The American Pit Bull Terrier was once the number one family dog in the United States. Today, the breed is in crisis. Exploited and abused by some, feared by many, and over bred in back yards around the country, the pit bull is the first to enter the shelter and the last to get adopted. Tragically, it is estimated that 1 in 600 pit bulls make it out of the shelter alive. . . Shadow’s Fund has a vision to change this.
The Sheltering Oak Sanctuary: A New Paradigm For Rescue
Though rescue groups work hard to help, finding a home for a pit bull or senior dog takes a considerable amount of time. For shelter dogs, time is the very thing they don’t have. This reality has been a death sentence for countless young, healthy pit bulls and sweet grey muzzled dogs that simply ran out of time. After two years of rescuing these dogs one at a time, and watching in sorrow as so many died needlessly, Shadow’s Fund decided it was time to take immediate action. In August 2010, we opened the doors to the Sheltering Oak Sanctuary, a safe haven for pit bulls and senior dogs in need of a second chance. On 100 acres in Santa Barbara County, California, we created a one of a kind sanctuary that provides immediate relief, a nurturing and positive environment, as well as a vision for long term change.
The Sheltering Oak Sanctuary is a “no kill” facility. Each dog that passes through our gates is given the promise of a lifetime commitment. Whether it takes a week or a year, they remain at the sanctuary until their permanent home is found. During their stay, our dedicated team of volunteers provide a loving environment where each dogs receives personal attention, exercise and one on one time every single day.
The environment we have created for our rescued dogs is key to their rehabilitation. The dogs live in cozy 12 x 12 indoor rooms, amongst the natural beauty of oak studded hills. Acres of hiking trails and large play yards provide the perfect setting for exercise and socialization. Because the sanctuary is home to other animals, including horses, pigs chickens and abundant wildlife, the dogs are exposed to a diverse environment that is stimulating, challenging and engaging. Pit bulls that were deemed “unadoptable” in a shelter environment thrive within the safety and serenity of the sanctuary. For seniors, they enjoy the comfort of a warm bed and loving volunteers to replace the home they once knew.
Within the natural beauty of the sanctuary, pit bull owners and prospective adopters get the training and support they need to create balanced and healthy relationships with their dogs. By providing a healthy environment where people can experience the best of these dogs, instead of the worst, we are laying the foundation for a better future for pit bulls.
Giving Back to the Community
We rely on the community to help us save dogs and they have never let us down. With the Sheltering Oak Sanctuary, not only are we returning the favor, but we’re giving pit bulls – a misunderstood and feared breed – an opportunity to play a meaningful and positive role in the community. Every week the sanctuary opens its doors to adults with disabilities as well as local “at risk” youth. The dogs provide a safe space, without judgment or agendas, for healing to take place. It is our intention to nourish an environment of respect, responsibility and compassion and to allow animals and people to help and heal one another.
Sustaining The Vision
The Sheltering Oak Sanctuary is an ambitious project. We’re working tirelessly to meet an immediate and urgent need while keeping our eye on the future and looking for solutions to make it brighter. It is ambitious and at times overwhelming, but the sanctuary is a place of hope and we believe that hope has no bounds. Your support is needed to help us continue to grow this vision and to deliver the promise of hope. Please help by making a donation today.