Mutual Selection, a Perfect Pair, and the Saving Pets Challenge

Rescue Pit lists “Mutual Selection” as one of its core values. Mutual Selection means that dogs adopted out of the rescue are not only selected by their adopters, but are paired with owners based on the dog’s specific needs, facilitating a seamless transition into the new home. Today, Rescue Pit is highlighting the value of Mutual Selection at work and sharing a heartwarming story of the perfect pair: Angelo and Dino.

Only weeks after purchasing his prized Harley-Davidson, Angelo was in a very serious motorcycle accident when he swerved to avoid a deer and veered into a utility pole. Angelo lay alone for hours before he was found and flown to a hospital where he would spend one week being treated for his extensive injuries. Angelo returned home with two broken wrists, a broken jaw, and 14 additional facial fractures. He found himself alone, and battled depression for months before he finally decided to search for a companion.

Meanwhile, Dino appeared at a local shelter with an injured jaw. Unsure of the cause or seriousness of his injury, the shelter transferred Dino to Rescue Pit where he was seen by a vet who confirmed that his jaw was broken. Dino was placed in a restrictive tape muzzle and was not allowed to chew or play for several weeks in order to allow his jaw to heal.

Angelo contacted multiple rescue organizations about adopting a dog, and when he eventually found Rescue Pit, Dino was the first dog that he noticed. Angelo, with his jaw still wired shut, saw that Dino was also healing from a jaw injury. Angelo expressed an interest in adopting Dino and was informed that there were at least one dozen other applicants interested, and that Dino would not be placed into a home until he was fully healed. Angelo was patient and, as fate would have it, Rescue Pit ultimately determined that of all the applicants, Angelo was best suited to accommodate Dino’s needs.


Dino and Angelo


Dino is now happily at home with Angelo, who believes that they helped each other heal. “I know that’s hard to believe for some people, but he is more than just a dog to me. He was someone that loved me unconditionally, someone I didn’t feel bad crying in front of, and someone who needed me as much as I needed him. What can I say, he’s one of the best things that ever happened to me”, reflected Angelo.

During the month of May, Rescue Pit is participating in the Saving Pets Challenge, an online fundraising competition that benefits animal welfare organizations dedicated to keeping companion pets out of shelters and in loving homes. This is Rescue Pit’s fourth consecutive year participating in the challenge and the organization has set a goal to raise $10,000 in hopes of earning additional cash prizes at the end of the competition. All funds are used to benefit dogs like Dino and help them find their perfect match. To donate, please visit Rescue Pit’s fundraising page at:

Why your off-leash dog is ruining my life.

It’s finally summertime! The time of year to get outside and walk the dog, so you get your buddy all leashed up and head outdoors. The sun is shining, flowers are blooming, birds are chirping, and as you smile and soak in the vitamin D you have been craving for so long you see it out of the corner of your eye—the off leash dog. The reason you have to wear running shoes when all you ever want to do is take a leisurely stroll in the park. “He’s good with other dogs!” the owner screams as you sprint in the opposite direction. And you’re left telling the same old story you’ve likely had to tell your friends a million times before; which usually ends with “Other dog owners just don’t get it.” If this situation sounds all too familiar, then you know the feeling of panic and anxiety that can come with the simple act of wanting to exercise man’s best friend. If this situation sounds all too familiar because you are one of those people screaming at me while I run away — then I implore you to continue reading.

Not every person wants to be approached by your dog.
As a dog person, I agree, this seems odd. When a dog passes me, I smile ear to ear and don’t stop staring until the dog is out of my sight. Typically combine with blurting out some sort of “aww” noises and if the moment is appropriate, asking if I can pet the dog. However, there are plenty of people out there who have had bad experiences with dogs, are fearful of dogs, or just don’t like dogs! Respect these people and do them the common courtesy of leashing your dog.

Not every dog wants to be approached by your dog.
Much like people, not all dogs are keen on the idea of your four-legged friend running up to them without their consent. Again this could be due to the dog having previous bad experiences with other dogs, being fearful of meeting new canine companions, or maybe they just don’t like other dogs. And get this—dogs can’t even talk to you to tell you to get away! They will have to resort to barking, lunging, growling and in the worst cases biting to tell you how unhappy they are. Here is where the owner of that “friendly dog” just doesn’t get it.

I assume they think something along the lines of—“it’s not my fault your dog isn’t trained.” This is where there seems to be a breakdown in communication, and we do not understand one another, and here is what you may not know. Many dogs who have issues with other dogs are working hard every day during every single walk to maintain control and not bark or pull. These dogs may not have been given a good start to their lives, may not have been socialized, may have been taken away from their litters too early, may have been attacked by an off leash dog in the past, or their temperament may just be a nervous one… the list could go on and on. These are dogs that are working tirelessly to be good dogs, and every experience with an off leash dog has the potential to set that training back tremendously. It’s not for lack of training or trying; some dogs just need a little extra TLC. For the sake of these dogs, please leash your dog.

Even a well-trained dog can be unpredictable.
In an exciting situation, any dog could ignore recall. Any dog has the potential to bite. Any dog’s prey drive could kick in and they may take off after a squirrel or bird, so just leash your dog! If your dog really wants to run free, I’ve heard of these cool places called dog parks, and back yards which sound like they would be worth checking out!

It’s the law.
Need more convincing to keep your dog on leash? It’s the law, and there are fines for not following the law. Here in Rochester, NY first offense $100, second offense $250, and third and subsequent offenses $500. You can find the leash law in full in Section 31-4 at the following website:

Whether it’s to respect the fearful person or dog, to keep your own dog safe, or because it’s the law, please remember this post the next time you take your walk. The above-mentioned reasons are true for all dogs of any size, shape, or breed. Many dogs prefer not to be approached by a new or unfamiliar dog; however, this fairly common animal response coupled with being a pit bull owner has a whole new meaning. Because of the stigma that still surrounds this breed, an altercation between two dogs is likely to be deemed instigated by the pit bull regardless of the facts. The pit bull will be more likely to be labeled “aggressive, ” and this is likely to have negative consequences for the dog and owner. So please, for the love of dog– leash yours!

Rest Well Sweet Walter

After much consideration and great sorrow, Rescue Pit made the incredibly difficult decision to euthanize Walter and to release him from his anxiety riddled mind.


Walter came to Rescue Pit from Rochester Animal Services severely emaciated after being found as a stray. He needed to gain some weight, but was otherwise a gentle and calm dog. As Walter became more comfortable with his environment, he showed signs of anxiety – deep, crippling anxiety. It was not only stranger danger, new things, or typically fearful items; it was everything. It was the couch, or the wind, or his shadow. He would even wake up scared of his surroundings. During these situations, Walter became so petrified that his fear became aggression, and he would turn that aggression on the people and dogs around him.


Rescue Pit began work on a behavior modification, and consulted our veterinarian on a path forward. As Walter’s anxiety continued to spike, we were faced with a difficult decision. Simply put, we imagined the world from Walter’s perspective: moments of joy, ripped away because of fear and anxiety that could strike at any moment. We saw a terrified dog, trapped in his own mind, acting out in hopes of gaining relief. We talked with multiple behaviorists, and the conclusion was clear – the humane thing to do was to release Walter from his fear.


We wish more than anything that our efforts would have been enough to heal his hurting soul. It pains us to realize that Walter would have never escaped his terrified mind, and would have always been a risk to those who loved him.


We know nothing about his past, whether it was full of love or neglect, and we cannot begin to guess at what he experienced before he came to us. We do know that we loved him for every minute that he was with us. For a short time, he experienced the comfort of a warm sweater over his skinny body, the security of a home, the love of his foster parents, the kind gentle hands of compassionate trainers.


We here at Rescue Pit volunteer every day to help dogs and save lives. We foster and care for dogs in hopes of giving them a better situation. During this, we often lose sight of the most difficult side of rescue, and the hardest, most unfortunate truth: not every dog can be saved.


We do make a promise to every dog we care for: to be their advocate, to love them, and to always make the most humane decision on their behalf. We also made a promise to you – to be transparent about our organization and the decisions we make. We are not the first rescue or family to make this difficult decision and unfortunately, we will not be the last. We hope that Walter gains release from his life of hardship. And for all those who have had to make a similar decision, know that our hearts break with yours.
Rest well sweet Walter.