Pit Bull Group “I’m Not a Monster” Lends a Helping Paw This Holiday Season


We told you about the fantastic Pit Bull advocacy group I’m Not a Monster (INAM) earlier this year. Headed by Imelda Suriato, it hosts the annual Monster Holiday Drive, which through volunteer “elves” across the country garnered more than $100,000 in donations for shelters and dogs in need last year. This holiday season, the group has set its sights even higher, hoping to double the amount raised. We touched base with a few of the elves to learn more about what they do and how you can get involved.

The beloved Laila Ali and some of her collections last year.
The beloved Laila Ali and some of her collections last year.

Frankie, better known as “Frankie, I’m a lover not a fighter to his fans,” is a real-life rags-to-riches tale. He was one of more than 50 Pit Bulls saved during a drug raid. Emaciated and neglected, Frankie, with his sweet disposition, won the heart of adopter Teresa Harris. Frankie has since earned an AKC Obedience title as well as therapy dog certification.

Together, Frankie and Teresa work hard in their community to help dogs and owners in need, always looking for ways to pay it forward. Working as an I’m Not a Monster elf, Harris contacted local veterinarians, pet stores, and pet day-care facilities to leave donation boxes at their locations.

She left one of Frankie’s red bins at each location, along with a list of needed items by local rescues, and repeatedly advertised the donation locations on Frankie’s Facebook page. They managed an amazing six donation sites and hope to add more this year.

Frankie with one of his red bins.
Frankie with one of his red bins.

Harris says, “Frankie and I are honored to serve as an official elf team with INAM and to be a part of such a positive program, which works to assist rescues nationwide and advocate for misunderstood dogs at the same time.”

Eugene is another elf with a great success story. He was once a skinny, malnourished, bow-legged pup at the Manhattan Animal Care Center. Danielle Maveal was contacted by a friend in Social Tees Animal Rescue and asked to be his foster. The rest is history!

As a rep for BarkBox, Maveal and Eugene coordinated the donation of 168 BarkBoxes to INAM. This year, they hope to double that number. In addition to the generous box donations, BarkBox will also donate an extra box each time friends of elves enter their unique code at checkout (or the general code MONSTER). The friend will get 10 percent off, and INAM will get another BarkBox full of goodies for dogs in need!

Maveal and Eugene.
Maveal and Eugene.

If you’re interested in becoming an elf, contact I’m Not a Monster to get started. To make a donation, find an elf near you. I’m Not a Monster is doing great things for dogs this holiday season, and we hope to see our readers join in! Post pictures of your donations below!

Read more about good causes on Dogster:

About Meghan Lodge: Fits the Aquarius definition to a fault, loves animals, and is always pushing for change. Loves ink, whether it’s in tattoos, books, or writing on that pretty sheet of blank paper. Proud parent of Toby (cat) and Axle (dog). I’m a former quiet nerd who’s turned bubbly animal-obsessed advocate.

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