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Highlighting: BAD RAP Officer Susi Ming
'BullyHaven' Director and Resident Advocate for Special Needs Cases
Meet Susi Ming, a dedicated bull breed owner and BAD RAP Officer who brings a unique vision to the community outreach branch of our mission. Her compassion for people and their pets extends to special needs pit bull owners who are in crisis...whether they're disabled, terminally ill, from domestic violence situations or low income and facing homelessness. Suz believes in the importance of preserving the strong bond between a person and their companion pit bull, and volunteers many hours towards supporting and advocating for others in their time of need. She says, "There are many people in this society whose only companion is that special pet. By providing support, we can help alleviate some of the stress and anxiety pit bull owners may feel during times of crisis."
Advocacy for Discrimination Cases
In 2002, Susi acted as an advocate for a low-income paraplegic whose landlord was evicting him because his service dog was a pit bull. After months of navigating red tape and coordinating efforts between the dog owner and agency resources, Susi was able to help the senior keep his service dog and stay in his apartment. She continues to be an advocate for senior and disabled pet owners whose service dogs are unfairly targeted due to breed discrimination.
In the same year, BAD RAP worked with Guy Lowe of San Francisco and his pit bull Sophie. Guy (right), who is living with AIDS, faced eviction when his landlord discriminated against his dog's breed. Sophie is an important part of Guy's life: she was doctor ordered to help lift his spirits. Support and publicity helped attract a law firm, who took on his case on a pro bono basis. BR provided testimony towards Sophie's suitability as a pet and happily, Guy received a settlement to help him move to an even better home. Susi and her own dogs march with BR yearly in SF's Gay Pride Parade in celebration of Guy & Sophie's proud victory.
Relief for Battered Women
Susi also works to offer resources to help battered women find temporary housing for their pit bulls and other pets in order to help them leave abusive partners without fear that the partner will retaliate against the pet. This is a valuable service, as shelters for battered women do not allow pets. BR is currently working with Bay Area shelters to expand the housing network for pets of battered women.
BullyHaven for Senior Pit Bulls
As if she wasn't busy enough, Susi is also director of 'BullyHaven', a special BR project offering relief, rescue and placement for a handful of special needs and senior pit bulls around the country each year, including a recent rescue and placement of a senior pit bull used for university lab tests in Canada. The photo at top shows Suz with her boy Malo, a ten year old Bay Area pit bull rescued when he lost his home at the age of ten.
Suz and her husband Charles share a San Francisco home with special needs bull terriers and dear old Fred (right, below), BAD RAP's oldest rescue case. Fred was surrendered to the Berkeley Animal Shelter at the tender age of 15 and is about to turn eighteen! He was featured in a photography book titled "Old Dogs" by Mark J. Asher (published by Chronicle Books). The book pays homage to the vitality, spirit, and unique character of senior dogs. Dear Old Fred inspired the "Fred Fund": a way to help us help deserving senior pit bulls find a quiet place to settle in and receive gentle care until its time to leave this world - in the arms of adoring caretakers. Donations sent to the Fred Fund help pay for med care needs to allow other rescued retirees some creature comforts while they're still able to enjoy life.
Malo is Susi's current hopeful, and is working towards certification as a therapy dog. She's been looking for the perfect partner who can serve as an example of hope for terminally ill children in hospices or newly disabled children who are undergoing life threatening illnesses. Our fingers are crossed for them both.
We're all so proud of the tenacious Susi Ming and the vision she brings to this organization! By focusing on the special bond between people and their beloved pit bull companions, she celebrates the important place these deserving dogs hold in our hearts and in our community.