April 2nd, 2017, will mark the one year anniversary of the passing of icon and true inspiration, Angel. Though Angel is no longer with us, her story continues to make a difference in the lives of so many pit bull types and humans via the organization her love and influence helped found — The Stand Up For Pits Foundation (SUFP).

Stand Up For Pits

Angel. Source: Rebecca Corry / Facebook

This April 2nd, SUFP founder Rebecca Corry is helping hundreds more pit bull types in Angel’s honor with a very special event. An expected 400 animals in seven cities across the United States will have access to free spay/neutering, as well as other resources such as microchipping, food, parasite preventative, and vaccines.

Stand Up For Pits

Source: Stand Up For Pits Foundation / Facebook

The Spay/Neuter Angel Day event is the first of its kind, and a massive undertaking to say the least. It will take an estimated $25,000 to fund in order to make services completely free to the public. “One thing very important to me was that I wanted people to pay nothing,” Rebecca Corry told PupJournal. “Free means free, so the SUFP Foundation is also covering the post-op care like e-collars, meds, etc. in the cities that couldn’t get those things donated.”

dog toy mini me

The only babies Angel wants to see until the shelters are cleared are stuffed animal babies like this little doppelganger. Source: Stand Up For Pits Foundation / Facebook

The SUFP Foundation gave $13,000 in grants last year in honor of Angel to continue helping as many pit bull types, aka “hippos,” as possible. The impact was tremendous, and inspired Corry to organize an even larger event that would help save the lives of millions more.

“I see rescue as a giant hamster wheel, and while treating the symptoms is needed, it will never fix the problem. Spay/Neuter is one real good way to fix the problem.”

Related: A Tribute To Angel, The Pit Bull Who Inspired A Movement

To understand more just how much of an impact spay/neutering can have, let’s take a look at some facts that SUFP posted on its page. In the span of six years, one unaltered female dog and her offspring can produce a whopping 67,000 puppies.

With an effort like the SUFP Spay/Neuter Angel Day, fixing 400 dogs will prevent an astonishing 26,800,000 more from being added to the already oversaturated population. That means that literally millions of dogs will potentially be saved from being sent to shelters, euthanization, abuse, or worse.

adoptable pit bull

Nearly half a million pit bull types are euthanized in US shelters annually. Source: Save SBC Shelter Pups / Facebook

Corry was shocked to learn that a national effort like this had never been done before. In researching the idea and reaching out to trusted friends in the rescue community, the response was overwhelmingly positive. Furthermore, the response from people wanting to get their dogs spay/neutered, and how quickly the clinic slots have been filling up, prove that the need for access to affordable or free sterilization is imperative.

“Spay/Neuter is vital and needed, and cities are desperate for the help. These clinics filled up in days. It’s shocking how fast these filled up and how willing people are to get animals fixed but just don’t have the means. SUFP is honored to be providing the means needed to folks willing to do the right thing.”

The cities chosen for free clinics depended on a variety of factors, including resources and space. Not surprisingly, many of these cities report high numbers of stray animals, cruelty, and overflowing shelters.

Related: 10 Times The World Finally Got It Right In Its Response To Animal Cruelty

There will be eight clinics in seven cities, which include Kansas City, MO; Columbus, OH; Dallas, TX; Dover, TN; Detroit, MI; Baltimore, MD; and Jacksonville, FL. Three of the clinics are already full (Dover, Columbus, and Baltimore), with others rapidly filling.

All information on how to get your dog (cats welcome at some clinics as well) fixed is listed on the SUFP website, so be sure to reserve your spot immediately.

pit bull in chair

Todd gives no f**ks about not having any balls. Source: Rebecca Corry / Virgil Ocampo

The clinics will all take place at the same time, and there will be live videos streaming as well as pictures posted and stories of lives saved on Facebook. Donations are greatly appreciated and much needed, as being able to fund an operation of this caliber takes a lot of help from everyone.

“These cost money, so the more people give, the more we could do,” Corry said. “To double the cities means to double donations, and it’s absolutely possible if people get involved.”

pit bull sleeping

Sally sleeps easy knowing being spayed makes her part of the solution and not the problem. Source: Rebecca Corry / Virgil Ocampo

When asked what SUFP hopes to accomplish with Spay/Neuter Angel Day, the response was simple: “To save lives… An unwanted dog that never exists can’t end up in the shelter.”

Related: The Little Shelter Dog Who Dreams Of A Family
adopt pit bull

Source: Save SBC Shelter Pups / Facebook

Corry also hopes that the idea will catch on, and that more rescues and cities will figure out ways to fund free spay/neutering. “If this became a strong national effort that everyone started doing, it would, without question, be a game changer in rescue. Until then, the SUFP Foundation will keep doing all we are able, and do hope to make this an annual event and grow it every year. But it does take donations.”

Of course, the reason behind the SUFP Foundation and Spay/Neuter Angel Day is the Velvet Hippo herself. SUFP wrote on its website:

“Angel’s life and legacy lives on through the work we do, the hippos we save and our dedicated supporters. While we don’t get to see her stomp her feet and yell for cookies, trick or treat in July, hob nob with pilots or search for her neck, Angel is still very much here. We see her in the eyes of the lives we save and her spirit in those who keep fighting against the horrible injustices our dogs face every day and we will keep doing the work in her name for as long as it takes.”

The last year without Angel has been unimaginably difficult for Corry to endure, especially being a public figure. “I’ll always struggle without Angel, but the foundation has not and will not,” she said. “In fact, [SUFP] is thriving and grows every day.” Angel continues to inspire Corry in everything she does, both in her personal life and with the foundation.

Related: This Beautiful Goodbye To Angel The Pit Bull Has Us In Tears
Show Your Soft Side

Rebecca holding Angel in a Show Your Soft Side campaign. Source: Stand Up For Pits Foundation / Facebook

While every dog that SUFP saves is important and loved, three very special hippos have come into Corry’s life in the past year. Lucille (who sadly passed away due to medical issues) and Todd are two of only five dogs that have been saved from dog fighting rings and also released in LA County in the past ten years. Sally is another sweet soul that Corry is currently fostering with Todd.

Stand Up For Pits

Lucille, though her medical problems were too severe to overcome, knew love and comfort before passing. Source: Rebecca Corry / Facebook

They are in no way a replacement to the incomparable Angel, but they are a testament to the dedication that Corry has in saving pit bull types. “Todd and Sally are alive today because Angel lived,” Corry told PupJournal.

pit bulls in chairs

Sally (left) and Todd (right). Source: Rebecca Corry / Facebook

And now, millions of other dogs will be saved because Angel lived as well. The life of one unique and amazing soul has inspired Corry to tour the country and raise funds and awareness for countless pit bull types with the Stand Up For Pits events (tickets on sale now), the Million Pibble March on Washington, D.C., starting a foundation, rescuing, giving grants, and more things than we could possibly list.

Related: 10, Maybe 11, Pit Bulls We’ve Absolutely Stinking Loved In 2016
Million Pibble March

Angel in front of the White House during the Million Pibble March. Source: Rebecca Corry / Facebook

To learn more about what the Stand Up For Pits Foundation does and to get involved, please visit their website. Be sure to follow them on Facebook and Instagram, and donations are always greatly appreciated and needed to continue helping as many dogs as possible.

pit bull anti fighting

Source: Stand Up For Pits Foundation / Facebook

If you suspect someone is fighting dogs call 1-877-777-2585 in LOS ANGELES COUNTY. National tip line number is 1-877-TIP-HSUS. If a dog fight is in progress, immediately call 911.

Header images via Rebecca Corry (left) and Rebecca Corry / Virgil Ocampo (right)