Angela Keith--Events and Volunteer Director
When did you first discover your passion for Pit Bulls? A beat up, worn out, brindle pit bull hopped into a friend's car one day in the middle of the road. I brought her home to foster and get her healthy and she never left my side until the day she left this world. The only way I knew to control my grief was to help other dogs like her that needed some love and understanding.
Why do you think MPBF is growing? MPBF continues to add new talent and passion every day. When you have a family of strangers as determined as ours to make a difference, it's not easy to pass by and not want to share in that energy.
Is there anyone you admire in the Rescue/Advocacy world ? Too many. The thing that makes rescue work is the entire village. Without the advise and support of others before us, we wouldn't know where to begin, and if we didn't make mistakes we would never know where we want to go. Organizations like Bad Rap, in CA, have spent time talking us through some operational things and encouraging us to set goals. Advocates, like Little Darling with Pinups for Pit Bulls, travel the country paving the way for reacues to do their work. Foundations like Animal Farm know that success means access to resources and they support our initiatives. All over the country, we work together for one goal. That's what is admirable.
Whats your favorite part of being part of MPBF? #teammerit keeps me going when the worst days get the best of me. There's no greater feeling than knowing that people that you've sometimes never met in person, because they volunteer in another part of the state, care about you and have your back. On good days, and bad, there are two constants in my life...my pit bulls and my volunteers.
What is your ideal day when you're not getting fur on your clothes? Fur is required for any day to be a success. The best ones for me also involve sand and a little salt water. Somebody once said, "The Cure for Anything is Salt Water. Sweat, Tears, or the Sea" Add a side of Gouda (as in, Mama Gouda, pit bull extraordinaore) and there's not much left to be desired.
Kinsley James--Medical Director
When did you first discover your passion for Pit Bulls ? I discovered my passion for pit bulls about 6 years ago, when I was fostering a pit bull from the Humane Society. I was going through chemo and radiation at the time, and this little four month old pit bull never left my side. I think it is safe to say, she played a big part in saving my life. She kept me going, gave me a reason to get out of bed and focus on something other than what I was going through. The Humane Society called me one day and told me a spot had opened up for her, but I couldn't let her go. I realized that this amazing dog played such a big part in my recovery, and I felt the need to do what I could for bully breeds to honor her, the way she had me.
Why do you think MPBF is growing? I think we are growing because we have a dedicated team of amazing board members and volunteers that are committed to seeing MPBF evolve. We, as a board, have a vision of what we want Merit to be in the future, and we are constantly working towards that.
What is your favorite part of being involved with MPBF? Such a tough question! I have a few favorite parts of being a part of MPBF. The first, is watching these dogs we bring into our program transform. Whether it be an extreme medical case, or a super shy dog. Watching these dogs blossom in their foster homes is one of the most rewarding experiences one could have. My second favorite part is being a part of such a passionate group of like minded people. MPBF has an great sense of community, and are always there to help each other out. I love that I have met so many new people and made so many new great friends!
Rae Boney- Intake and Foster Director
When did you first discover your passion for Pit Bulls? In 2010, I fell in love with a huge bully who was a friends dog. At that time I had NO clue what BSL was or that bullies had the highest euthanasia rates in our country's shelters. I went out adopted my first dog, a brindle Staffy and then started fostering shortly after to try and help in my small way. My passion grew with my experiences.
Why do you think MPBF is growing? The people behind MPBF have 20 plus years of combined experience that makes us a very well rounded and warm group. You feel like family when your part of MPBF, I believe that warmness and a willingness to teach and education allows us to grow at a rapid pace.
Anyone you admire in the Rescue/Advocacy world? Deirdra Franklin founder of Pin Ups for Pit Bulls was someone I have followed for years!! I had the chance to meet her in person this year and I totally geeked out! She is amazing and it was humbling to have the conversations I had with her. I also admire all of us that work hard to make a small difference, so that those small differences in turn will lead to the bigger chance in how the public see's our beloved breed.
What’s your favorite part of being part of MPBF? Mentoring the new fosters and volunteers that I get to work beside. I LOVE sharing my passion of rescue with anyone and being a part of MPBF allows me the chance to do so.
What is your ideal day when you’re not getting fur on your clothes? Let's face it I always have some fur on my clothes! But if I had to leave the fur behind for 24hrs, I would hit the trail to an isolated area and read in the silence of nature while enjoying a NC beer of course !
Laura Gonzo- Community Partnerships, Outreach and Advocacy
Robyn Davis- Social Media
When did you first discover your passion for Pit Bulls ? When I went to adopt my first dog 6 years ago after moving to NC from NY. I was shocked by the number in the local county shelters and rescues. I decided to give a sweet pit mix a chance and never looked back!
Why do you think MPBF is growing ? I think that the general public is beginning to give Bully Breeds a second chance and in doing so theyre doing their research on both their potential new dog and the rescue has them. MPBF does as much outreach and education in the communities they are a part of. They believe in being part of the solution not just a midway point for pups in need.
Who do you admire in the Rescue/Advocacy world? Anyone who is brave enough to enter the world of rescue, I admire them.
What is your favorite part of being part of MPBF?
Knowing that I'm surrounded with people who are just as crazy as I am about animals!
What is your ideal day when you're not getting fur on your clothes? My dogs would let me sleep past 7am. I would have a hot cup of coffee in the morning, a glamorous dinner and a good glass of wine at night!
When did you first discover your passion for Pit Bulls? When I was around 10 or so, I had a neighbor who fought pit bulls. I couldn’t understand why he would want to do this. He had a couple he kept chained in the back yard. I would from time to time pet one of them through the fence, and really started to see how these dogs really were not the monstrous, evil dogs everyone I grew up around told me they were. I feel from that point on I knew that these dogs were simply misunderstood, and very often mistreated.
Why do you think MPBF is growing? I think it has a lot to do with the talent we have tapped into with our communities, a board with a great vision and overall goal, and the passion all of our volunteers have for pit bull dogs!
Who do you admire in the Rescue/Advocacy world? I am really new to the Rescue/Advocacy world, but I do have to say that I am simply amazed at all the volunteers we have with Merit Pit Bull Foundation. Each one brings a unique talent and a huge heart to the table, and to me that is worth admiring!
What is your favorite part of being involved with MPBF? One of my favorite parts is getting to exercise a number of my talents/skills/passions. I love doing so many different things in life, in general, that being able to tap into a lot of them for the good of our beloved pit bulls is just awesome and fun.
What is your ideal day when you’re not getting fur on your clothes? Not sure I would call any day ideal if my dogs were not in it!! Brewing a batch of beer, photographing something, and cooking/grilling are some of the things that rank pretty high on a good day, but still nothing can beat crashing on the dog beds with the pups after spending time doing any of those things.
Social Media Team