2015 Grant Recipient: Bully Advocate & Rescue Collective

Posted by Jennifer on November 3rd, 2015


Adopt-a-Pet.com’s mission (and passion!) is to help homeless pets find loving homes. Thanks to our corporate sponsors and individual donors, one way we help animal shelters and rescues in their amazing pet-saving work is with grants for veterinary costs, so pets in their care can get the veterinary care they need to become healthy and adoptable – and then Adopt-a-Pet.com can help them find loving homes!

Congratulations to Bully Advocate & Rescue Collective (BARC)! they are a $1,000 grant recipient from the 2015 Adopt-a-Pet.com Veterinary Care Fund. We are so moved by the amazing lengths shelters and rescues go to give homeless pets a chance at getting healthy so they can be adopted. Below is their grant application detailing how this grant  will change the life of a pet or pets in their care.


Bully Advocate & Rescue Collective (BARC)
Windsor, VA

Describe how a $500, $1,000 and/or $2,000 Veterinary Care Fund grant will change the life of a pet or pets in your care.
Hi There Adopt-A-Pet.com Folks,

I am the Founder and President of a little foster-based rescue in the rural county of Isle of Wight, VA; Bully Advocate & Rescue Collective, or BARC for short. I saw a need to help the bully breeds in my local shelter in the fall of 2011. Well… actually I had been donating my photography skills for the 3+ years prior to starting the rescue, and had adopted 5 of my own pit bull dogs in that time, so I had been well aware of the need. I just hadn’t realized that I NEEDED to do more. So here I am begging grant money from you so that I can continue helping the dogs that need me most; specifically, the orthopedically challenged pit bulls that would otherwise be sent to the back rooms of shelters without being given the benefit of the medical care that could have them walking on 4 legs again. Let’s face it.; most shelters just don’t have the resources, the space to hold on to these dogs, or the time to allow them to be healthy enough to be adopted. My little rescue group has been lucky enough to have some devoted supporters that are willing to donate their time, home, talent and money to help me help the most needy.

BARC’s first orthopedically challenged, and the dog that set the course for my owie-leg “obsession”, was Flora. Flora came into the local Isle of Wight County shelter as a stray in the Spring of 2013, so no history was known of how her leg came to be bent in an uncomfortable and barely usable curve. She was in some pain, though as most dogs are, she was pretty stoic about it and just happy to have found some friends who wanted to love on her.

This is a before, during and after of Flora:


When I put out a plea for a foster for Flora, I had no idea the path that would open up for her, and in the process, for BARC. A local vet, one that had volunteered her time and talent with a shelter an hour away from BARC’s little refuge in Isle of Wight, saw photos of Flora and her mangled leg floating around on Facebook, and reached out to me with an offer to foster her. Of course I took her up on the offer! BARC now has a loyal, knowledgable rescue ally who is happy to contact orthopedic surgeons and various other specialists and speak on BARC’s behalf. Dr. Attia has given so much of her time, talent and service to the BARC dogs and together we have been able to help quite a few other medically challenging cases in the years that have followed.

Oh, and Flora? Well, Flora found a fabulous home with a retired couple who wanted a companion dog to walk and help keep them active. She now lives the life of the well-loved and unabashedly spoiled! Flora has her own Facebook page that her dad still keeps up. He has quite the wit, if you ever have some time to kill and want to check it out: https://www.facebook.com/TheExtraordinaryAdventuresOfFloraTheExplorer



In the early months of 2014, another stray came into the shelter with a “bum” leg. We named her Juliet and whisked her into foster. When she was examined and her X-rays were taken, we not only discovered an old cruciate injury, we saw this:


BIRDSHOT. She had not had a happy past. Of course, like most dogs, she was completely ready to let go of her past and leap into the future with us. She had a Tibial Tuberosity Advancement (TTA SURGERY) with a wonderful Virginia Beach surgeon.



Juliet is now hiking mountains and going on all kinds of adventures with her parents and her elderly, yet still active, 16yo fur-sister, Justine. Photo is Juliet and Justine settling down for a nap after their morning walk. Juliet’s family calls her JuJu Bunny. <3 JuJu Bunny is now a registered AKC CGC (Canine Good Citizen) certified dog. If you want a smile, you can check out her delightful Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/joyfuljuliet Her very wonderful and amazing family keep it up.



Then we skip ahead to late 2014 and Marguarite; aka Margo. Margo sat in the shelter for months, had been adopted once, but brought back when her surgical needs could not be financially met. At that time, we were asked to take her on. Of course we said YES. She was whisked into the same foster home who had helped nurse Juliet back into good health, and her new life began.

Margo’s twisted leg turned out to be a growth deformity.


Her case required the help of a specialized orthopedic surgeon based in Richmond; and a wonderful partnership was formed. Dr. Barnes at Virginia Veterinary Surgical Associates has now assisted us with several dogs. With Dr. Attia as BARC’s local liaison, Dr. Barnes has also kindly offered his expertise to help us determine a diagnosis for other dogs, even though his surgical services were not directly required. For this, we are most grateful.

First night back in her foster home, Margo knows how to “work” the look for the camera.


Margo was adopted by our first “repeat” adopter. She and her fur-brother Frasier are fast friends. As you can see, they have a hard life. :)  And yep, her family keeps up her Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/MargoTheIttyPittie



There have been a few more orthopedic cases, but our current case is by far the most difficult.


BOTH of Jericho’s front legs required straightening in order for him to be able to have a long and healthy life. If not taken care of, his joints would break down under the strain and the pain would be unbearable for him in just a few short years. To see him walk…well…I held my breath. It was ungainly and uncomfortable looking. BARC pulled him from the Virginia Beach Animal Care & Adoption Center and whisked him into a fabulous foster home. His foster mom works from home, so he has round the clock care.

Jericho underwent his first surgery 4 weeks ago with Dr. Barnes at VVSA. It will be another 4 weeks before Jericho’s splint comes off. His first surgery, not including all the required bandage changes, cost $2400 with a hefty rescue discount. It will be another 8-10 weeks before Jericho is ready for his second surgery, which will require another $2400+ expenditure.

Jericho recuperates after surgery with his kitty friend.


We are so grateful to online adoption resources that help us get the word out about “our” dogs and our efforts to help them. Without groups like Adopt-A-Pet.com, our dogs would not get seen by potential adopters. Adopt-A-Pet has helped us get the word out to a larger support base; even those folks who aren’t in the market to add another dog to their home have reached out to us to help with auction donations, contributions and shares online. Those things mean the world to us and allow us to keep helping needy dogs. We couldn’t do it without you.

We have had great success holding online auctions to raise funds for the dog’s needs, but BARC has thrown a lot into the medical arena this year, and the bank account is getting thin. We are a very small group. At any one time, we have 5-10 dogs in foster, with several in recovery from heartworm treatment or surgery and unavailable for adoption. We have a loyal, but finite support base, who is feeling as tapped out as BARC is. Receiving a grant from Adopt-A-Pet would give BARC so much peace of mind and the ability to keep helping the underdog; the dogs that other groups steer clear of because of the monumental vet bills hovering over their heads.

Please consider my little rescue group when you are doling out grant funds this month. BARC has accomplished so much with so little, but could really use some help to keep plugging along. I very much want to keep my owie-leg “obsession” in full throttle, but can only help out if funds are available. I hope you all can join me down this path.

Thank you so much for your time.

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