for the dogs
by Carie Broecker
If you see a large pack of well-behaved dogs with courteous and responsible guardians walking around Monterey County, you are probably witnessing a SociaBull hike. And if the majority of the two-leggers are wearing tan t-shirts with the slogan “Walk! Hike! Bark!”—then you know that’s them.
SociaBull grew out of a melding of two groups. One was a handful of friends who were staff and volunteers from the SPCA for Monterey County who got together on Sundays to hike with their dogs. The other was a Facebook group called Bully Advocates of the Monterey Bay Area (BAMBA) whose purpose was to provide a supportive community for the families and lovers of Pit Bull-type dogs, to restore their positive image, and to promote the rescue and adoption of bully dogs.
A group of BAMBA members thought it would be a good idea to do weekly walks in the community to bring the message of bully breed advocacy to the streets. The following Sunday the “walking arm” of BAMBA joined the SPCA walking group, and the Sunday SociaBull was formed. SociaBull now hosts regular walks and hikes on the streets and trails in the Monterey Bay Area. They invite all dogs and their responsible guardians, plus any friends and supporters to join them. BAMBA has since disbanded and SociaBull has picked up the advocacy and education arm of the mission as well.
On any given Sunday, 10 to 30 dogs and their people gather for a three-hour walk or hike. People of all ages participate in these walks, including single people, couples, and families with children. The day Coastal Canine joined a SociaBull walk there were many beautiful, well-behaved Pit Bulls, a Rottweiler, a Golden Retriever, several Shepherd-mix types of dogs, a handful of Heinz 57-mutt-mix types, and several teeny tiny Chihuahua mixes who loved strutting with the big dogs.
Most people smile and admire the variety of dogs when they see the group of walkers. People who may have been afraid of Pit Bulls often have their minds and hearts opened after having the opportunity to meet well-behaved, loving bully dogs and their friendly, nonthreatening guardians. Changing perceptions can save lives. SociaBull stands firmly against discrimination by breed, and for responsible dog guardianship.
The SociaBull Facebook page has information about their next walks, photos of past walks, and information and photos of bully dogs in shelters who need foster homes or to be adopted.