The Abuse Bites Team Stops Bullying in Michigan USA
Founder Lisa Freeman & Family
John & Lisa Freeman/ Founders & CEO
Happily Married for 19 years. Both abuse survivors, John & Lisa have raised 4 children all with special needs who were also abused. Both have graduated from college with an Associates Degree and have worked with children, teen and adults their entire time together.
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, teaching, writing books, often counseling, healing, and offering pet therapy to the hurting. 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 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. 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 to 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 anxiety attacks and was afraid to go to school. He tried to commit suicide three times. 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. He has since graduated from high school and now sings at all our events. Part of his story was used in a movie entitled "Bullied" by Firecracker films. He also helps with the dogs, writes songs and sings, and loves playing sports.
RIP Brian--6/27/88 to 8/10/10
Brian was also 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"
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. This year due to his age and his health, he laid his pet therapy paws down and retired.
Baby Ruth--AKA "The Bully"
Baby Ruth is the "Bully" in the Freeman house and in the Abuse Bites Program. She is a 5 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 "PAWS 4 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. Although he is only 7 months old, he is potty trained, comes, sits, sits pretty, stays, goes to his spot, heels on a leash, fetches, leave it, and is crate trained for bye bye.
"Lover helped me train dogs and handlers in our April obedience class when he was only 5 months old and he did fabulous," Lisa said. "I hope to have him him Certified for Pet Therapy by December when he turns a year old." He also took a couple 3rd places in a recent local dog show. His message "PAWS 4 LOVE"