This Saturday, September 28th, my band Schwervon! is playing a benefit show with Be/Non and Standby Anchors for M.O.S.H. PIT : a Kansas City assistance group that helps raise funds for rescue groups who have pit bulls and pit bull mixes in their care. If you know anything about Schwervon! you know that we’re pretty big cat people. But before Gummo there was my dog Olive, and even before that Friskie (Beagle/Basset Hound mix) and Nan’s childhood dog: a Great Dane named Shorty. We’re always down for helping out our furry friends, be it feline or K-9. But I wanted to learn a little more about this M.O.S.H. PIT thing. So, I asked its creator PJ Ruth some questions:
– What is M.O.S.H. Pit and how did it come to fruition?
PJR: MOSH Pit stands for: Money for Organizations Saving Helpless Pits. I came up with the idea one year ago- This Saturday’s show will be the 1st yr anniversary too . Basically, the concept was was totally different from the first idea and event to now- The first event was to bring a handful of rescue groups that don’t normally work together and have them join forces for one night and a single cause. After that- I decided to streamline a bit and just do the events solo- MABBR (mid America Bully Breed Rescue) will be at this event and their volunteers are helping me- so they are getting 25% of the proceeds. Basically, we raise money with 2 large shows like this one coming up and some Music Bingo nights thrown in between. We give money out to individuals and groups that need vaccines and spay/neuter heartworm tests, accidents, etc. We also assist in networking the adoptable dogs.
-Do you help other dogs or just Pit Bulls? Why focus so much on Pit Bulls?
PJR: We occasionally help other breeds- but it’s a fine line- For example, we had a lady that found a pit and had a HUGE over 100 pound German shepherd not neutered- She was on disability and couldn’t afford any vet care- so we paid for vetting of both dogs. She fostered the pit and we helped her network him and screen adopters- He was adopted out and all is good.
– Can you tell me a little bit about your relationship with Pit Bulls, or dogs in general, and what compelled you to do this?
PJR: I was born and raised with animals- I’ve always had a lot of pets. The first pit bull, for the family, was probably when I was in grammar school- It was my brother’s dog and he was wonderful. I’ve always had a thing for pits- They are very sweet and great family dogs. I feel they need more attention because they are passed up by adopters that don’t really know what great family dogs they make. They have been stereotyped as vicious ticking time bombs and that’s the furthest thing from the truth. I have a son that will be 4 yrs old next month and I trust my pits with him more than I do my 5 pound small breed dogs. My current foster is less than a year old and she has been in 8 places 2 of which were shelters in her short life- She’s amazing and the most gentle soul ever.
– Is there anything specific to the KC area that makes it important for an organization like M.O.S.H Pit to exist?
PJR: Yes- KC is overcrowded with pit bulls and pit bull mixes. The shelters are overwhelmed with them and the 2 main pit bull rescue groups in town only have so many foster homes to help. If we can continue to keep these dogs from breeding, educate people on what they are really like and get more adoptions- we can chip away at this huge problem in KC. Foster homes are of great need right now and of course adopters.
– How long have you been doing this? Can you see things getting better since you’ve started?
PJR: I’ve been in animal rescue for over 20 yrs and stopped counting how many animals I have personally had through my home about 10 years ago. At that point it was about 250. MOSH Pit will be celebrating its one year anniversary this Saturday! As far as seeing a change- it’s just one small victory at a time. If we can make sure that the dogs we help are safe, not bred, and in forever homes- then it makes every second worth it.
PJR: The connection between musician and pit bulls- I think it’s two fold- my husband is a musician and I’m a huge music fan- so it was just a natural thing for us to think of rock shows for fund raising. But i also think that musicians in general are more open to fighting for the “under dog” and seem to be more open minded about the breed. Lastly- musician are very generous people- I can’t thank them enough.
-The “Fall For A Pit 2” M.O.S.H PIT Benefit Show is Saturday, September 28th at Recordbar in KC, MO with performances by Standby Anchors, Be/Non, and Schwervon!
* PJ wanted me to remind you that along with these 3 amazing bands performing, the night’s festivities will include a raffle and silent auction. And when it comes to the raffle she “don’t mess around with crappy prizes either!” Prizes will include: “great concert tickets, food gift cards, handmade fine jewelry, handmade stage lights that all the artist and musicians might drool over, and ton of other stuff.”
Stage lights huh? Interesting…