2019-03-14 / Front Page

Puppy yoga handy way to adopt dogs

By Abigail Worthing
Staff Writer


Aimee, a feisty 12-week-old pit bull puppy took a rest with Bryana Amsden of Biddeford during the Puppy Yoga class at Samudra Yoga on Main Street in Saco on March 10. Adoptable puppies from Pittie Posse were showcased for some playtime. (Abigail Worthing photo) Aimee, a feisty 12-week-old pit bull puppy took a rest with Bryana Amsden of Biddeford during the Puppy Yoga class at Samudra Yoga on Main Street in Saco on March 10. Adoptable puppies from Pittie Posse were showcased for some playtime. (Abigail Worthing photo) SACO – The Pittie Posse Rescue and Sanctuary and Samudra Yoga on Main Street in Saco came together to help puppies find good homes with an event good for the body and the soul: puppy yoga.

Puppy yoga is run like any other beginner yoga class, but with the rambunctious addition of three puppies looking to play.

“Don’t worry, I’m not expecting perfection,” said teacher Sarah LaFortune as the puppies scampered around the feet of the yogis. “This is about having fun, so if you’d like to take the time to play with a furry friend, go for it.”

The event was held on March 10 and was attended by 13 people who made the trek out despite the onslaught of snow. Admission for the event was $30, which was donated 100 percent to Pittie Posse.

Kayla LaFortune takes a break from bridge poses to give Aster, a 12-week-old pit bull puppy, an ear rub during Puppy Yoga at Samudra Yoga in Saco, showcasing adoptable puppies from the Pittie Posse Rescue. (Abigail Worthing photo)Kayla LaFortune takes a break from bridge poses to give Aster, a 12-week-old pit bull puppy, an ear rub during Puppy Yoga at Samudra Yoga in Saco, showcasing adoptable puppies from the Pittie Posse Rescue. (Abigail Worthing photo)This was the second time Samudra Yoga and Pittie Posse have collaborated to bring together yogis and puppies. The first event was held in January. Every puppy that was present during that yoga class was adopted and the event was such a success that the team at Samudra left the door open for another.

“It’s such a great organization, and we all love having them here,” LaFortune said. “We told them, any time you have a lot of puppies that need to be adopted, reach out.”

Pittie Posse is a southern Maine rescue and shelter that focuses on finding homes for pitbulls. Though Pittie Posse does not have a physical location, they rely on a network of foster families that will take in and care for the dogs while they await their forever homes.

Left, Laura Sugrue multi-tasks a puppy snuggle with a warrior stretch during Puppy Yoga at Samudra Yoga on March 10. Sugrue is holding Aimee, a 12-week-old pit bull puppy available for adoption through the Pittie Posse Rescue. Above, Bryana Amsden of Biddeford enjoys a snuggle from Aster, a 12-week-old pit bull puppy during Puppy Yoga. Puppies from Pittie Posse Rescue romped between legs and kissed faces during the class. (Abigail Worthing photos)Left, Laura Sugrue multi-tasks a puppy snuggle with a warrior stretch during Puppy Yoga at Samudra Yoga on March 10. Sugrue is holding Aimee, a 12-week-old pit bull puppy available for adoption through the Pittie Posse Rescue. Above, Bryana Amsden of Biddeford enjoys a snuggle from Aster, a 12-week-old pit bull puppy during Puppy Yoga. Puppies from Pittie Posse Rescue romped between legs and kissed faces during the class. (Abigail Worthing photos)One such foster parent, Maria Saravia of Turner, drove all the way down to Saco in the snow to ensure that two of the three puppies would be present for their big day out.

“They’re such sweet puppies, very active and fun,” Saravia said.

There were three puppies playing during the class. Teddy, who is 4-months-old, and sisters Aster and Aimee, who are 12 weeks old. Teddy is dark brown and friendly, active and looking to play, while Aster is tan with white patches and more prone to snuggle. Aimee was the feistiest of the three, white with brown patches and quick to playfully grab a water bottle from an attendee.

While LaFortune guided yogis through the poses of the day, puppies roamed freely and happily throughout the group, climbing on backs and licking faces during toe-touches. Giggles and coos from participants were constant as the puppies ran around, and many would pause from their stretch to cuddle a passing pup.

“Classes like this are really good for the soul,” LaFortune said. “This class is more about supporting this great organization.”

There are 19 dogs available for adoption through Pittie Posse, with an additional six or seven to become available in coming weeks.

Donations from events such as these will help their current initiative to purchase land and build a permanent sanctuary where the dogs can live, with a goal of achieving funding by Jan. 1, 2020. According to Renae MacDonald, event coordinator for Pittie Posse, most of the dogs that come to the rescue are on euthanasia lists prior to coming to Maine.

“Being a pit bull in the South is basically a death sentence. We get calls all the time asking us to take these dogs before they get put down,” said MacDonald, who has been with the organization for a year. “We had a litter of puppies recently that came from a mom who was due to be put down. She gave birth an hour after she made it here to us, and all her puppies were adopted.”

The organization is looking for more foster families who would be willing to take on a dog for an extended period of time as they await adoption, and are consistently accepting donations for the medical care they provide the dogs.

“We have a really amazing community of volunteers and supporters,” MacDonald said. “We couldn’t do what we do without them.”

For more information on how to donate to Pittie Posse or how to become a foster, visit www.pittieposserescue.com. For more information on classes at Samudra Yoga and updates on the next puppy yoga, visit www.samudrastudioyoga.com.

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