Noelani Guerrero is what most animal lovers would consider a saint. Not only is she an advocate for the bully breeds (she has five Pit Bull mixes herself), but she also takes in foster after foster, mending their broken spirits and bones, and adopting them out to loving families.
Aside from that, Noelani is in charge of a clothing company called Urban Suburban Apparel that creates positive Pit Bull clothing. She is truly a force to be reckoned with, and we got the pleasure to chat with her about her experience fostering.
BarkPost: Hi! We’re so excited to be able to speak with you. We’re huge fans of your Instagram account. Noelani Guerrero: Oh thank you! They are all following me around as we speak. I tried to run away to my room but they followed me! BP: That’s so funny! You work with Fresno Bully Rescue to rescue and foster pups. How did you first get into fostering? NG: Well I guess you can say it all started with my first dog, Indy, who’s a Pit Bull. At the time I really had no idea about all the negative stories that come with Pit Bulls. I just got her and I was like oh my gosh, this is the best dog ever. I had no clue about anyone thinking that she was anything other than just a good dog. And then we went out into the world and people would tell me that I should be careful, she might turn on you. So I started getting on social media and I met other Pit Bull owners who have the same stories and the same problems and we all started connecting with each other and sharing our positive stories. We shared pictures and tried debunking all of the Pit Bull myths. And then I heard about Fresno Bully Rescue through one of the events we were having locally and I thought, this is perfect! This is the perfect way to get involved. It kind of just took off from there.
Our last photo together. I already miss her so much, but I am happy that she ended up in the loving home she deserved from the start. Her new parents will be making an IG for her & her new brothers that I will share once it’s made. Thank you all, again, for being here through all the ups and downs, and encouraging me the whole way. You’re the best. #adopted #adoptdontshop #foster #rescue #happybeginnings @fresnobullyrescue @urbsub A photo posted by noelani g. (@noelaniig) on
BP: What have you found is the most difficult thing about fostering?
NG: The hardest thing about fostering is probably just being able to say goodbye because you get attached to them, especially the medical cases or the cases where you can tell you are the first person who has ever shown them love before. It makes them very attached to you too. But once you see them with their families, it’s all worth it.
BP: Do you keep in touch with any of your fosters?
NG: Oh yeah, all of them! Their owners all still text me, update me with pictures and everything. It’s awesome.
BP: Can you tell us a little bit about your own pack? NG: Well I have five of them, they’re all Pit Bull mixes. Indy, she’s the oldest, is around six years old. She’s sort of the lazy one. And then I have Malachi who I rescued as a puppy. I saw an ad on Craigslist that a lady had found him in a box on the side of the road and she was going to take him to a shelter but I was like, oh I’ll come and pick him up. I was going to foster him but I became a foster failure pretty quick. Then we have Mayby, another foster fail actually. My friend called me and she had wandered into her friend’s garage so I picked her up. She also became a permanent resident. And then Nala, she was the only one that I basically went out and adopted myself without her coming to me. A friend was fostering her and she was having trouble finding her a home and I had been following her story for awhile on Instagram. I kind of fell in love with her so we had her meet my pack and they all fell in love and got along so well that she became a part of the pack. Then we have Angel who was my last foster fail. She’s going to be my last foster fail for awhile because we’re kind of maxed out on forever dogs. She’s the mama of the whole pack and I just recently adopted her a couple months ago. Those are all my babies.
Ok ok last cuddling pic for now. Mamas got to go work 😅 A photo posted by noelani g. (@noelaniig) on
BP: You have a full house! How many fosters do you think you’ve taken in total?
NG: There’s been about twenty so far, counting the chihuahuas that I have now. In two weeks when they go to their forever homes, I will be fosterless, although I’m not sure how long that will even last.
**Note: Since the time of the interview, all four of the chihuahuas have found homes!
BP: Are there any foster stories that are extra special to you?
NG: Angel was honestly my most special case. She was found pregnant on the street by a lady and the lady picked her up and she actually gave birth in the back of her car. One of the puppies didn’t make it but there were five of them so I ended up fostering Angel and her five puppies. So I was basically with them from when they were born until they went to their forever homes. And of course, the puppies were going quickly and nobody was applying for Angel, who is so amazing. But I’m glad because I ended up keeping her and I wasn’t able to let her go.
BP: Is it difficult to foster pups when you have so many of your own dogs? NG: It’s different for every case, like the medical cases they need a little bit more time to decompress or be left alone so I’ll keep them separate. For the first day or so with every foster I keep them separate just to let them get to know their surroundings and get comfortable. And then I usually introduce them one at a time in the backyard. I never worry about my dogs because they just love everyone and everything. I’ve been really lucky, all of my fosters that I’ve had have loved my pack and my pack loves them, so we’ve never even had a problem once.
❤️❤️❤️❤️ #BestFosterMomEver #PitBullFosterMom #ChihuahuaRescuePuppies #adoptdontshop #foster #rescue A photo posted by noelani g. (@noelaniig) on
BP: I know you recently had four chihuahua pups that Angel seems to have become the foster mom of. How did Angel end up taking these chihuahuas under her wing?
NG: It’s really funny because I kind of had a feeling she would step up and treat them like they were her babies because she has that motherly nature to her. So when I brought them home, I kept them separate from the other dogs and I just let Angel come through. She just walked right past me right to them and they all just ran towards her and cuddled up against her. She was just like, “okay, well I will adopt you!”
Ok here’s one of everyone (kinda) looking. Angel was scared it was bath time, so she was like “uh uh oh heyell no”. Oh and guess what!? DOUG IS GETTING ‘DOPTED FRIDAY😱🎉🎊 YAY! And ps- my friggin’ laptop froze last night when I was trying to finish my YouTube video, so I’ll be finishing it up today! #adoptdontshop #foster #rescue EDIT: My laptop with ALL my videos crashed!! I’m working on getting it fixed and then will hopefully get it uploaded soon 😩
BP: How do you find time in your schedule to foster? Is fostering for everybody?
NG: Well I think it definitely takes someone who has a little bit of extra time. It’s a little easier for me because I work out of my home so I’m here for the most part to watch over the dogs while working at the same time. I’ve been really lucky to have that situation. There are people who foster cats and kittens who are less demanding than a dog. Definitely someone with a little bit more free time and not traveling so much because you’ve got to provide them with a home.
BP: What draws you to the Pit Bull breed?
NG: I just really had no clue about Pit Bulls, I was really ignorant about everything. Even when people told me stories about the breed, I was like “Pitbull, you mean the rapper?” I had no clue what it was and then I started learning and doing more research and I met other people’s Pit Bulls. Then I just fell in love with them.
NG: Well we’re basically a charitable clothing company, we provide for the bully breed lover. It started off as a clothing company for the youth in the community to keep them off of the streets and we donated to after school programs. And then once I started working with Fresno Bully Rescue I realized that there’s this lack of bully-breed-loving clothing that was positive. The stuff we saw was a little more mean-spirited. So we were like, we can make cool designs for the Pit Bull lover and supporter. That’s how it all started. And then people started buying it. We didn’t know if people were really going to take to wearing their support for their dogs but it ended up being so much more than that. You know it’s like you don’t always own a dog, they kind of own you.
For more adorable photos and to follow Noelani’s journey with her pack and fosters, follow her on Instagram @noelaniig.