Mission & Programs

The Dogs Light the Way

BADRAP's Mission: Securing the future of the American Pit Bull Terrier as a cherished family companion.

BADRAP was formed in 1999 to tackle the difficult issues that had been bringing early death and suffering to San Francisco bay area pit bull type dogs. We soon developed into a nationally recognized resource for both dog owners and shelters, offering desirable pets for adopters, training classes for dog owners and presentations and professional consultations to animal welfare leaders around the country. 

Ranked nationally as the top high-impact nonprofit working on a local/state level for 'Local Animal Welfare, Rights, & Protection' by 170 experts for Philanthropedia at GuideStar.

Our Education-based Programs


Pit Ed ClassES

Our popular free and low cost PIT ED CLASSES have run weekly in Berkeley every weekend since 2001. Participants strengthen their relationship with their pets while learning basic handling skills, leash manners and responsible dog ownership practices. Hundreds of dog owners have deepened their commitment to their pets thorough this training, and untold numbers of shelter dogs have been saved thanks to improved manners and social skills. More Info on Pit Ed Classes

A look at BADRAP's partnership with The City of Berkeley

CGC Coaching Class

Canine Good Citizen Coaching Classes follow the Pit Ed classes and help intermediate handlers and their dogs pass the Canine Good Citizen Test. Certified dogs make better breed ambassadors. 

BR's classes were awarded 'Best Practices in Behavior and Training' by the American Humane Association in 2006.


We provide free training/behavior counseling, vaccinations, microchips, general support to pit bull owners and (new in 2011) on-site spay/neuter surgeries to dog owners in under served neighborhoods in the (SF) east bay. 

In 2013, BADRAP purchased a mobile spay/neuter unit to increase the number of surgeries in under served communities in the east bay. Our Keep'em Home Project works to help families keep their dogs during times of crisis.

Short VIDEO of an owner support event in West Oakland.



BR works to help shelters around the country create solutions for the pit bulls in their community, specifically viable education/adoption programs for their sheltered pit bulls.

Pit Bull Hall was a three year long project that brought attention to the pit bulls at East Bay SPCA. Five BR-owned dogs rotated through the shelter's kennels as an example of ambassador dogs. Free materials educated hundreds of visitors each year.

For more info: SHELTER SERVICES, Curbing Kennel Stress, Training Tips for Shelters



We offer a busy, multi-day learning opportunity designed to help animal care workers gain a deeper understanding of breed issues. Tailored to animal welfare professionals who desire hands-on experience with selecting, training, housing and placing pit bulls from a shelter environment.

Camps are small (6-10 attendees) and take place inside bay area shelters and include a day at BR's popular Pit Ed training class. Alumnae Campers receive follow up support as they embark on new and improved programs back home. 

Info on Pit Ed Camps


BAD RAP reps travels extensively to support shelters in their efforts to create viable programs that support pit bulls in their shelters and in their communities. Our presentations focus on building and improving adoption programs that include pit bulls and working within the challenges of housing and training the dogs in a shelter setting. Also: working with the public to curb owner relinquishment.

BR has presented at two HSUS Animal Care Expos and American Humane Association's Nat'l Conferences, at the American Bar Association Animal Law Conference, the Texas Animal Shelter Coalition Education Conference, the Tri-County Humane's Annual Conferences (MN), the Florida Animal Control Association Conference, the Washington State Animal Control Association Conference, Nashville Pit Bull Summit, the New England Federation of Humane Societies, the MPAW (Michigan Partnership for Animal Welfare) Conference, the Municipal Management Association of Northern California (MMANC) Annual Conference, the ASPCA Spay Neuter Summit, the Ohio County Dog Warden Association's Winter Conference, the CA Animal Care and Control Conference and the New Mexico Humane Conference.

A Public Resource

Our educational mission reaches the general public through the power of the Internet. Our popular and informative website and facebook pages are viewed by thousands each day. Daily work includes answering questions and offering guidance to help those who need support, advice and referrals.

Our Rescue-based Programs

Foster Care Program

The Foster Care Program serves as a model program for adoption success. Selected dogs are home fostered, trained and socialized by a small team of volunteers. Once ready, dogs are matched to appropriate homes. Besides their roles as loving companion animals, BADRAP dogs have gone on to serve as certified therapy dogs, reading assistant dogs, performance dogs in dog sports, canine detection dogs for State Police agencies, and education dogs for public presentations. More Info on Fostering

Assessment and Rescue Support

Best known for our work evaluating and placing dogs from NFL player Michael Vick's 'Bad Newz Kennels,' BADRAP routinely travels to out of state destinations to support authorities with evaluations of pit bull type dogs from natural disasters and cruelty cases - namely dog fighting cases - and provides disposition recommendations to agencies, law enforcement and courts. Wherever possible, BR works to coordinate the transfer of pit bull victims of cruelty to appropriate adoption programs for further observation and adoption. Ask for BADRAP's Professional Resume for more information. More info on our involvement in the Vick case.

The 'rescue barn' - A Halfway House

To allow BAD RAP to better serve dogs in crisis, generous donors helped build the "Rescue Barn," a small holding facility set on half an acre with six kennels. The quiet, homelike setting provides dogs the opportunity to decompress from early traumas and begin their transition to new lives and homes. Read about the Rescue Barn.

Member Support 

BR adopters and volunteers enjoy free training, online help and discussion, and an understanding network of pit bull owners who can support them during these trying times of breed bias and discrimination. Members participate in parades, education events and social get togethers. Many organize dog play groups and enjoy the camraderie that can only come from hanging out with like minded souls!

Awards and Recognition

2006 - Pit Ed Training Classes - Best Practices in Behavior and Training by the American Humane Association 
2007 - Nominated 'Sportsman of the Year' by Sports Illustrated
2010 - 'Best Of ' Award 7x7 Magazine for "dog education, rescue and training"
2010 - American Dog Magazine Humanitarian Award - Three Categories
2011 - City of Pittsburg CA, Proclamation of Appreciation from Mayor Will Casey and Pittsburg City Council for service to community and general welfare of dogs 
2011 - Ranked nationally as the top high-impact nonprofit working on a local/state level for 'Local Animal Welfare, Rights, & Protection' by 170 experts for Philanthropedia at GuideStar
2013 and 2014 - Bay Woof's Beast of the Bay Award: 'Best Overall Website for Dog Lovers' and Runner-up for Best Blog and Best Rescue. Thanks Bay Woof!


Our Big Hearted Sponsors



   The Unexpected Pit Bull Calendar



Securing the future of America's 'blocky dogs' as a cherished family companions.