Sacramento Martial Arts and Karate
For my greenbelt service project I dedicated my time to PB SOC, a non-profit located here in Sacramento. PB SOC, which stands for Pit Bull Socialization and Obedience Crew is dedicated to rehabilitating and finding homes for adoptable pit bulls. This organization works in partnership with the Sacramento County Animal Shelter, located on Bradshaw Road in Sacramento. Through exercise, obedience training, socialization with people and other animals, PB SOC aims to help dogs become healthy, balanced and ultimately adoptable.
Most of PB SOC dogs are mixes of some of the most powerful breeds. In addition to pit bulls, volunteers care for mixes of other breeds like the massive tosa inu, bull terriers, cane corso, Rhodesian ridgeback, American bulldog. Regardless of their breed, however, all treated as individuals, each with specific rehabilitation requirements and best options for their “forever home”.
In 2014, I spent several months heading to the shelter on Sunday mornings to take the shelter dogs on walks. Though sometimes rambunctious and strong, I was surprised to find that the dogs were sweet, good-natured, and grateful to be out of their kennels. I discovered some were more sociable than others, but all were in real need need of human interaction, exercise, and any other form of mental and physical stimulation. When I'd take them out, dogs would usually start their walks restless and stressed. By the end of our time together, after a long walk, some rolling in grass, a bit of obedience training (and possibly a dip in a local fountain) most would return to their kennels tired and relaxed (for proof, see Rolling in the grass with Norah and Jones)
Working with these dogs, I learned that many were surrendered or abandoned by their owners or strays from the street. However, I was surprised to discover that many were confiscates. That is, these dogs were confiscated by law enforcement. While their owners await their court date on charges of animal cruelty or another crime, they cannot be adopted out to homes. Therefore, they often spend many months, possibly years, at the shelter awaiting the resolution of the court case before being allowed to return to their owners or go to a new home.
When leading the dogs through the noisy shelter, I would try to maintain a calm, confident energy, which helped the dogs relax, but also helped me. I found that it is not a matter of challenging and battling with them, but leading them and helping them do what is best for them. As a result, trust between dogs and humans can be built.
If you have more questions, are interested in adopting a dog, or volunteering or fostering a dog, please go to http://saccountydogs.com/about-us/ . (There is a desperate need for more dog walkers right now. Great way to get in shape and help the community at the same time!)