Buffy, a four-year-old bully with a brindle coat and a sweet disposition follows Hollowell around her home like a furry shadow. When Hollowell takes a seat on her sofa, Buffy is there to lay her head in her mistresses lap, or nip at her sleeve.
While Hollowell says English Bulldogs are naturally affectionate, one could wonder if her rescued dogs love her all the more for removing them from otherwise sad situations.
“I can’t imagine having anything other than a bulldog,” Hollowell said.
Her first bulldog was a Christmas present from her husband Gary, and soon she received another one. But when both of those dogs died of old age, Hollowell looked into animal rescue.
Both Buffy and Hollowell’s other bulldog Prissy came from rescue groups that take in bulldogs in need of a home.
Hollowell said often these dogs are turned over to rescue organizations because they can no longer afford to take care of them.
These dogs can be found in terrible conditions, underfed and underweight and in poor health.
“Bulldogs have been flooding the rescues,” Hollowell said. “The ones that are ending up in shelters are suffering from severe medical neglect.”
That is why Hollowell decided to organize “The Bully Ball,” a charity ball that benefits bulldog rescue in the southeast.
Hollowell, who graduated from the University of Georgia in 1991, called on supporters of her alma mater for help with the event.
“There was no reason that Georgia Bulldogs could not help the breed of our mascot,” Hollowell said.
Hollowell said it was not uncommon for bulldog rescue organizations to receive four rescues a day, and the medical bills for these animals can reach into the thousands.
When Hollowell received Buffy from a rescue group in Tampa, she was in full Renal failure. Despite the health failures of these animals, Hollowell said they are worth the rescue efforts.
“These rescue animals are good dogs. All they need is a second chance, maybe they got off to a rough start,” Hollowell said. “They are passionate, loyal, loving, funny, and great family dogs, but at the same time, they are stubborn, needy, and occasionally are prone to health issues such as ear, eye, and respiratory infections.”
Hollowell said the Bully Ball is about pulling people together who love the breed and helping those bulldogs less fortunate because of the abuse and neglect that they have suffered at the hands of others.
“In the southeast look at all the bulldog mascots we have,” she said. "This event is about pulling together the ‘bulldawg’ nation who is so passionate about their beloved mascot.”
The event will take place on Feb. 27 The Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead. The cost is $150 per person and will cover the cost of a filet dinner, drinks and a raffle ticket.
The Bully Ball will feature auction items such as art work by Steve Penley and other items. Coach Vince Dooley will be at the event to sign his new book. Hollowell said bothpresent and former UGA players will be there such as Matt Stinchcomb, David Greene, Greg Talley, Scott Woerner, Tom Lyons and Knox Culpepper. The General, the Citadel mascot, will be attending the event to show.
Hollowell hopes the event will raise $30,000 to be divided among the Georgia and Florida rescue sites, along with the Adoptabull Rescue.
But Hollowell says the event is also about education. She wants people to know that bulldogs require a lot of care.
“Their skin folds around their face must be cleaned daily including the base of their tail. If neglected, those areas can easily become infected. Bulldogs should also be indoor dogs because they are heat intolerant,” Hollowell said. "It is cruel to make a bulldog live outside during the summer months. If they do survive, they suffer. Because of their snout, they have a harder time cooling themselves properly."
Money raised will go towards the vet bills that these severely neglected bulldogs are bringing into the rescue, Hollowell said.
“Most of the dogs rescued come out of high kill shelters where their stray time is up,” Hollowell said. “The rescue sites take them at any age, at any condition and work to help them recover and find homes.”
To register for the event email Hollowell at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the event’s Web site at http://www.thebullyball.com.