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Melanie hughes, executive director

Melanie Hughes - executive Director
Bama Bully Rescue

As a child, my family was always taking in stray cats and dogs that had been thrown out on our land, or made their way to us otherwise. We always had them spayed or neutered, and either made them a part of the family, or found them a home. Helping animals in need has always been a natural part of my life! BBR is the only organized rescue I’ve ever been involved with, and that came after my family and I decided we wanted a new dog. I had hoped to foster long term, but we fell in love with our first dog, Jake, and we just had to adopt him! I couldn’t foster another at the time, but I really wanted to help this rescue. I thought about how many volunteers I had come into contact with during that process- application coordinator, home checker, foster, and a transporter, and I realized just how many people it took to get this amazing dog into my home. I wanted other families to feel the happiness that my family felt, so I knew I could do my part by helping in other ways besides fostering. I began showing up at events, and the rest is history!

I’ve been involved with BBR for the past six years. Prior to that, I was doing some independent rescuing on my own when I came across a dog that needed me. My favorite part of rescue is picking a dog up from the shelter for their freedom ride, watching them flourish in our program, then seeing them get adopted into the perfect family. Seeing those post-adoption photos of them living happy lives has been my goal from the moment I decided to volunteer with BBR. That’s the good stuff in life, and the payoff for all of the hard work we do.

I’ve always loved an underdog. I remember experiencing discrimination and rude remarks when I had my first bully, Roxxy, out in public for the first time. I couldn’t understand how people would think she was a “bad dog” just because of how she looked. I think that really inspired me to educate people about the breed, which only made me more passionate. Aside from the advocacy part, Bullies have a joie de vivre that inspires me. I’ve seen them come from the absolute worst situations, suffering horrible fates at the hands of humans, and yet they bounce right back and absolutely flourish with the tiniest bit of love and care. They are so resilient!

If it weren’t for my family, I couldn’t do what I do. I’ve spent countless days, nights and weekends away from home at events, home checks, temperament tests, vets offices, you name it. If it were not for my family picking up my slack in caring for my dogs, feeding themselves, and covering my duties, I wouldn’t have time for rescue and a full time job. I am so thankful for their love and support over these past six years. I have raised a son that will be an amazing foster for us and dog owner in the future. He has a heart for animals like I do, and I’m proud of the work he’s done with our personal dogs, as well as the time he’s put in volunteering for BBR. My friends have all been supportive and understanding as well. They know how important dogs and BBR is to me.