddle/lick any given chance.
He is also bilingual (English and Spanish)
SF:  So he's bilingual AND he knows the merengue... now THAT is something!

SF: What is your favorite aspect of Rooney’s personality?
Gabriel:  Rooney is loving, sweet and can definitely chill out when it’s time for downtime!

SF: Does Rooney have a favorite toy?

Gabriel: Hands down…tennis balls

SF:  If you had to guess, what would be Rooney’s ideal way to spend an afternoon.
Gabriel: At the dog park

Now THOSE are some "Puppy Dog" eyes.

SF: What about Rooney’s sleeping habits? Does he snore? Does he steal the covers?  Is he a bed hog?
Gabriel: Rooney sleeps in his kennel -his choice. Occasionally he'll nap in the laundry room (where it’s darker).  He snores sometimes.  He hasn't been allowed to jump on furniture or beds but I would guess he would be a bed hog if given the opportunity. Haha.

If you want to learn more about Rooney, please email us at and we'll happily arrange an opportunity for you to meet this incredible canine creature.  We love him and think you will too. 
(Gabriel is also available to answer any questions you have - about anything and everything Rooney.  Just ask.)

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Gladys At Home

Here's Gladys...
  "I don't need to meet another dog.  We want her."  How these words had never been spoken by another family before us, is a mystery to me, but it was also a stroke of luck.  For this piece,  I had all of my words perfectly arranged to explain how Gladys had captured not only my heart but the affections of my son as well, but as I sat down to type my story, Gladys intervened and changed the course of my tale.  By this I mean, she placed her head upon my wrists as I attempted to type and reminded me that life with a dog is utterly unpredictable and equally filled with affection.  For instance, I may set out to do a specific task, such as wash the dishes or put away laundry and then in an instant, those eyes look at me, that tail starts to wag, and all plans are chucked to the side as I drop to my knees and give my girl the belly rub she deserves.  This is my life with Gladys and I have the Sula Foundation to thank for bringing her into my world.
Gladys lends a shoulder to her two-legged brother.
Why The Sula Foundation?
I learned about the Sula Foundation from a friend, Jill, who volunteers her time to several local pit bull rescue and advocacy groups in the New Orleans area. She described the work that the Foundation does for the homeless pit bulls of our city.  This particular group piqued my interest because the adoptable dogs are first fostered and socialized, which was a non-negotiable necessity for me.  For several weeks, I had considered adopting a dog and since I had nothing but positive experiences with the pit bulls I had encountered, I figured that was the breed I wanted to explore.  After cyber-stalking the Sula website, I knew the dog I wanted, Rosa! I filled out my application and sent it off.  As it turned out, I had another friend, Christine, that was involved with the Sula Foundation as a foster parent.  She put in a good word for me with Kelly and helped to get the ball rolling. 
The Adoption
Kelly called me to do a phone interview. Yes, a phone interview to adopt a dog!   I knew I was adopting from the right organization since they put this much effort into finding a forever home for their pups.  After speaking with Kelly, it was agreed upon that the dog I should meet first was Gladys and not Rosa.  It was not that there was a problem with Rosa, it was simply that Gladys might be a better fit for me and my son.   We had talked about my expectations in adopting a dog.  From the sound of it, Gladys met all of them. (In fact, she has continued to meet all of them)! 
Gladys helps out with chores around the house.
 Meet and Greet
The next step in the process was to meet the pup and determine if she was the right match for my son and me. I had seen pictures of her. She was a medium-size tiger striped girl with a goofy grin and intense stare.  Her pictures did not do her justice. After entering into out home, Gladys plopped on the floor, rolled on her back and waited for her belly rub, a practice she has repeated many times during these past few months.  She was perfect. My son, who was 15, at the time, was smitten. Our short search was over. We knew Gladys was the one.
My Shadow
I could hardly wait to pick her up from her foster dad, Aron, and bring her home.  On September 14, a Friday, I left work early, ran to a local pet store and bought some goodies for my girl. I picked her up from Aron's and drove her home.  She has been by my side ever since.  Over the past few months, Gladys has grown into my shadow. Whether I am cooking or washing dishes in my tiny kitchen, or hanging clothes in my even tinier closet, Gladys is next to me.  Much to my son's disappointment, Gladys sleeps in bed with me too. What fun is having a dog if you don't get to cuddle her; and cuddle her I do!  Sometimes I wonder if it is possible for her to get any closer to me; and then she somehow manages to contort her body into a position that just about smothers me. I couldn't be happier!  
The Future
Gladys does not know it yet but I already have plans for our spring.  She is going to be my running partner when the weather becomes milder. And in March, I have signed us up for the Sula training.  I understand the importance of training and socialization. We have already had a few puppy play dates with Lucy, Villere and Chico, just a few of Gladys' new friends.  She has gone on walks with them and has proven to be quite the social lady. I intend to continue to socialize her with other dogs as well as with people.  My future and my present are definitely brighter with Gladys.  I like to think that Gladys wasn't adopted prior to our meeting because she was waiting for the right family; and now she has it and will never be alone again.  ~ Eileen A.
Gladys (left) enjoys a walk with her buddy Lucy.

Did you adopt from Sula Foundation and want to share an update on life with our alum? -   Please email us at
And of course, it is NEVER to late to adopt a companion for your family.  Check out our available dogs here: