The basics: Bridgette Boothe, 32, is executive director of Fresno Bully Rescue, which advocates for pit bull terriers. She also is a graphic designer. She has been married for nine years to Ryan Boothe, a member of Fresno Bully Rescue’s board of directors.
What she does: Bridgette Boothe oversees financial records, donations, networking with shelters, animal caretakers, dog foster home families, volunteers, training, canine health and dog behavioral rehabilitation, dog behavioral consulting, and temperament testing of dogs that come to Fresno Bully Rescue.
Why she does it: To see a dog that was mistreated or neglected, or in need of medical care, “go to a loving home and have families help spread the word about the breed and have a positive outcome makes the hard work worth it,” she said. “I have never seen a breed more mistreated, neglected and misunderstood. We have a lot of dogs requiring rehabilitation from abuse and neglect that need medical care. … People do horrible things to this breed and it just blows your mind what people are capable of.”
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The turning point: Boothe and her husband wanted a nice dog they could take on long walks and adopted a pit bull. Soon, she realized other dog owners were protectively picking up their dogs at the sight of her dog, and she didn’t understand it. “We were kind of ignorant to the stigma that the breed has,” Boothe said. “We’re an active couple and we wanted a dog that could go everywhere with us.” In operating the rescue, she wanted to change the perceptions of others to the breed she loves. “It kind of gave us a mission. … To experience that prejudice firsthand hits you hard and really makes you want to do something about it.”
Details, details: Fresno Bully Rescue received its nonprofit status in 2008 as a haven to rescue and protect pit bull-type breeds. Boothe became a volunteer in 2008 and a year later took over as the agency’s director. Fresno Bully Rescue has saved more than 1,000 pit bull and similar breed dogs from neglect or potentially euthanasia at local animal shelters. The agency networks with shelters to help find places for dogs and also tries to help owners keep their dogs or find new homes. Adoptions are: $125 for dogs 6 years and older; $175 for dogs 1 to 6 years old; and puppies up to a year old are $200. Puppies are $175 through Dec. 31. Dogs are neutered, vaccinated and have undergone health exams.
What others say: “Bridgette is jack of all trades. She has to pretty much do it all and it’s about the most important thing in her life,” said Becky Holly, a member of Fresno Bully Rescue’s board of directors. “The dogs are basically her kids and she puts everything into them.”
How you can help: To volunteer, email: email@example.com. To donate, email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit Fresno Bully Rescue, Inc., at 8547 W. Herndon Ave., Fresno (west of Highway 99). Telephone: (559) 276-7611 Email: email@example.com. Website: www.fresnobullyrescue.org.
— Marc Benjamin