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'I just can't do it anymore': Surrey rescue that has rehomed 500 bully breed dogs closes


Kate Crew has always had a soft spot for American pit bull terriers and other bully breed dogs, animals she believes are misunderstood.

“I didn’t have a lot of friends growing up, I was bullied, kind of like the one that stuck out and was misjudged. So I think, personally, I just felt a connection there,” said Crew.

While working for the SPCA in 2013, Crew founded the Love a Bull Rescue Society. In the past 11 years, it has found fosters and forever homes for over 500 bully breed dogs that had been surrendered or abandoned.

“I have connected a lot of people with the dogs that they love, and that’s really why I’ve done it,” said Crew.

Kathy Powelson, the executive director of the animal charity Paws For Hope, says it’s difficult, time-consuming volunteer work.

“If you’re an organization that’s focused on pit bulls, who a portion of society probably doesn’t even think should be allowed to be around, you have an uphill battle, right? So you’re advocating for the underdog,” she said.

While Love a Bull will continue to provide support for marginalized pet owners, over the weekend Crew announced the rescue would be shut down.

“I feel like I’m not making a difference anymore,” said Crew.

“The dogs that we have had in the last few crews have been really challenging, and there are no available homes here it seems. A lot of people are importing from other countries, so we are unable to find any foster homes or adopters.”

Powelson says BC-based animal rescues are now competing with unregulated organizations that make heartfelt appeals about desperate dogs in foreign countries.

“It’s correct to say the stories of individual rehomings or surrenders that happen locally are not as sexy in terms of telling stories, and they don’t capture people's hearts, maybe, as much as animals that are saved from so-called death row shelters in the states or on the streets of Mexico or other countries,” she said.

Powelson argues Canada is not in a position to be bringing in rescue animals from other countries when there are so many in need right here at home. “Shelters are turning away animals all the time, rescues can’t keep up with the demand,” she said.

“The number of emails and messages we get daily from people that want to get rid of their dog, it is so overwhelming. I just can’t do it anymore,” said Crew.

There’s concern that bully breed dogs, which are already harder to re-home, will fall through the cracks with the rescue's closure.

“With such low adoption rates, now what will happen to these dogs in the absence of a rescue that focused solely on them?” Powelson said.

“It is sad." Top Stories

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