Suzanne Laba: Rock-A-Bully/ Fix A Bull WNY
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Animal lover, “pit bull” advocate, proud Air Force Veteran (Retired), supporter of Veterans. Love my neighborhood and my city. All about local: shops, music, ideas, food. Love my heritage, tradition, customs, culture and family. Always up for a concert, good beer or bourbon. Enjoy walking, hiking, biking, yoga and skating. Quality times with good friends are the best...well, after hanging with my dogs of course! Lol!!!
What is Rock-A-Bully/ Fix A Bull WNY?
Rock-A -Bully is our super cool concert fundraiser event that helps to support the actually program Fix A Bull. The program started from an idea of different folks from different groups in animal rescue, that bonded together to utilize funds from Maddie’s Grant. We decided that a program was much needed to help the overpopulation of “pit bull” type dogs in the area which in turn, will help the overcrowded shelters, and the ultimate euthanasia of many of these dogs. Fix A Bull refers to the spay/neuter program of “pit bull” type dogs that have ended up in homes from different situations and instead of bringing the dog to a shelter, they become a family member. People that submit an application do have to meet our requirements. Many other groups formed out of this collaborative effort, and Fix A Bull has remained its own entity which I am proudly part of. We also educate, work with other rescue groups and shelters, help people keep their dogs, and try to promote good/responsible pet ownership. We feel that Rock-A-Bully is just a great, fun way to not only raise funds to keep our program going, but it’s a fantastic way to network with other people who are “pit bull” owners/advocates. We also have support from those that do not necessarily have a pittie, but believe in the cause.
What are some misconceptions about bully breed dogs?
Gosh. There seem to be many misconceptions! Here are a few.
- Pit Bulls have locking jaws. Not true.
- Any dog with a blocky head or muscular body must be a pit bull. Wrong. There are so many mixed breed dogs out there and you can’t determine breed or behavior by looks alone.
- Pit Bulls do not feel pain. Nope. They feel pain just like any other living creature.
- Pit Bulls cannot be in a home with other animals. There are many Pit Bulls that live in homes with other animals of all shapes/sizes/breeds. Much of it is based on the individual dog and also the dynamics and structure in the home. They are part of the “terrier” breed, which is often known for higher prey drive and excitability but there are many “couch potato” terriers out there that could care less about who they live with.
- Pit Bulls are born to fight. Wrong. Sadly, it is humans that took the breed and bred, trained, abused, or wired many of them to fight.
What other organizations are you involved with?
These 2 groups I work side by side with my friend and animal lover Danielle Darowz-Grek. She is an amazing person and does so much for both groups. She had the original idea of Pound Hounds & Friends and we have been working together since 2003, that is how we met. She is the money person, keeps things orgniazed, and keeps me in line. Lol!!! I am more of the outreach person, involved more in the rescue aspect, and answer many of the dog related questions. We work together to keep our programs going and have much respect for one another.
- City of Buffalo Animal Shelter Volunteer for many many years
- Volunteer teacher for Gliding Stars Adaptive Skating program for individuals with disabilities
- Board member of the Hertel Business Association
- Volunteer at the Darwin Martin House
What is the hardest part about being involved with Rock-A-Bully/ Fix A Bull WNY and Pound Hounds & Friends Inc.?
I feel the hardest part with being involved in any aspect of animal welfare is wanting to help every animal in need but not being able to. It really is extremely hard on you emotionally when you are not able to do that. Often you have to think small scale and help where and how you can otherwise you can become very overwhelmed. It is hard to see any type of animal abuse, neglect but knowing you do something to make a difference makes it all worth it. Also, it gets hard when you do not have the money to help in every situation. This is why we stress that even a small donation of $5.00 can help. We realize that some people are not able to physically volunteer, foster, rescue but by donating to causes, it is helping. It is a community effort. For Fix A Bull, is is hard to see so many unadulterated pitties that we find were left on the streets, neglected, overly bred and then, not wanted anymore.
What are your longterm goals with these organizations?
Our long term goals with Fix A Bull is to spay/neuter as many bully breed dogs as we can and help educate more people. We would love to apply for grants and funding to help us meet our goals. We feel we have made a name for ourself and we want to continue the good work we do and help save more dogs lives by working “behind the scenes.“
We hope to continue helping animals through Pound Hounds & Friends by assisting wherever we can. We sponsor dogs/cats at the City of Buffalo Animal Shelter, and we have helped families in need who don’t have funds for their sick pets. We have also helped re-home animals and worked with other rescue groups in promoting or assisting with funds for dogs that are in need. We are small scale but we are ok with that.
Are there any fun events coming up that you'd like to share?
- We are excited to be part of the upcoming Spay/ Neuter Angel Day thru the Stand Up for Pits Foundation. We partnered with the Niagara SPCA and will be able to fix 13-15 dogs. Although it isn’t a “fun” event, it is helping us reduce the number of applicants that have been waiting and will be recognized nationally.
- April 11th will be the Pup Crawl & Benefit Screening of “Loss and Found” which will be an event benefiting our group Fix A Bull along with Diamonds in the Ruff Animal Rescue. Super excited as the filmmaker Jon Mancinetti will be coming to Buffalo and the Beautiful Riviera Theater will be showing the film. There will be a pre- party at Canal Club and post party at the Dockside with raffle baskets, drink specials, merchandise and best of all, lots of fun!! Get Tickets
- August 25th-26th Pound Hounds & Friends along with Fix A Bull will be at the Elmwood Arts Festival. Our friends that own The Treehouse Toy Store on Elmwood have been hosting us for 10+ years. We will have adoptable dogs/cats from the City of Buffalo Animal Shelter, merchandise, and fun activities. People come back every year just to visit us!
- September 22nd will be our biggest fundraiser “Rock-A-Bully” at Club Marcella’s. This is a MUST attend event! Music, food, drink specials and much much more. Stay tuned for details!
Do you have any pets of your own? Names, Ages
I currently have 3 dogs.
- Sapphire 8 yrs.
- Rhea 5 yrs.
- Marshall 3 yrs.
What do you do for fun?
What do I do for fun? Gosh. Well, I think that you can make anything fun if you really want to! I am a huge music geek so I love concerts. I am always open to new experiences, ventures and exploring. I love to just bop in my North Buffalo neighborhood and go to the local bars, shops and restaurants. There is often so much to do, and not enough time to do it. Hanging with my pups and walking them is also one of my favorite things to do.
Anything else you would like to add?
I would like to thank all the people that have supported not only the programs I am involved with, but all the rescue groups that work very hard to help animals in need. None of these organizations can keep doing what they do without the help of the community. It is so important to recognize and appreciate everyone that donates, shares, supports and promotes the work being done. Every person’s little piece helps to make the puzzle complete.
Band: Too many to list as I am a music geek.
Movie: Band of Brothers, Star Trek, Lord of the Rings, any cool documentary. I am also a PBS geek.
Animal: Dogs and pigs. But really, I am an admirer of all creatures.
Food: Sushi, french fries, soups, beer, bourbon. Oh wait, thats not food!! I really love a lot of different foods and enjoy new eating experiences.
For more about Rock-A-Bully / Fix A Bull follow along:
More about Loss and Found:
Benefit screening of the Independent film Loss and Found to benefit Fix-a-Bull WNY (Rock-A-Bully) and Diamonds in the Ruff Animal Rescue.
- Starting at 5:00 PM the Pre PAWty night will begin at Canal Club 62 located at 62 Webster Street in North Tonawanda, directly across the street from The Riviera Theatre.
- There will be basket raffles & drink specials.
Movie Screening @ 7:00 PM
- The movie screening will begin at 7:00 PM at The Riviera Theatre located at 67 Webster Street in North Tonawanda.
- Meet the filmaker Jon Mancinetti!
- After the premiere of Loss & Found everyone is invited to The Dockside Bar & Grill, located at 153 Sweeney Street in North Tonawanda, to continue the evening’s events.\
- There will be drink specials, raffles & a red carpet.
- Every ticket will include a 15% off coupon for food purchased at Canal Club 62 and The Dockside Bar & Grill.
- 100% of ticket proceeds will be donated back to the cause.
- Movie Tailer: http://mancinettipictures.com/
- Tour Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cbJWAsN0ymg
67 Webster Street
North Tonawanda, NY 1412