Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Pit Bull Project

Recently I had the pleasure of interviewing my long-time friend (if I told you how many years it would date us both, so I won't), Kat Soul, artist, musician and philanthropist.  Although today's blog post has nothing whatsoever to do with writing, it does have to do with art, reaching a wider audience for your art and causes though zazzle, and one of my other interests - dogs and animal rescue.

Kat is a self-taught artist. Of her art, she says:

"I love taking pictures and always carry a camera.  I love to paint with watercolors and try to paint a little every day.  I love how I can throw some paint on a wet paper and let it blend with the other colors by shaking the paper or tilting it.  Then I walk away while it dries.  Sometimes the paint makes its own art without my help. Then I’m surprised by my own work.  I’m inspired almost exclusively by nature and animals.  Lately I’ve been painting farm animals and dogs." 

Kat also runs a zazzle store, The Pit Bull Project.  Of her experience as a zazzle shopkeeper, she says:

"Having a Zazzle store has been fun.  It’s easy to upload images. We sell a good deal of merchandise and have been trying to update with new products regularly.  I like taking my art images and putting them on shirts and mugs.  In 2001 I started a community outreach program called the Pit Bull Project.  I take all the proceeds from the sale of my art and use it to spay and neuter Pit Bulls in my community."

Kat's website, Charm City Animal Rescue, The Pit Bull Project, gives more information about how she does this.  About spaying and neutering, she says, "I’ve never understood why there is so little emphasis on spaying and neutering dogs when so many are being killed in our shelters and on our streets.  To me, it seems like the most humane option.  Prevent the puppies from being born into a cycle of abuse and neglect.  It makes sense to me." 
 
Here are some examples of her wonderful art, supporting pit bull rescue:





I asked Kat a few questions about how she got into pit bull rescue and about pit bulls in general.  


How did you become involved with pit bull rescue? 


I met my first Pit Bull over 20 years ago.  She was the sweetest dog.  When I moved to Baltimore, I kept finding abused and abandoned dogs.  By trying to help them, I learned about the dog fighting culture.  Back then, there were very few people trying to help these dogs.  Our animal control facilities preferred to kill them and did little to educate the public about animal cruelty and population control.  In 2001, I started taking the proceeds from selling my artwork and using it to spay and neuter dogs for people in my community.  That’s how The Pit Bull Project began.

What are the best things about pit bulls?

I’m attracted to the breed for many reasons.  As a humanitarian, I wanted to help because they are so universally misunderstood and abused.  As a dog lover, they are wonderfully intelligent, easy to train, fun loving, excellent for protection, clean, and generally quiet.  As a single woman living in a big city, the Pit was the perfect dog for me.  Our shelters are full of them. Many shelters don’t adopt them out at all.  I’ve devoted the last 20 years of my life to help change the perception of the breed.

What are the worst things about pit bulls?

There are so many misconceptions about the breed. They’re popular with bad people.  The media focuses on negative stories and showing negative images of the dogs.  Local governments try to implement breed specific legislation instead of focusing on population control and community outreach.  The public is tricked into fearing the dogs instead of fearing the inhumanity of the people handling the dogs. 

What is the biggest myth about pit bulls and how would you address it?

There are a lot of myths about Pit Bulls.  As a dog lover with a great deal of experience with Pits I would say they are like any other breed.  Some have good temperament, some don’t.  Some dogs are great with kids, some aren’t.  The focus should be on kindness and humanity.  If you’re kind to any dog, the dog will repay you with kindness, regardless of breed.  



Thanks for sharing your art and educating us, Kat! Please visit Kat's zazzle store, The Pit Bull Project to see more of her art and products!   And remember - Pit Bulls are for hugs, not thugs!




1 comment:

  1. Thanks, Kara and Kat, for shedding light on an important cause. Not to mention showing some cool goods!

    ReplyDelete