MOTIVATE: ROWDY TO THE RESCUE
Chris Hughes and the gang
By Chris Hughes, Founder of Rowdy to the Rescue
I started rescuing Pit Bulls because there is a huge need for it. I see how people look at the breed, and I’m on a mission to change that negative stereotype. When I was a competing power lifter (and a very big guy), people would always look at me and say how they would not want to come across me in a dark alley; I feel that is the way people look at the Pit Bull. If you actually knew me, you would know I wouldn’t hurt a fly.
I decided to make a difference, and in 2009 I founded Rowdy to the Rescue, which is named after my first dog Rowdy (a Golden Retriever). We help the abused and unwanted dogs who, at no fault of their own, are left to die at the shelter. I look at these dogs, and it breaks my heart to know that people abused them and then left them out in the cold to fend for themselves.
In 2010, I was concentrating my efforts on getting all of the nonprofit statuses we would need in order to help the dogs in the biggest ways possible, and since 2011 we have rescued, rehabilitated, and re-homed over 100 Pit Bulls.
As a rescue, because it’s important to network with other rescues, I have two favorite groups that I like to support: BAD RAP and Animal Farm Foundation. Not only have they done so much for their own cities, but they travel to help other cities that are going through problems. Both rescue groups played a huge part of Ohio HB14, which changed the laws for Pit Bulls throughout the whole state of Ohio. They are amazing advocates, and Pit Bull owners throughout the whole country owe them a huge “thank you”!
As an avid dog lover, I take my dogs to work with me every day! My family owns the North Ridge Racquet Club, so I spend a lot of time behind the desk, and people will come into the club just to see the dogs. I’ve had so many people come in and tell me before they’d joined the club, they were afraid of Pit Bulls. But now after meeting the pack, they love them. So I think we are changing minds every day. We also run a therapy program that involves six Pit Bulls who are all registered therapy dogs. We visit local schools to talk about animal abuse, and the dogs participate in a reading program.
In 2012, we are trying to raise money to purchase land to build a therapy center. The community will be able to bring their children to the center to work with therapy dogs. We also want to get the Rowdy to the Rescue dogs service trained to help with post traumatic stress disorder and to visit battered women shelters.
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