IPittytheBull Recognized for its Contributions

IPittytheBull recognized by California Park and Recreation Society for their outstanding contributions to the Chino Community.
Posted on 04/24/2019
Chino native John Flores, founded the non-profit, Ipittythebull Foundation, as an effort to reverse negative stereotypes of this breed of dog and encourage responsible pet ownership.  He partnered with Steffen Baldwin, Lisa Potiker, and Terra Nokes.  Ipittythebull was the recipient of a 2018 California Park and Recreation Society (CPRS) District 11 Community Champion Award for their outstanding contributions to the Chino community.  They were presented with this honor at the CPRS District 11 Annual Awards and Installation Banquet on April 4, 2019.

The reason Ipittythebull was recognized transcends their original mission.  Ipittythebull adopted the mission to “educate, advocate, and never discriminate,” which translates beyond dogs to people.  This message led the group to expand their mission by providing common core-based human education lessons using animals to teach children (and adults) empathy, compassion, anti-bullying, inclusion, and more.

In 2018, Chino Community Services staff partnered with Ipittythebull to develop and conduct a year-long program for the After School program in an effort to combat issues facing children in our community.  They did this free of charge.  Using the stories of animals allowed the message to resonate, as we can feel instant compassion for a dog.  A dog is a dog first before their breed; and a human is a human first before race, gender, and abilities.  

The program covered topics, such as the new student looking for friends, the inclusion of the differently abled, learning to trust, overcoming fears, and the importance of second chances.  Through the lessons, the children in the After School program have been able to connect with animals, themselves, and one another in a positive and healthy way.  They will carry these lessons with them throughout their lives.

The partnership went beyond the classroom and included staff trainings, conferences, and Chino events.  Ipittythebull, and their dogs, have dressed up for the Halloween Spooktacular, walked in the Chino Youth Christmas Parade, and were at Bark Around Ayala Park.  The partnership will continue next school year and, hopefully, will expand to other programs as well.