The Abuse Bites Team Stops Bullying in Michigan USA
Founder Lisa Freeman & Family
John & Lisa Freeman/ Founders & CEO's
Happily Married for 20+ years. Both abuse survivors, John & Lisa have raised four children all with special needs who were also abused and bullied. Both have graduated from college with an Associates Degree from Vision International and have worked with children, teens, and adults for the past thirteen years.
Today John works at a local factory and helps with; driving, filming, taking pictures and fixing whatever needs repair. He's sort of the jack of all trades for the program. He loves music, is a Third Day Freak, and enjoys playing the drums. Lisa works on the front lines training volunteers, speaking, writing books, often counseling, and on the side teaching dog training and pet therapy classes. She loves and enjoys her family, dogs, walking, nature, traveling, and meeting new and different people.
Robert was abused by his biological father, and bullied by his peers, which caused him to cut himself as a teen. He was a victim of work place bullying, for which he suffered 2 nervous breakdowns and nearly died after a fatal cut on the arm. Thankfully he survived and hasn't cut himself since. He also was sexually abused later in life by two other adult men. Today he holds an Associates Degree and works for the Shiawassee County Mental Health Center as a driver for their New Directions program and helps others who suffer with mental illness. He also drives us to events and works behind the video camera/camera. He enjoys walking, reading, and playing video games.
Melissa--former Dog Trainer/ Photographer
Melissa was also sexually abused by her biological father who was a predator and addicted to porn. She battled with severe anxiety and learning disorders. She was bullied all through school, and labeled gay. She graduated from high school with honors, works at Walmart as a Greeter, and has helped train the dogs for the program. She also enjoys taking pictures and dabbling in art. She has recently made the choice to be a lesbian. Her family is very open and supportive of her decision, offering complete acceptance and love to both her and her partner. The Freeman's are a very close family and believe in freedom of choice.
Jeremiah--Singer / Songwriter
Jeremiah was almost bullied to death in school. He suffered severe panic attacks and was afraid to go to school. He tried to commit suicide three times and was nearly a victim of teen suicide. Thankfully his parents saw the warning signs and got him the help he needed. Soon after, he began writing songs to inspire and help others who are abused/bullied. His highschool bully showed up at one of the Abuse Bites presentations and was touched so much by the true stories that he gave a heartfelt apology to the entire family!!! Jeremiah graduated from high school, is married and has a handsome son. Part of his story was used in a movie entitled "Bullied" by Firecracker films. He helps when he can, shares his story, and sings.
RIP Brian--6/27/88 to 8/10/10
Brian was also sexually/physically abused by his biological father and bullied terribly in school. Aside from that he was born with Asperger's Syndrome and only a half of heart (2 Chambers instead of 4). Doctors said he'd only live to be a year old, he lived to be 22! He surpassed all the odds, graduated from high school with honors, and helped with the dogs in the Abuse Bites program. He was on the heart transplant list for five years, but lived a fairly normal productive life at home. In the last few months of his life, Brian dieted, exercised, and lost more than 42 pounds! He always had a great attitude on life and believed there was nothing he couldn't do. He loved to cook and make people laugh. He lived and died loving, forgiving, and wanting to help his bullies. Read about how Abuse Bites is CHANGING HEARTS and SAVING LIVES for Brian.
Snickers --AKA "The Bully Buster" Helped Found this Organization (R.I.P.)
Snickers ran under the Freeman's van one day. Lisa nearly hit him. "When he jumped into my daughter's arms, I was releaved," she said. "I told her we'd keep him for the night." That was 12 years ago! Their humorous, heart touching story "A New Home" was published in Chicken Soup for the Dog Lovers Soul.
Snickers was an abused, runaway, looking for love, acceptance and a safe home to call his own. "I thought I was rescuing him," Lisa says, "but he really rescued me." He brought healing to her, the entire Freeman family, and many others.
"He became an Award-Winning Certified Pet Therapy Dog, the Mascot and Bully Buster of Abuse Bites, won Mayor of the Humane Society for raising thousands of dollars for needy/abused pets, and dressed as the Easter Bunny to give Easter Baskets to needy children." Together, Lisa & Snickers raised more than $20,000 for their community. Sadly, Snickers passed away from cancer two years ago, but his legacy lives on.
Baby Ruth--AKA "The Bully"
Baby Ruth is the "Bully" in the Freeman house and in the Abuse Bites Program. She is a 8+ year old Min Pin, Rat Terrier, Chihuahua mix. She has been abused by both people and other dogs, therefore making her very fearful.
Although the WORST DOG the Freeman's ever had, they have worked through her negative and bullying behaviors. "We just treated her like you would your kid who behaves badly or like a bully," Lisa says, " we loved her, disciplined her, and trained her. And today, her behaviors are way better!" They share her story to prove that ANY BULLY CAN CHANGE with the proper help and determination. Bullying is a behavior not who someone is! Her message is "PAWS 4 CHANGE" since anyone, bully dog or bully can change.
Lover-- AKA"The Lover"
Lover is the Lover. The Freeman's purchased this full-blooded Yorkie with only one intention in mind, their mission to travel around the country to offer Love and Healing. "I wanted to have a small dog that would love everyone," Lisa says. "The first day we got him I took him to a local nursing home and he kissed on all the people and snuggled right down in their arms."
He is a born natural Lover and smart too. At just a year old he passed his AKC Canine Good Citizen Test and is a Certified Pet Therapy Dog!
"Lover learned all the obedience skills fast. Even at four months old he was helping me train other dogs and handlers. Now we facilitate weekly group pet therapy visits together. It's so much fun." His message is "PAWS 4 LOVE" because we all need to pause to love others and be kind.
Kota -- Therapy/Service Dog
Kota is a native american name that means "friend to everyone." However, Kota was a pup we rescued from a kill shelter a few weeks after Snickers passed. He came to us very aggressive, and nearly killed Lover. He also had horrible behaviors; marking all the furniture (my bathrobe and my hubby's shirt that he kept over his chair), and endless chewing of blankets and rugs.As a dog trainer, I was about to give up. But I stuck with it and a couple months he was much better--no more marking, not so much chewing, and he was playing nicely with Lover. Today Kota is taking over where Snickers left off, he's a wonderful pet therapy dog and service dog, but he also helps me train other pups and dogs who are fearful or aggressive. He's absolutely amazing and I could not picture our lives or organization without him!