How we started
Christchurch Bull Breed Rescue is the brain child of Abbey van der Plas. Her partner bought her her first dog on her 17th birthday. She was a 9 month old Staffy called Sheila whose owners had no time for. Abbey had never owned a dog before and was instantly in love & renamed Sheila as Keila. She had severe separation anxiety and couldn’t be left alone so they started looking for a buddy for her. A workmate recommended visiting the pound for another Staffy, this first visit to the pound changed Abbeys life. All those dogs, the noise, the fear - it was a really heart-breaking experience. She saw this beautiful old Staffy quietly press his face into the gate just waiting for a pat. Again it was instant love. The pound manager rang Abbey the next day to tell her he was on the euthanising list and Abbey was there within the hour to adopt Syd. This was Abbeys first exposure to the animal system in Christchurch. She, like most of us, was unaware of how the pound worked and how many dogs were put to sleep after their 7 days. Unfortunately bull breed dogs make up a huge percentage of the unwanted dogs in Christchurch. They have been over bred and there simply are not enough homes around. Pitbulls especially get a raw deal. Abbey believed a dog is a dog no matter what breed and no dog should be euthanised for simply being a Pitbull.
From then Abbey started helping out dogs when she could. She would take on abandoned puppies, injured and neglected dogs and re-home them into loving family homes. Eventually she started making a network of foster homes and was able to take on more and more dogs. Somehow Abbey found herself in the stupidest situation where everything can could go wrong, did. She was running the rescue from home and had been for some time. She had Ziva, Walter & River at her family home where she lived with her husband, 2 children, a cat plus her own 3 dogs. Ziva decided to chase the family cat into a crawl space under a small kids bed in a tiny, tiny room. Keil, her old girl, took exception to this and dragged Ziva out by her ear. Abbey went running in, followed closely by Papa, Walter & River who tripped her up so I face planted, got a fat lip and accidentally pushed the door shut at the same time. The handle was broken so it fell out as the door shut, leaving Abbey locked in the smallest wee room with 5 large dogs and an extremely wired cat. Abbey was locked in there for 30 minutes until her neighbour heard her cries for help and came to let her out! In that time Abbey made the decision that this was all too big for her small home and she needed to think bigger! In 2015 Abbey picked up the keys for the rescue centre.
Christchurch Bull Breed Rescue is a village of helpers, from our volunteers, foster homes, and all our online supporters who like, share, comment, buy & donate. Without all these people Christchurch Bull Breed Rescue would not be what it is today & be able save so many lives.
Syd and Keila