PASSION: DAISY DAVIS PIT BULL RESCUE

MONICA MANKINEN WITH DAISY

By Monica Mankinen, Founder of Daisy Davis Pit Bull Rescue
Photo by Jesse Freidina www.jessefreidin.com

One day, a friend saw a man dragging a sickly dog down the street, and she could see the dog was clearly frightened of the man. My friend called the authorities and the dog, Daisy, was taken away from him and placed into a foster home. I promised to walk Daisy every day, and after spending time with her, we adopted her as dog #4 in our house—but my first Pit Bull. I was head over heels in love with her. 

As soon as we got Daisy, I couldn’t believe the negative comments people would say about Pit Bulls to me, and I found it extremely frustrating. I would defend her and her breed. I would spend my days with the most loving, amazing, and beautiful girl, and then hear people use words such as “vicious,” “unpredictable,” and “killers,” to describe these dogs.

In 2007, the Michael Vick investigation broke. People would comment about how sick he was, but they would also talk about how Pit Bulls were born just to fight, among other cruel and incorrect comments. I decided to fly to Virginia and protest in front of the courthouse with many other Pit Bull lovers. After I returned home, I started fundraising for dogs in need. I spent the rest of 2007 and 2008 fundraising and volunteering. I also attended BAD RAP’s Pit Bull Weekend University in San Francisco, flew to Iowa to meet Wallace the Pit Bull at a Pit Bull Day class, and started working with our County Animal Control’s Pit Crew training class. 

In 2009, I heard about a documentary that Brandon Bond had made called Vicktory to the Underdog. He is an award-winning tattoo artist in Atlanta, and he worked with three of the Vick dogs. Brandon organized the film’s screening as a fundraising event in Las Vegas; all of the profit would benefit the Villalobos Pit Bull Rescue in California. I flew to Las Vegas with a friend to attend this landmark event.

When I got home from Las Vegas, I started Daisy Davis Pit Bull Rescue. That film Brandon and his wife, Ashley, made has been a huge source of inspiration for me. It shows that one person can make a difference. Even though we are a new and small rescue, in just a few years we have put together the following programs in our community:

FOSTER ANS ADOPT PROGRAM -

In the past few years we have taken in just under 30 dogs who are kept in foster homes until we find permanent, loving homes with carefully screened adopters.

GOOD DOG GREAT -

This program was started as a way to reach those people whose dogs need a little extra help with training or who would like to know more about the Pit Bull breed. 

DAISY DAVIS OUTREACH PROGRAM -

We offer assistance with dog-related issues, such as helping with spay and neuter costs, building fences, providing private training, and giving recommendations for finding Pit Bull-friendly housing.

DAISY DAVIS SCHOOL OF PITS AND FRIENDS -

This program is a huge success. This basic obedience class is taught by local dog trainer Crissy Wilson Tadlock and her award-winning dog, Echo the Deaf Pittie Mix. It’s free to all Pit Bulls and Pit Bull type dogs. 

We have definitely changed minds in our community regarding Pit Bull stereotypes in many different ways, and we all have the power to make a difference. Think about what you can do to help make a difference. Change can start with one smile at a time.

For more information or to contact:
Daisy Davis Pit Bull Rescue
144 N. Franklin St
Fort Bragg, CA 95437

Email Monica at:
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Become a fan at:
www.facebook.com/daisydavispitbullrescue