Yesterday I had the chance to sit down with Monica Mankinen of Daisy Davis Pit Bull Rescue, a truly inspiring woman, and hear the story of how she rescued 11 Pit Bull puppies and one mama along with the help of The Stanford Inn and the entire community. It all started when Monica, who runs Daisy Davis Pit Bull Rescue, was contacted by a woman who had suddenly found herself with a rescue pit bull named Stella. The very night that this woman found Stella, she went into labor and delivered twelve pit bull puppies! One was sadly a stillborn, but that still left 11 pit bull puppies and one mother who needed care and attention.
Monica’s group has no facility, and instead operates by finding foster homes for pit bulls in need of families. She tried her best to find the puppies and their mother the care they needed at other rescue groups, but no one could take them in (as Monica was telling me, it can be a lot harder than you would think to find space). What could she do? The mother needed six weeks with her puppies before they could be separated, and no foster home had the capacity to take in twelve dogs.
It’s no secret that The Stanford Inn is extremely dog-friendly. We leave sweet potato dog treats and bowls in the rooms, allow you to bring your dog to dine with you, and always love a good cuddle from the different canines visiting with their families. The previous year, Daisy Davis Pit Bull Rescue had done a fundraiser at the inn, and Monica asked Jeff and Joan Stanford, the owners of the inn, if there was anything they could possibly do.
I could just tell by the way Monica energetically answered each one of my questions that the Pit Bull Rescue was something she was really passionate about, and one of the things she defines herself by. Because of that, she was going to find a way to raise the rescue puppies. And sure enough, Jeff responded back saying that she could use one of the rooms in the barn, normally reserved for interns to stay in (it’s a totally refurbished barn!), to house the puppies.
Each day three to five different volunteers would take shifts at the inn with the puppies and their mother, Stella, so they were never alone. Monica’s husband spent every single night staying with the dogs, in addition to his normal day job! As Monica talked about this time in the rescue, she made sure I knew just how instrumental The Stanford Inn was in this rescue’s success: how Zach, living in the room next door never complained about the puppies crying, or how all of the employees would come down to say hi and keep the dogs company.
And it wasn’t just the inn, it was really the entire community that made these puppies and their mother a success story: Anderson Valley Rescue paid for all twelve to be neutered/spayed, and all of their food, bedding, and the copious amounts of paper towels Monica went through were donated by members of the community.
The part that’s truly astounding: once the puppies were old enough, Monica took them all in to her home while she working on finding them permanent homes! And this was in addition to the six dogs she already had! Monica began taking the puppies, now healthy and thriving, on adoption days with Anderson Valley Rescue at Petco in Santa Rosa and at Fort Bragg Feed.
Within a few months, all eleven puppies had found their families. And, of course, Monica couldn’t resist adopting one as her own. When the interview was over, Monica let me meet her own Joey, one of the puppies from the litter! Joey really was one of the most friendly (and well-trained!) dogs I’ve ever met; when people walked by us he couldn’t resist their attention. As we often say of my own rescue beagle back home, Joey truly loves to be loved. And meeting Joey really solidified why Monica cares so much about what she does with pit bulls: it’s not fair that an entire breed of dogs gets a senselessly terrible reputation. And Monica is doing something to change that here.
After hearing about how The Stanford Inn offered Monica free space for twelve dogs, and how the rest of the community gave crucial support through the donation of food and other supplies, I’m once again blown away at just how much the people of Mendocino/Fort Bragg (and beyond) really care about the place that they live.
And there still might be an opportunity for you to make a difference. Stella, the courageous mother of the eleven puppies, still needs to find a home! Below you’ll find her picture and a quick description of her personality. If you’d be interested in meeting Stella, or offering support in a different way, you can reach Monica at (707) 937-2941 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stella has all her shots, is spayed, and passed her Canine Good Citizenship test. She loves to cuddle and play and is very mellow. Stella goes with the flow, whatever it is! She gets along well with other dogs and would probably like to have another dog in her permanent home. She prefers a town setting and enjoys walking, window shopping and getting attention from passers-by. There are no strangers in Stella’s world, just friends she hasn’t met yet. She is very affectionate and loving with the biggest smile. Probably two to three years old. Stella is a number one groover on life!
This article was written by monica