Here at HeARTs Speak, we know how a dog can inspire great things. Those eyes, those head tilts and those ears are powerful catalysts for doing something magical, especially if it means pushing the limits to help another. So when we found out that Royce Chang has fostered over 65 dogs for Angel City Pit Bulls, we did our own head tilt. When we heard she was running the LA Marathon, for the dogs, we were all ears.
After adopting her dogs, Chase & Chevy from the shelter Royce began experiencing what a lot of pit bull owners do: the repercussions of poor public perception. Despite owning well-balanced dogs, Royce faced her share of sneering looks and discriminating landlords. She began researching more deeply on the breed and found Angel City Pit Bulls.
“I really loved the energy and attitude the ACPB team radiated; it was positive, happy and focused on highlighting pit bull type dogs as family pets, rather than the sad stories that we all are well aware of.“
Royce began fostering for ACPB two years ago, and 65 dogs later, it’s no surprise she affectionately calls her home “Kappa Kappa Chang.” A typical day for the crew at the KKC house includes sunbathing in the grass, lots of exercise, free-form “cowabungas” and etiquette classes with Cody the #epicuriouscat. You will also see them around town, strutting their stuff on a group hike, beach trip or other fun activity with the ACPB family. With that agenda, it’s no surprise foster pups quickly become alumni!
In four short years, ACPB has taken over 250 pit bull type dogs into their program and found incredible homes for them. Equal resource and focus goes toward education, community support and public advocacy. Last year they spayed/neutered 100 dogs in South LA through Angel City Fix, published a video series called “I Love My Pit Bull”, and provide continued support for Downtown Dog Rescue’s Shelter Intervention Program.
When the Los Angeles Marathon chose Angel City Pit Bulls as their 2014 charity partner, let’s just say, it was on. ACPB trained for 16 weeks, often with their dogs, including Chevy who ran every single long run topping off at 22 miles.
“I always thought someday I will run ONE marathon, so I decided this was it. I mean, come on, running for pit bulls? They have given me so much joy, the least I can do is raise money and run for them, right?”
On race day, the heat was staggering. Across her race bib read “RUN4SWEETS”, in honor of Sweetie, a beloved foster Royce adopted after discovering she was terminally ill. Chevy sat at the mile 23 cheering station, flashing a happy face and a butt wiggle to keep her mom and the ACPB family going those final miles. In the end, ACPB raised over $20,000, proving not only how one person can make a difference, but also how coming together for the greater good can create something amazing.