All this month, PBRC will be sharing stories that highlight rescue, and advocates for our dogs. Some of these stories will be from PBRC volunteers, other articles will highlight rescues and organizations striving to help animals in need.
Ernie’s story is yet to be complete. He was rescued by Atlanta Underdog Initiative in December 2009. He had been tethered behind an abandoned house for some time with no food or water. Due to the scars he bears, he was either attacked by other dogs or intentionally fought. A kind lady in the neighborhood had heard about him and when she went to look for him, he had already broken loose. Fortunately, upon returning home, she found that he had discovered HER and had made his way to her home.
This lady already had multiple dogs and they did not want him coming inside, so she tried to make him as comfortable on her porch as possible and looked for help. Ami and I went over there to temperament test him and and see how he does with other dogs. We took Lenox, Ami's dog, to see how Ernie reacted. It didn't go over so well, but it wasn't horrible, either. We could see that he needed some work and decided to take him with us to try to find someone to work with him.
We took him to the dog wash, killed the fleas and I took him home to await neutering. When he was neutered we learned that he was heartworm positive. Because of his dog-aggression, and it being just before Christmas, it was difficult finding a foster home. Ernie went to a temporary foster for a month before beginning heartworm treatment. He came back to live in my basement to recover from the treatment, and although it was nice and heated, he had to be isolated from the rest of the family.
In March 2010 he went to a rescue in Florida. After a year there without any adoption leads, we decided to bring him back to Atlanta. He was evaluated by a highly respected trainer who determined that he has had so little meaningful interaction with people, that to he has not had an opportunity to bond with anyone. Since pit bulls crave and need human interaction he has not had the chance to learn what is appropriate behavior. We are going to put him through a training program, but after completion he needs a foster home that will give him positive social interaction with people on a daily basis without forcing him to interact with other dogs. Maybe once he has the chance to bond with someone he will eventually be able to be desensitized to other dogs, but we don't expect him to necessarily be friends with other dogs.
~ Atlanta Underdog Initiative
Ernie’s video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uyvQ_LpRVbY