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2011 Barkus Pet Parade: We Are Your Voice Rico

Barkus 2011: We Are Your Voice Rico
Join Mutts-N- Stuff on February 27 at the 2011 Barkus Pet Parade in Soulard, MO as we walk for the victims of dog fighting.
This year we will be recognizing a dog whose owner maliciously and without any hesitation cut the dog’s tongue out.  Born in Mexico, Rico was purposely raised to be intimidating and was subjected to excessive weight training and amateur dog fighting.  One day during a “training session” at the beach, Rico collapsed from exhaustion and would not get up.  The owner not wanting to accept the dog’s defeated state took matters in his owner hands and removed Rico’s tongue in a brutal and cruel manner.  The owner would then throw the tongue in the ocean and Rico would be scarred for life.  Being the most essential part on the canine body, having no tongue leaves Rico unable to lap up water or food and deprives him from a biological heat regulator.  Rico is now safe and will soon be joining Mutts N Stuff once his cottage is built.  Please join us in celebrating Rico’s survival and all the others that have been victims of abuse and dog fighting.

We will be meeting at 11:00 AM at the corner of Menard and Geyer St (across the street from the Great Grizzly Bear Bar).  We will also have new hoodies available in support of Rico.  We would love to have dogs walk with us in the parade, but please make sure your bully represents the best of the breed and is well behaved on a six foot flat lead. Dogs can be dressed in fun costumes. Please email us at muttsnstuff@yahoo.com for more details and to sign up. We thank you in advance for joining us and supporting our rescue efforts!

Tongueless Dog Needs $5000 for Dream Cottage

Brutally abused Rico, an urban San Diego dog, hopes to ring in the New Year with his supporters in rural Missouri.

SAN DIEGO, California–December 1, 2010–Rico Suave, whose former owner cut out all of his tongue with a knife, inspires nationwide advocates; two non-profit dog rescue groups 2,000 miles apart join fundraising efforts to build Rico a home for the holidays.

Rico lived in Rosarito, Mexico just over a year ago. There, his previous owner tried training him to fight. Rico regularly ran long distances down the beach with heavy weights chained to his neck.

September 12, 2009, changed Rico’s life. While running, Rico overheated and collapsed on the shore. Beach-goers heard Rico’s owner scream at him to keep working. They witnessed the owner draw a knife and cut Rico’s tongue from his mouth, afterward throwing it into the ocean.

Even Chance, a San Diego-based rescue and advocacy group for the American Pit Bull Terrier (APBT), offered Rico a spot in their training-focused foster program after learning of him in July 2010.

After months of physical improvement and progression in obedience with English words, Rico will soon encounter a roadblock. His uniquely qualified foster family will move away from San Diego in December.

Sadly, due to Rico’s specific needs, finding the right type of foster home is tricky. A typical need for terrier-type dogs is creative mental stimulation. Rico has a higher than average need for mental exercise and a greater need for ball-chasing space. These qualities make a typical urban or suburban home sub-ideal for Rico.

In November, Rico’s story landed in the hands of Mutts-n-Stuff (soon to be Phoenix Pack) of St. Louis, a rescue group nearly 2,000 miles away. The Missouri-based group graciously extended their help to Even Chance’s Rico. Mutts-n-Stuff is an all breed rescue that specializes in working with pit bulls, abused and neglected animals and canine victims of dog-fighting. Mutts-n-Stuff’s recent newsworthy and heart-wrenching rescue efforts to two very special dogs have been highly publicized over the past year. Fay, a victim of dog-fighting that had her lips viciously cut off with scissors, was rescued from the Missouri 500 dog-fighting bust. Phoenix, another dog-fighting victim, suffered such extreme abuse that it caused him to go blind in both eyes. The dog-fighters continued to force Phoenix to fight, even in his blindness, until Humane Society of Missouri stepped in and rescued Phoenix from his traumatic life. After Humane Society of Missouri rescued Phoenix, Mutts-n-Stuff opened their arms and brought  him into their rescue program. Mutts-n-Stuff worked with Teson Properties to fundraise and build Phoenix his own personal cottage on their land. This cottage was created to meet the needs of a blind pit bull, and offer him a happy and comfortable place to retire. The cottage included a fenced in play yard, a cozy house with a bed, eating area, room to play, air conditioning, and heat.

If fundraising efforts are successful, Mutts-n-Stuff will now bring Rico into their Phoenix Pack program to spacious and rural Missouri. If all goes well, Rico will celebrate the New Year in a personalized cottage next to Phoenix’s that will be designed to custom fit his special needs.

At his cottage, Rico would have plenty of safe outdoor space to chase balls—his favorite thing—and plenty of avenues for exercise, both physical and mental. In Missouri, Rico would continue his obedience training with the Phoenix Pack crew and would receive committed individual attention until he finds his forever home.

As a gesture of appreciation from his San Diego fans, Even Chance will name the next dog to enter their program “Phoenix”, in memory of the dog who inspired the first specialized cottage.

Tongueless, Rico cannot show his appreciation to the Phoenix Pack by giving them traditional ‘kisses’. Rico will extend love to his new supporters by sucking on their chins—his own personal brand of thank-you smooches.

To work toward his happy ending, Rico’s advocates across the country will need to fundraise $5,000 before the end of December.

Even Chance and Phoenix Pack are currently accepting donations for construction and Rico’s airfare.

For more information, please contact:

Even Chance

Nicole Edwards




Mutts-n-stuff soon to be Phoenix Pack

Gale Frey

muttsnstuff@yahoo.com muttsandstuff.com


About Even Chance: Pit Bull Advocacy + Resources + Rescue

Even Chance Pit Bull Advocacy + Resources + Rescue is a 501c3 non-profit organization striving to counteract misinformation about pit bulls with factual education, communication, and resources for the public, pit bull owners, and potential adopters. Even Chance rescues temperamentally sound dogs from Southern California shelters, including dogs with medical needs and dogs rescued from organized fighting rings or other inhumane situations. Even Chance provides foster care for these rescued dogs until they are placed in safe and loving forever homes. For more information, visit http://www.evenchance.org.

About Mutts-N-Stuff:

Mutts-n-Stuff, soon to be Phoenix Pack, is a non-profit pitbull rescue organization located in the St. Louis area. Our primary mission is to identify temperamentally sound pit bulls in local shelters, relocate them to loving foster homes where they receive training, and ultimately place them in responsible forever homes. We also work to rebuild and preserve a positive public image for the American pit bull terrier and pit bull mixes by providing accurate educational materials and information.

2011 Pin Ups & Pups Calendar

Pin Ups & Pups January 2011

It’s hard to believe, but we know that 2010 is winding down because it’s time to order the 2011 Pin Ups & Pups calendar! Beautifully designed by Jessi McNamara with stunning 50s style photographs from Lynn Terry, the calendar features several of the MO500 dogs and the gorgeous girls from the St. Louis Arch Rival Roller Derby team. Proceeds from the sales of the calendars will benefit Phoenix House and provide care for homeless dogs. Order your 2011 Pin Ups & Pups calendar on our website!

Orbie the Blind Pit Bull

Orbie gets a kiss from a roller girl at the Derby

Orbie (formerly Kemo), the blind pit bull rescued by Oakland Animal Services (OAS) in California, has been settling in to his new temporary home at Phoenix Cottage. Orbie spent six months waiting in the shelter, and Our Pack, Inc brought Mutts-n-Stuff and OAS together. Northern California rescues, including Our Pack, took over 50 dogs from last year’s Big MO Bust; this was our opportunity to repay them by helping one of their dogs with special needs. Mutts-n-Stuff has extensive experience working with disabled dogs. In fact, Phoenix Cottage was built especially for blind pit bull Phoenix. Phoenix passed on to the Rainbow Bridge earlier this year, and his family could think of nothing better than for another blind pit bull to find comfort and happiness in his special cottage.

Orbie's favorite toy is his Cuz ball

Orbie’s foster mom and dad are discovering that he is a very social dog, and loves to play and snuggle with any human that crosses his path. Orbie loves toys; he squeaks and squeaks his Cuz endlessly. Due to his blindness, Orbie cannot read the body language of other dogs and is hesitant to interact with them. He relies on humans to be his guide and is responding exceptionally well to clicker training combined with verbal cues, which is especially helpful on walks. Two clicks = obstacle ahead, one click = let’s go, etc. Orbie also has learned sit, down, and roll over. His positive interaction with humans is helping him learn to trust and build relationships with people.

Orbie’s blindness may be due to macular degeneration, and he will very soon be visiting a specialist to determine if his eyesight can be at least partially restored. Regardless of his ability to see or not, Orbie is a sweet, loving, and patient boy who will soon be looking for his special forever home. Check back with us for updates on his progress and adoption availability.


Join us on Saturday September 11, 2010 for Volleybull at Bar 101 Soulard from 11am to 6pm (bar open until 3am). Bar 101 Soulard has the largest patio in St. Louis and is dog friendly! Bring your well-behaved dog along for a day of beach volleyball, washers tournaments, raffle, prizes, drinks, food, and fun.

  • $5 donation or $15 for entry fee with beer.
  • Beach Volleyball: 6 person teams, recreational and double elimination – $150 per team ($25 per player) covers play, beer, and lunch. Prize for winning team.
  • Washers Tournament: Teams of 2, $10 per team.
  • Registration: Call Cindy at 314-517-1497 or email cinderellalu@hotmail.com. Deadline is 9.10.10
  • Bar 101 Soulard – 1724 South Broadway – St. Louis, MO 63104

All dogs must be on a strong lead, and be well-behaved and friendly in public. Proceeds benefit Mutts-n-Stuff (soon to be Phoenix Pack).

Working Together Works!

Kemo the Blind Pit Bull

Great things happen when rescues and shelters work together for the good of the dogs! Mutts-n-Stuff is working with Oakland Animal Services and Our Pack, Inc. to bring Kemo, a blind pit bull in Northern California, here to Missouri to start his new life. Kemo has not only defied the odds of survival as a homeless pit bull, but has also managed to create a bond between a Missouri rescue group and a California animal shelter. The Contra Costa Times has written a wonderful article about Kemo, whose story illustrates how important it is for shelters and rescue groups to work together to help the dogs that need us to put them first.

Bully Blast!

The ladies from The Pet Doctor in the beer playoffs

Thank you to all that participated in our second annual Bully Masters Golf Tournament, In Memory of Fay.  We had a great time, great food, and a great location at Country Lake golf course in Warrenton MO.  Next year we are thinking about having two tournaments, one in late spring in Warrenton and one in St. Peters in the Fall.

I want to thank Linda H. for all the nice prizes and excellent raffle items, as well as for finding sponsors so we could have free soda and water this year.  Next year will try to find a sponsor for the “adult” beverages too!

Good times on the green!

Larry M. was the lucky winner of a pass for a behind-the-scenes tour at KMOX Sportsline. Peggy won the Blues package and gets to go into the KMOX booth during intermission.  Rick was the lucky winner to St. Albans Golf Course and won a round of golf with the golf pro.  Rick, after your lessons we expect you to win the $10,000 prize for a hole in one next year.  Matt G. won the door prize, two tickets to a Cardinal game in section 156.  Rick won the Rams package so we all hope that the Rams have a good season. Neil won a weekend stay at Tan-Tara Resort. And the list goes on: a lucky couple are going to see Sammy Hagar, another couple won a week in Branson MO, and some lucky person will now be even luckier after winning the lucky mirrored bowling ball.

Bust dogs Ellie and Smiley King Elvis were in attendance too.  They smoozed with the golfers and exchanged opinions about how good life can be for rescued victims of dog fighting. Many thanks to all who came out to support us!

Sir Reginald Farnsworth III in New York Times

Gale and Sir Reginald Farnsworth III are part of an article on the Canine CODIS project, published in the Sunday June 27, 2010 edition of the New York Times. Way to go Sir Reginald! You’re doing an awesome job representing victims of dog fighting and changing minds about bust dogs.

Bully Masters Golf Tournament: Sunday June 27, 2010

The Second Annual Bully Masters Golf Tournament will be held this Sunday June 27, 2010 at the Country Lakes Golf Course in Warrenton, MO. Please come on out to support the bully breeds even if you don’t golf! We will have great prizes including $10,000 for a hole in one, getting your picture with Smiley King Elvis driving a golf cart, and a host of fun swag bag items. We also have FANTASTIC raffle items including:

  • Two tickets to see Sammy Hagar
  • Seven tickets to see River City Rascals
  • A behind the scenes tour of KMOX and you get to sit in-studio during Sports Open Line on a mutually agreed upon date.
  • Two tickets to a Blues game in the 2010-2011 season and a visit to the press box during intermission on a mutually agreed upon date

And let’s not forget the BBQ, beer, and soda. The entrance fee is $75 per person and includes golf cart, eighteen holes, and luncheon. Contests include “Hole-in-One,” “Closest to the Tee,” and “Longest Drive.” Registration is from 7:00 to 7:45am and shotgun start is at 8:00am. BBQ luncheon after tournament. Please RSVP to (314)306-MUTT or via email at muttsnstuff@yahoo.com. All proceeds will benefit Mutts-n-Stuff.

“Mutts” Meets “Our Pack”

Our Pack,  Inc.I needed a vacation.  Just get away from St. Louis and breathe fresh air.  After much thought I decided it was time to travel to the San Francisco Bay Area to meet my mentor from the Stoddard and the Big MO busts… Marthina McClay, founder of Our Pack, Inc. We had a blast!  We visited the Humane Society of Silicone Valley and saw the most wonderful set up for socialization and training of the shelter dogs.
I also went to the Our Pack fundraiser at La Fondue.  I saw Tracey again, who had traveled to Saint Louis to assist with the Big MO bust dogs, and I met all of the volunteers from Our Pack.  It was so nice to be welcomed by such a warm and wonderful group of people.  While I was there, I also met  Megan Webb and Martha Cline from Oakland Animal Services. I was facinated by their care and love of the animals in their charge and impressed by all they do to ensure their adoptions.  What a dynamic pair wanting to make a difference for the APBT!
My favorite time was just sitting at the patio table and watching the dogs play.  Pure poetry to watch happy dogs having a great time.  Next thing I know, it was time to go back home. I feel so lucky to have a wonderful friend and to meet so many new ones.