Dallas, a beautiful reddish-tan pit bull has good reason to smile these days. A smile he does, in a broad grin stretching from ear to ear. But he didn’t always have reason to do so. This pit bull was recently rescued from a dog fighting ring.
It all began when his pregnant mother was sent to the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty To Animals (OSPCA), in Canada, where little Dallas was born. But this was a terrible situation for the mother and her pups. Pit bulls are banned in Ontario. And that meant Dallas, his mom, and 20 other pit bulls would be euthanized, The Animal Rescue Site reports.
The Situation Was Dire For These Pit Bulls
If ever there was a time when intervention was necessary, this was it. The poor dogs are victims of a now-disbanded dogfighting ring. Fortunately, Dog Tales, a local rescue organization, stepped in, launching an exhaustive two-year-long court battle to save the pitties. And that spurred the hashtag #Savethe21. But the fight was worth it and the organization won.
The dogs were sent to families and shelters all across North America. Pit Sisters, a Florida-based nonprofit organization, took in 13 pit bulls, including young Dallas. People have tagged pit bulls with an unfair reputation, therefore, the risk of euthanasia for these wonderful dogs is higher because they have been so unfairly characterized. To turn the situation around for three-year-old Dallas and her canine colleagues, the organization placed them in its’ shelter dog prison program, which pairs the dogs with prison inmates across the country.
Prison program helps pit bulls and inmates
The program, Teaching Animals and Inmates Life Skills (TAILS), is a good deal for the dogs and the inmates. The dogs learn important socialization skills. And the inmates benefit as well, learning jobs skills as they work with the pooches. Another benefit of having the dogs around? Inmates learn empathy, learn to cooperate with each other, and their stress levels aren’t so high.
Dallas learned quickly
“When Dallas arrived, he was always alert and attentive to everything and everyone,” said his inmate trainer Nicholas Ramos,” in an email to The Washington Post. “He would stay standing in his kennel looking around his surroundings and wag his tail when someone would walk by.”
Ramos is currently an inmate at the Lawtey Correctional Institution near Jacksonville, Florida.
Dallas’s inquisitive but patient demeanor made Pit Sisters’ founder, Jen Deane and the prison program administrators realize he would make a wonderful police K-9.
That, however, would take a bit of doing because K-9 training costs more than $10,000. So Carol Skaziak, founder and chief executive of the non-profit Pennsylvania-based organization The Throwaway Dogs Project got involved. Skaziak’s organization doesn’t often work with pit bulls, but after visiting Dallas at the correctional facility, she knew the young dog would be an excellent recruit.
And once again, Dog Tales footed the bill.
Pit bulls have an undeserved reputation
Bruce Myers, a veteran K-9 trainer says Dallas’s training will include teaching him how to sniff out heroin at his new post in Honaker, Virginia. Myers noted people’s negative attitudes towards pit bulls are completely wrong. The dogs are victims of improper training.
“Dogs aren’t born vicious. We make them vicious. Don’t blame the dog. Blame us.”
And if you’re lucky enough to have a pitties for friends, give them a hug. They truly are wonderful dogs.
You can watch Dallas’s story in the video below.
Featured image by Pit Sisters via Facebook