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Rescue Dogs, Then and Now: Ruby Jean of K9 ResQ of Alabama

Ruby Alabama tornado_sm
In 2012, an adorable pittie named Ruby Jean was entered into one of our charity rescue dogs contests. This girl is a survivor!

Here is her story:

“Ruby was found at a home completely destroyed by the catastrophic April 27, 2011 tornadoes in Alabama. She was severely emaciated and so hungry she had resorted to eating road kill. She is blind in one eye and has a bum paw as a result of an (old) untreated injury. She is thriving in her awesome foster home where she’s made new 2 and 4 legged friends. She keeps everyone laughing with silly antics! Her future is so bright it sparkles…like a RUBY!”

We contacted K9 ResQof Alabama to see how Ruby Jean has been doing the last few years!

Ruby 20151


They said, “Ruby Jean has been adopted by a wonderful family!  She is spoiled rotten and her larger than life personality shines.  She has her very own FaceBook page where she often talks about life on the “RJC” (Ruby Jean Compound).  She is comical and heart-warming at the same time.”

Her owner, Gina, added “RJ (Ruby Jean) is a foster failure– after a year or more of fostering her, we knew she was family!”


Best Bully Sticks loves heartwarming rescue stories like Ruby Jean’s!

Follow us on Facebook to learn more about our Charity Contests and other Contests. We have one that just started February 4, 2016!

Rescue Dogs, Then and Now: Hooch of Marley’s Mutts

Dog welfare is very important to Best Bully Sticks, and one way we give back to non-profits across the country is through charitable donations and contests. 

Today we share with you the story of one of our rescue dog contest winners from 2015, Hooch, the French Mastiff. Here is Hooch’s story:

Hooch french mastiff rescue dog

Hooch had his tongue savagely ripped out of his mouth, his ears chopped off, and his tail broken. When he came to the shelter in Bakersfield, CA, he was malnourished and forty pounds underweight. Today, Hooch is a healthy, happy and very agile guy! His favorite pastimes include doing ballet while playing ball, slobbering all over everything, snuggling, and visiting kids with autism and other disabilities, spreading inspiration, hope and love everywhere he goes!

We reached out to Marley’s Mutts to get an update on lovable Hooch from founder Zach Skow, who we interviewed back in 2014. Here’s what he had to say:

Hooch continues to thrive. Life without a tongue hasn’t slowed him down the slightest and much of his focus has been on helping others. Hooch is an ambassador for all abused animals and applies himself by educating children and adults county-wide. Hooch is a staple at the Valley Achievement Center for autistic youth.


Therapy Dog for Children:Hooch with autistic youth

From a teacher at Valley Achievement Center:
All of the children’s eyes would light up when Hooch walked through the door. He was so calming to them and would let them lay across his body and snuggle him as much as they needed. Many of these children cannot have pets because of their unpredictable and sometimes aggressive behaviors.Hooch provided them a magical experience of being around another misunderstood being, and the children and dog connected in a way that can only be explained by seeing it in person. Words were not needed, just love.

But Hooch doesn’t just help children. We adults also benefit from the calming presence of canines!

hooch hose 1



Hooch, Therapy Pet for Adults:

Hooch has come with us to visit with the women and men at the Mission at Kern County. These are individuals in residential drug and alcohol recovery, whom we educate about dog handling and pet care as part of our Life and Vocational Skills classes there.

Here the ladies are giving Hooch a bath in the summertime and trimming his nails. He loves people and loves attention, and I feel that he knows when people need for him to just…BE HOOCH…in their presence. It calms people and makes them happy.




icon-01Best Bully Sticks thanks Marley’s Mutts and Liz Kover for providing this update on Hooch- we love to hear of rescue dogs whose lives have turned upside down like Hooch’s!

Follow the Best Bully Sticks Healthy Dog Blog and on Facebook and Instagram for more rescue stories like this in 2016!

2015 ThanksGiveaway Charity Contest Winners

Every year around Thanksgiving, Best Bully Sticks holds a ThanksGiveaway Contest to give back to dog charities nationwide. This year, we had 2 Grand Prizes and 5 Category prizes for a total of $3,000 in donations!

In 2015, Best Bully Sticks awarded OVER $8,000 to dog rescue groups in both monetary and dog treat donations.

This Thanksgiveaway contest, over 30 charities nationwide entered with adorable photos of adoptable dogs. We will hold more charity contests in 2016 and beyond- simply sign up for our newsletter and follow us on Facebook to be in the know. Enjoy looking at these winning entries chosen by Best Bully Sticks! 


Grand Prize Winner: Barclay from Last Hope Animal Rescue in Cedar Rapids, Iowa is a 20 month old puppy who came all the way from Egypt after having had acid dumped on his hindquarters. He is a shepherd mix who loves his people, enjoys walks, puppachinos, cuddling, playing fetch, and just being an amazing companion!






Grand Prize Winner: Riley is a young, adult American Staffordshire Terrier who joined CARE- Crossroads Animal Rescue with her ELEVEN newborn puppies. She is a great momma and most of the pups have since been adopted, so now it’s Riley’s turn! She’s the sweetest and most well behaved dog CARE has ever seen. She never meets a stranger, is good with most other dogs and cats, and will ask when she needs to go outside! She knows how to sit, shake, stay and speak on command. Her new family will be lucky to have her, as she loves to run and play as well as snuggle indoors.




Category Winner: Cutest Puppy 

Champagne from Animal House Shelter in Huntley, IL is a 2 month-old Shepherd/Cattle dog mix who came with 4 siblings after being rescued from a high kill animal control facility.  She is in foster care with her brothers and sisters and is available for adoption the day after Christmas! 







Category Winner: Senior Sweetheart

Cambria is an 11-year-old Beagle mix from Secondhand Hounds in Eden Prairie, MN with a heart of gold! She was abandoned at a shelter in Kentucky due to her being pregnant. She gave birth to three adorable pups in September, so now it’s her turn to live out her golden years without being a mom!
Cammi will curl up on a sofa or bed and nap until someone comes home. She’s an older gal and HUGE snuggle bug looking for her retirement home: somewhere that she can relax, get plenty of snuggles, attention and live out her golden years with someone.

hairless dog



Category Winner: Class Clown

Ozzie of Hearts United for Animals in Nebraska is a 9 year-old Chinese Hairless Crested who was rescued from being tied out on a chain in Texas. He became a favorite of caregivers and volunteers!  Ozzie loves going out for car rides with staff and running around our turf yards with the funniest grin on his face. He makes people smile every day with his fun personality and quirks, not to mention his sparse coat!






Category Winner: Biggest Dog

Gretchen of Fetch Wisconsin Rescue has an irresistible squishy face and meatloaf frame. She makes a great ambassador for the bully breed (she’s American Bulldog).  She enjoys lounging around with her humans close by, a good chew toy and a nice dog bed. She snores when she sleeps and it is the funniest thing ever! She is seriously more human-like than dog-like in so many ways. She’s a calm and peaceful old-soul.


5660bf0149f43-korey2 blog

Category Winner: Marvelous Mutt

Corey from McLennan Animal Rescue Coalition (MARC) in Waco, TX is an approximately 4 year old female Vizsla mix who was found alongside a highway along with another female dog and 5 puppies between them. She’s a pretty hilarious companion who loves kids and lives with a rambunctious boxer mix, who she loves to wrestle with. She loves her daily walks, will trot along next to a bike, and is learning to drop her ball in your hand to play fetch. Korey is much too interested in snacking on cats to live with one, but she would love nothing more than to have a family of her own for the holidays.


Congrats to all 2015 ThanksGiveaway Charity Contest Winners and to those who entered!


Dogs and Kids: Introducing a New Dog into your Home

This is the 2nd post in a series by Deborah Rosen of Good Citizen Dog Training.

Last week’s post, Dogs and Kids: What you Need to Know, addressed items to consider when thinking about getting a dog for your family.

Get off on the right paw!

As promised in the last blog entry, I will now address some of the proper steps to take when introducing a new rescue dog or puppy to his or her new family. By taking these few easy steps, you will give your new fur baby a much better chance of succeeding with each new member of your household, especially with the children.

On the very first day the dog is due to arrive at your home, arrange for each person in your household to be present, even if they have all met the dog before. Ask each one to step outside the house where the dog will feel less confined and be more apt to feel less threatened.

Tuesday awaiting treatTake Things Slowly

Have each family member stand at least 5 feet from the dog. One at a time, have each adult and child call the dog’s name without looking directly at the dog. If the name has not yet been selected, a noise or a whistle will work just as well to simply get the dog’s attention. The second the dog looks at the individual, pop a very tasty treat in his or her mouth and say “good job” or “good dog.” Do this with each person, one by one. By doing this, we are telling the dog (in a way he can really understand) that the person he just encountered is a “very good thing”. And, by doing this with each person, you are helping the dog understand he has nothing to fear.

Assuming the dog had no difficulty with step one, move to the next step by having each person come up to the dog, one at a time. As they do, tell them to approach the dog sideways without giving the dog eye contact. It’s important, especially with small children to be very clear and concise. “Don’t look at the doggy yet.” Have them present the dog with an open palm and let the dog sniff. Quickly drop a treat in the child’s hand and let the dog take the treat. Do this over and over several times, and if the dog is comfortable, proceed to the next person.


Do this process over and over until the entire household is introduced without giving eye contact. If this process goes well without incident, start again with everyone now facing the dog squarely and looking directly at him. Once this process is complete, it’s time to go inside the house.


Check back next week for next steps to when introducing a new dog to your home.



Deborah Rosen_small About the Author

Deborah Rosen is President and Founder of Good CitiZEN Dog TrainingⓇ, a dog training franchise business based in Tacoma, WA. Deborah is known within the industry for her innovative ZEN dog-training methodology and her commitment to using positive and progressive techniques to teach clients the science of canine behavior. Deborah is now spreading her training philosophy of “peaceful living with your dog” from coast to coast through her Good CitiZEN Dog Training franchisees. In addition, Deborah also authors blogs, magazine articles, and is working on a book. For more information about Good CitiZEN Dog Training, see

Happy Dogust First!

With logo For all pet parents out there who don’t know their adopted dog’s birthday, August 1 is the perfect time to celebrate! DOGust 1st is the official birthday for any shelter pets whose date of birth is unknown. August 1 is now a globally-accepted holiday that gives these amazing animals their much-needed support and recognition!

While many parents celebrate their dog’s birthday on the day he orshe was adopted, now parents and their dogs can join everyone in this festive occasion! One day a year, dog lovers nationwide are able to wish their family, friends, and neighbors, a ‘Happy Dogust 1st’ and spoil their dogs with delicious treats or chews. Let’s celebrate the fact that shelter animals around the world have found (and will find) loving forever homes!

North Shore Animal League America’s spokesperson, Beth Ostrosky, said, “A birthday celebration is an opportunity to express our sentiments for one another. These wonderful animals, many still waiting patiently in shelters for their adopters, are so full of life and love, and live to please us. Now we have a day set aside to honor them and return the unconditional love and adoration they give us, day after day. These sweet animals crave our affection and company, so we can imagine the warm feelings they will experience from all the extra attention on their special day, DOGust the First.” It is truly a wonderful time of year, and it’s a great excuse for spoiling the amazing dog in your life!

Best Bully Sticks dog-rescue-support-contributions
Best Bully Sticks Contest: Marvelous Mutts Photo Contest
If you don’t have a rescued dog yourself, you can still give back to local dogs waiting for their forever homes by donating some delicious chews and treats.
read more…

Dogs Do the Funniest Things Essay Contest Winner: Jordan

In May, Best Sticks held an Essay Contest asking our fans to submit stories of their funny dogs. Dogs are, after all, are a great source of fun and laughter in our lives!

The winning entry from Brittany C. about their Pitbull named Jordan is below. He’s quite the character, as you will see!


Jordan in the back seat Funniest Things essay contest Best Bully Sticks


“We knew right away Jordan was meant to be ours. Named after Michael Jordan for his superb jumping skills, our rescued pitbull came bursting into our lives full of energy and love. He was our foster pup for a whole 5 minutes before we wanted to make it official, mainly because of his hilarious personality. God certainly has a sense of humor, and he brought us Jordan as a reminder to lighten up a bit!
read more…

Dog Care 101 Tip #192: How To Have a Happier Dog

When your dog wags his tail, you know that he is excited, but is he content? knows that you try to provide your dog with the absolute best, but your dog’s happiness is more than just two meals a day and a belly rub. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is a way to look at human motivation by piecing out essential physical, emotional and mental needs. With dogs being highly social creatures, many of these principles can be applied to develop a more complete four-legged best friend. Read on to find out how you really can have a happier dog.

Physiological (Pyhsical Needs)
Fresh Clean Water – Your dog’s water should be refreshed daily and free of debris. If a water bowl is kept outside, make sure it’s not stagnant (this can breed disease), frozen in winter or overheated in summer.

Good Nutrition – Every dog owner will have a different recipe for success with their dog’s food. There is no one right answer, but feeding your dog healthy and nutritious meals is important. Talk to your vet about good feeding options for your dog. Make sure your dog is in a healthy weight range as well; overweight dogs are very unhappy. Treating your dog is something that shouldn’t be hard either. A good bully stick or all-natural chew from BBS will guarantee your dog is getting a healthy, nutritious treat.

Exercise – Is your dog getting enough exercise? For the best health, your dog needs to expend their energy (which they always have plenty of). Exercise will make your dog’s life longer and fuller and prevent compulsive disorders or unwanted behavior. Breeds are different in their exercise needs, but all dogs do need it.

Hygiene – As much as possible, your dog needs to stay clean so they are comfortable in their own body and skin. Little things like dirty ears, long nails or tartar on teeth can lead to very serious and painful problems. Keeping a clean, brushed coat, trimmed nails, clean ears and teeth are one less potential discomfort your dog has to feel.

Chewing – Unlike humans, dogs have a need to chew. Providing the proper toys and chews will help them meet this desire without taking it out on your belongings.

A Place to “Go” – It’s very important for dogs to have a consistent place to use the bathroom away from their “den.” A highly normal dog will eliminate away from where they eat and sleep. Doing otherwise means they feel as if they aren’t given proper time or a place to do so. read more…

BBS Celebrates: Adopt A Senior Dog Month!

Adopting a dog can be one of the most rewarding decisions you ever make. However, you want to head into this decision with a lot of wisdom and research. Adopting puppies is great, but wants to let you in on another choice that might be even better for your family: adopting an adult or senior dog.

November is Adopt-A-Senior Dog Month, so here are some reasons why adopting an oldie but a goodie might be a wonderful option.

Less Work: Puppies are a lot of work: they need lots of just about everything including exercise, training, socialization and more. For most old dogs, this is old hat.

Mature in Every Way: An older dog already has a well-defined personality, emotional and physical characteristics. Whereas a puppy goes though many changes, a mature dog doesn’t hide much.

Good for First-Time Adopters: If you’re a first time adopter, or even dog owner, an older dog is probably the best match for you! This way a future puppy parent can ease in to dog ownership and responsibility, whereas adopting a puppy requires much more time for training, exercise and socialization. Instead of potential chaos, you’re more likely to get plenty of calm and ease from a senior dog.

Will Love You Just As Much: No matter a senior dog’s former life, dogs have very large hearts and when they’re truly cared for, will love their companions wholly.

Be A Rebel: At a shelter, many people overlook older dogs, but you can be a rebel! Do something others don’t: love on an older dog. knows it will be a rewarding experience.

To find out more about adopting a senior dog, read the ASPCA’s Top Ten Reasons to Adopt an Older Dog

Have you adopted an adult or senior dog? Tell us your success stories! 

Dog Care 101: Tip # 163: Rescuing A Stray Dog


Best Bully Sticks loves supporting animal shelters and rescues. (In fact, every Tuesday the Healthy Dog Blog highlights a rescue or shelter.) It’s pretty easy to figure out that our readers and customers genuinely care and hurt for rescue animals. But what happens when rescuing a dog falls into your own hands? Best Bully Sticks knows at some point you’ll see a dog in need, whether you’re driving or just happen upon a loose, unattended dog. Today BBS will go over the correct way to handle the rescue of a stray dog.

Your Initial Reaction:
Remember that your initial reaction is key. If you’re in your car, do not slam on your breaks. There’s no reason to get in a wreck. If you’re walking by your self, do not startle the dog.  Any dog, no matter how friendly, can act out when scared.

If You Don’t Feel Comfortable:
If there is any reason you don’t feel comfortable rescuing the dog, don’t proceed! Whether it’s because you’re alone, you’re nervous or scared, or just don’t feel confident, by all means, don’t try to rescue the dog. Dogs can sense fear and you don’t want to provoke the dog in any way. Call your local SPCA, or 411 number to find out who to contact. Provide your nearest animal rescue organization with as much information as you can: coloring, markings, breed, color of collar, gender and where you last saw the dog and which direction it was heading.




If you decided to help the dog, here are some absolute no-no’s.

-Do not chase the dog. If you run, the dog will run and that could mean out into traffic, or just away where you can’t follow.

-Do not move suddenly or speak loudly. Again, you don’t want to frighten or provoke the dog.

-Do not proceed if the dog becomes aggressive. We shouldn’t have to say it, but it won’t be worth it or help either one of you if you are hurt. 

Securing the Dog:
This part of the process is a very delicate one. First, try calling the dog to you and maybe even offer a treat and incentive. If you’re on the road, try slowly opening the door and see if the dog jumps in.  Dogs who are used to riding in cars will be familiar with this. If you don’t feel comfortable riding in the car with the dog, call your local SPCA or Animal Rescue to meet you where you are. If you happened upon the dog in your neighborhood, trying coaxing the dog into a fenced in yard or any closed off area. read more…

6 Reasons to Adopt a Shelter Pet

Pet-AdoptionAnimal shelters and humane societies are overrun with abandoned pets looking for loving homes. The real tragedy is that thousands of these animals end up being euthanized rather than adopted. Sadly, shelter animals are often thought of as “sloppy seconds” or “someone else’s problem.” On the contrary, a rescued dog or cat can be a great alternative to purchasing a pet from a breeder. Lets be the solution to the problem of overcrowded rescue, shelters and pet homelessness. Adopting a pet from a shelter can be one of the most rewarding things you can do. The benefits are numerous.

1. Save 2 Lives & Enrich Your Own. According to The Humane Society of the United States sadly about 4 million dogs and cats are put to sleep each year because of overcrowded animal shelters. Pets who don’t get adopted within a set time frame from a shelter are often euthanized due to shelter overcrowding & lack of supplies. Adopting a shelter pet means you are saving two lives. You are not only helping a deserving pet in need gain a home, but now there is shelter room for another animal in need to lay his or her head.

2. Clean Bill of Health. Pets up for adoption at reputable animal shelters will be healthy. Most have trained specialists on hand to examine the animals when they arrive and make sure they are vetted and fit for adoption. Those that are sickly get treated and cared for quickly. Shelters also normally give the animals proper shots and spay and neuter them. Fact or Fiction? Shelter pets have behavioral problems,  are damaged,  and sickly…Fiction. According to the Humane Society, most pets are handed over to shelters for “people reasons,” such as financial constraints, a move or a divorce.
3. Save Money. The cost of adopting a pet varies widely depending on the shelter always less expensive than buying an animal at a pet store or from a breeder. Shots, vaccines, and spay or neuter fees for your shelter pet are typically rolled into the shelter’s adoption fee and are much less expensive than if you went to a private vet. Some shelters may even spay and neuter the pets for for free. Some humane societies and shelters offer training classes and behavioral counseling for pets in their care. Also, keep in mind some pets were previously owned and cared for and therefore may have already been trained by their previous owners. Adopting a pre-trained pet from a humane society or animal shelter saves a lot of time and money when you consider the price for obedience school and pet-training services.
4. Don’t Support Puppy Mills. A puppy mill is a breeder who breeds dogs for maximum profit with little regard for the animal, they are looking to make money off helpless animals. Many of these breeders do not properly care for the puppies or their parents and house them in bad conditions. The dogs may have poor medical care. If you want a certain dog breed, check first with local animal shelters. According to, about 30 percent of shelter dogs are purebred. Putting your heart and your money toward adopting a shelter animal can reduce a cruel industry’s supply and demand.
5. Feel Good Feeling is Priceless. Get that heartwarming feeling of knowing you saved not just one but two lives. The pet you adopt will leave an open space for the shelter to take in another needy animal. Your rescued pet will also provide you with undying love and your life will be greatly enriched with companionship. Everybody wins. Pets can improve a person’s well-being in many ways, from providing a sense of purpose to even lowering blood pressure.
6. Large Selection of Animals to Choose From. The Humane Society recommends adopting from rescue groups and animal shelters because they offer new owners a great selection. The selection changes daily with new animals coming in, so families can take their time and wait for the perfect pet that meets everyone’s expectations. If you’ve decided against adoption because you’ve got your heart set on a purebred pet, think again. While 70 to 75 percent of pets in animal shelters are mixed breeds, 25 to 30 percent of pets at a shelter are pure bred. You can also contact a breed rescue organizations that specialize in specific breeds of cats and dogs. These organizations allow people to adopt pets that they have rescued. Animal shelters usually screen the temperaments of the pets so that families have some idea of the animal’s personality and background before buying it, which helps in deciding which pet would be best fit for their family.
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This is Arrisa, adopted in January. She's five years old and happily retired from her racing career. She's also a bully stick addict.

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