On Sunday, Cynthia Bathurst from Best Friends came out to watch our Coliseum Class and what a class she watched! 36 dogs, all walking, jumping, running and working, without any fights! This is a big deal since some of the dogs in the class have leash or dog aggression issues or both. From 9:30-11:30 or longer, every Sunday, Cornelius “Dog Man” Austin, leads us on a course that runs from Figueroa and MLK blvd over to Vermont and back to the entrance of the Coliseum. We run the dogs through what we call our “urban agility course” over cement benches, walls, relay races and so much more! It’s a great work out for all the dogs and their handlers, one that Clancy looks forward to every week.

Cynthia leads the Safe + Humane Chicago program that promotes responsible dog handling by youth leaders for the community of dog owners who may not be able to afford traditional dog training classes. She is considering bringing a chapter to Los Angeles, where some of our youth handlers, Edgar and Jordan are being considered as potential leaders for their communities. Edgar discussed the challenges that he faces on a daily basis with his dog Queenie, living in Hawthorne where he is often approached by people who want to know if he is interested in fighting Queenie. Jordan lives near Crenshaw and has raised and trained his dog Pretty since she was a puppy. His goal is to become a professional dog training. A program sponsored by Best Friends in communities like South LA, Compton, Watts, Hawthorne, possibly Inglewood and Carson would do so much to prevent dog fighting, irresponsible breeding and animal cruelty! Stay tuned for more exciting information!

DDR YOUTH MATTER: DDR Pit Bull School Classmate, Edgar Hernandez

We love the participation of DDR youth in our programs like Pit Bull School (Jordan & Michael), adoption events (Carly & Katie), rescue missions (Josie Gavieres’s team), blog and more!!!!

The new DDR YOUTH MATTER section will feature these up and coming animal welfare advocates doing what they do best – being youthful, dedicated and out there for the animals!
Here is an example of majorly talented Edgar Hernandez who attends the Pit Bull School on Sundays and does amazing graphics of his pit bull Queenie! Edgar also helps us out in our monthly Spay/Neuter clinics. His participation and involvement in DDR is priceless and we are thankful for it!!!!!!!

Now check out his art work! Up and coming graphic artist and ONLY 14 years old…more good things to come out of this young man we’re sure!


Most of our loyal PITStop readers already know about our free pit bull training class, lead by Dog Man and Debbie, every Sunday at the Coliseum in Los Angeles but in case you were not aware, check out the video, created by Jeff Fleiss, our class videographer. Jeff compiled this video over the course of a couple months of Sunday classes.

If you own a pit bull and you need some help getting your dog social, please get in touch with me (lori@modernica.net). Our goal is to pass 100 pit bulls through our Canine Good Citizenship Certificate (CGC) program this year. On Sunday April 11th, we will be testing again. Our Sunday class helps prepare the dogs to pass the test. To learn more about CGC and to find out if you pit bull might pass, check out this LINK.

Be part of the solution, keep your pit bull social
with people and animals.
The dogs are counting on all of us!

LORI’S CORNER: Sandman + Hollywood

Every Sunday, we offer a free Pit bull walking class at the Coliseum from 9:30 – 11:30. Notice that I didn’t use the word training? It’s really not about training the dogs to sit, stay and down, which are really just tricks in the dogs’ minds. We emphasis socialization, deal with common challenges that many of us pit bull owners experience such as dog aggression, as well as offer support for students who are struggling with their dogs, perhaps even contemplating taking the dogs to the shelter or worse. Sometimes, our class is the last stop for a dog before an owner just gives up! There are often 30+ dogs in the class, there is no sign up, you can drop in or drop out, there are always new students and lots of new puppies any given week. Many of the puppies, grow up in our class like Queenie, JJ, Pretty, Big Boy, and now Handsome and Ripley.

Sunday was a really special day, Hollywood, a very famous bully who has won numerous prizes at the Atomic Dogg shows, made a grand appearance for our photo shoot with rapper Sandman Negus and his crew. Hollywood is so dog aggressive that he has to be wheeled into the park in a customized crate on wheels. I doubt anyone reading this story has ever seen something so tricked out as his “chariot”, with the metallic bronze paint job to the custom rims. Hollywood came into the park in style.

Sandman posed for some photos with Hollywood as well as some of the other class members’ dogs. These photos will be used in our 2011 calendar as well as our dog clinic flyers. Sandman has also agreed to help us put out a special message against dog fighting and protecting our breed, the American Pit bull Terrier, composing a special song about pit bulls.

DDR PROGRAMS: Sunday PitBull School at the LA Coliseum

Keep Your Dog Social
-from the Downtown Dog Rescue website

“With humans, the pit bull is very easy to socialize but, since they tend to be very enthusiastic, they should be taught manners early on. A trained pit bull is often very social and loving with friends and strangers alike. As with most breeds, socialization with humans of all types should be part of the dog’s training for life. A pit bull that shows unprovoked human aggression, especially with children, is NOT typical of the breed and is showing very poor temperament. Such a dog should be thoroughly evaluated by a trainer or behaviorist experienced in the breed for a final determination of their temperament and recommendation on how to proceed. The pit bull is typically a people loving, intelligent and fun breed. Many excel at obedience training and dog sports such as agility, weight pull, Frisbee, and flyball. Due to their affinity with people, this breed is a good candidate for rescue and adoption, but potential homes need to be carefully screened to insure that the new owners understand and accept the responsibility of owning a pit bull. Media hysteria and bad owners have greatly damaged this breed and every incident involving a pit bull makes it worse for the entire breed and their owners, often prompting breed specific legislation or breed bans. Potential owners need to be informed of the pit bull’s correct temperament, and need to be prepared to deal with the issue of dog aggression. Most pit bulls have a high prey drive and may chase small animals or livestock. This is NOT a breed for everyone! The only way to repair the pit bull’s bad reputation is to keep them in the hands of responsible owners.”

With that said, we would like to make an enthusiastic plug for:
Downtown Dog Rescue’s
Sunday Pitbull Socialization Class
at the LA Coliseum
(as long as there is not an event)
Every Sunday at 9:00 AM
Lead Trainer: Cornelius “Dog Man” Austin

Cornelius has 30 years of experience working with American Pit bull Terriers in South Los Angeles. He teaches dog owners how to properly walk their dogs as well as basic obedience, while promoting socialization.

The class meets on the East side of the Coliseum next to the Sports Arena. Make sure to have your dog has a leather leash and is at least […]

RIP “Daddy” Millan

The Dog Whisperer, Cesar Millan and his faithful dog, DADDY
as featured in USA Today

Cesar’s longtime friend and partner in canine rehabilitation, died peacefully surrounded by family on Friday the 19th of February. He was sixteen years old.
from Cesar’s Way

FRIDAY SHOUT OUTS – Giving Thanks!

Our Thank You’s from DDR this week is all about the “look!”

Of course essential “look” elements that help
change a dog like this:

to a happier version of THIS:

is a safe environment, good food, lots of love from Lori, Josie, the DDR show team in PETCO AND of course a good dental cleaning. DDR would like to thank HOUNDSTOOTH DENTAL, Non-Anesthestic Veterinary Dental Services for their help in making this big smile happen. Our newly adopted dog with the great smile is of course LUCY from the now “only a distant memory” 61st Street Kennels! She would like to thank her Houndstooth technician (non-anesthetic! at that) for the awesome dental cleaning she got this week (and her new adoptive family thanks you as well!)

Lucy would like to continue by thanking the DDR volunteers responsible for creating the look and feel of what we love in dog rescue land, the wonderful gift of “second chances.” A staple of effective rescue work involves (especially in the social networking age) having great photographs that make our dog’s come to life, revealing their best inner and outer dog. This is part of an effort to make them irresistable in the PETCO adoption event every Saturday, the DDR PETFINDER pages, the DDR blog, PITStop & even Facebook shared pages. If the dogs are irresistable, you have to take them home right? YES!

Downtown Dog Rescue is thankful and very lucky to have the following talented and amazing professional quality photographers help us in this area through the years:

Douglas Hill took a lot of the earlier pictures of DOWNTOWN DOGS that have came through the gates of DDR. His amazing photographs of DDR dogs were used for many of the magazine articles written about Lori and Downtown Dog Rescue. Many of them are also the photographs that have graced the yearly DDR fundraising calendar. Watch out for a feature on PITStop on the book Downtown Dogs featuring the first wave DDR dogs and their guardians with stories written by Lori. Wonderful work Douglas…thank you!

Grace Chon of SHINE PET PHOTOS for creating marketing materials and documenting our past events!Stacy Broadwell from THE DAWG SQUAD for taking fabulous photos of our […]

Teach by Example

When I first met Edgar, a teen with a red nose pit bull puppy for sale, I immediately assumed, here is another kid that is selling pit bull puppies at our dog class just to make money. He came up to me, actually in the middle of the class, offering me this ten week old puppy for “only” $250. Someone had told him that I was the lady that bought dogs at the class every Sunday. I blew him off and thought that I would probably never see him again. I was wrong, on many levels.

He came back the following Sunday but this time, to learn how to train his dog. Queeney did not have a collar or leash. We gave her a starter set and he walked the line with us that day. He continued to come out to class most every week and when our spay clinic @ the South LA shelter came up, Edgar not only brought his pup to be spayed and microchipped, he volunteered all day, helping pass out dog food and other prizes to the 100+ dog owners who got their dogs fixed that day at the Amanda Foundation “Pits + Pals” 100 dog day. I was really proud of Edgar.

A couple months went by and he sent me a text message @ 11:00 at night, he had to “get rid of his puppy” because mom told him that she ate part of a table, or something in the house that she wasn’t supposed to. She was always good when they were home, the destruction was only going on when they left the house for a couple of hours. Rather than give up Queeney, we decided to try a crate and guess what, it worked great! Now not only does Edgar get to keep his dog, he volunteers at most of our clinics, getting all his friends and family to spay +neuter their dogs.

Edgar is a wonderful dog owner who is teaching others about being a responsible dog owner through his actions. He gives me hope for the next generation of pit bull owners!

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