Guest blog by Meghan Wells, Co-Founder, Love-A-Bull.
Once in awhile, if you’re lucky, you meet someone who wants to make the world a better place by working everyday to help others. And then, these people inspire you to do the same. I learned of Laurie Loew and Give Realty several years ago, when Laurie’s clients, Ethan and Emilie Sonne, chose Love-A-Bull to be the beneficiary of Give Realty’s commission program to help nonprofits. As Love-A-Bull is so dependent on its donations to continue funding its basic services and programs, I knew the tremendous value that this contribution would make in the lives of the pitties and owners who we serve.
By working to provide education, advocacy and rescue programs, Love-A-Bull strives to improve the lives and image of “pit bull” type dogs and their guardians. Since 2008, our 100% volunteer-run organization has provided free training classes to several hundred individuals and families, started one of the nation’s first all-pittie therapy dog programs, rescued and rehomed pitties from the streets, shelters, and abuse/neglect situations, fought for equal treatment and against breed discriminatory legislation for dogs in our own community and nationwide, hosted one of the country’s largest annual “Pittie Pride” festivals featuring celebrities who help spread awareness of our shared desire to make life better for pittie dogs and their families, and worked with countless individuals in need of our assistance. Love-A-Bull wants everyone to realize that all block-headed dogs who get lumped into the “pit bull” label are worthy of being loved and viewed as the faithful four-legged family members that thousands of responsible guardians hold dear. My own (now, nearly 12-year old) rescue dog, May, was the first one to prove that message to me – and soon after I adopted her, Love-A-Bull took shape.
Remembering the support that the organization had received from Give Realty in that past, I naturally sought Laurie’s help when my fiancé, David, and I were in the midst of combining our households (selling our individual homes and buying a new house together). She was the perfect combination of listener, field expert, advocate, and cheerleader for our house selling and buying process. If you’ve been on that real estate roller coaster (especially the crazy one here in Austin), you know how important a realtor with those qualities can be! But, what was even more satisfying than signing that last closing document was the knowledge that with our own homestead journey complete, we would be helping Love-A-Bull continue its journey to grow and expand through Give Realty’s donation.
In the past several years, Give Realty has given close to $8000 to Love-A-Bull, through commissions and contests. That large chunk of change helps funds critical veterinary treatment for Adopt-A-Bulls with medical needs, supplies and resources for our community outreach efforts (tent events, spay/neuter assistance, housing resources, etc.), training class gear, and a whole slew of other organizational needs. And we couldn’t do it without the help of community partners like Give Realty and Laurie Loew, who truly care about the causes they support and the ways in which their donation is improving life in the long-term for so many. It is not exaggerating to say that that many human and canine lives were permanently changed for the better through this generous gift.
Thank you for the donation and the inspiration, Laurie! Love-A-Bull is grateful for your giving, and we hope to keep this wonderful relationship going (and giving) strong for years to come.
Meghan Wells became interested in advocacy when she adopted her rescue dog, May in 2005. She joined a local Pit Bull Meetup group to meet other pit bull owners who took a monthly “fun walk” around downtown. Upon learning more about proposed breed-specific legislation and finding that many policymakers and reporters had very little accurate information about pit bulls, she got more involved in trying to effect change. Meghan joined forces with Lydia Zaidman, another active Meetup member, to transform the group into a vehicle to change minds and fight negative stereotypes. In 2008, they founded Love-A-Bull, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.
As a founding board member of the 100% volunteer-run organization, she maintains a leadership role with education and outreach efforts, including conference workshops, community resource fairs, interviews and research projects, and partnerships to spread awareness of Love-A-Bull’s mission and goals. Meghan and May are proud to have participated in Love-A-Bull’s free training program, and May is a Canine Good Citizen. When she’s not working on behalf of Love-A-Bull, she spends most of her time advocating for artists with the City of Austin’s Art in Public Places Program, enjoying the new house with her husband David and May’s “sister,” Zeta, and continuing to find new things to love about Austin.