Pretty little Lena, a Pit Bull Ambassador and a Hillsborough County Animal Services Pit Crew favorite!
Beautiful little Lena isn"t quite sure how she ended up at the shelter in Tampa, Florida. And those who have met her are awfully puzzled, too. Demure, polite and oh-so-beautiful, who could let such a rare gem get away?
But somehow, Lena found herself alone and homeless. Lucky for Lena, the Hillsborough County Animal Services shelter is teeming with employees and volunteers who fight hard for the pit-bull terriers they find within their walls. Pull into the shelter on any given day, and the passion is obvious - cars with bumper stickers proclaiming its driver"s allegiance to the breed, and dozens of people donned in red HCAS Pit Crew shirts purposefully walking, playing with, and training pit-bull terriers of all sizes, colors and ages. Yes, Lena found herself in very good company!
The HCAS Pit Crew identifies individual dogs in the shelter"s care who become candidates for the title of Pit Bull Ambassador. Sweet Lena earned her Pit Bull Ambassador title by being identified as having all of the temperament and health stability to become a PBA.
Lena"s friendliness with people, cat and dog reactivity and resource aggression were all rigorously tested. Once she easily passed those benchmarks, she was given a comprehensive veterinary exam to assure that she is in excellent health.
She will be testing to earn her Canine Good Citizen certificate in the next couple of weeks, a wonderful accomplishment that speaks volumes to those who might question the stable and friendly nature of the pit-bull terrier.
The Pit Crew has a special wing devoted to the dogs in the A.D.O.P.T. program. Because Lena is so quiet and polite, when you first visit this reserved area of the shelter, you might not see her right away. Until recently, her next door neighbor was our Pit Bull of the Week two weeks ago, Big Ben, and Ben simply demanded that visitors take notice of him!
Ladylike and demure, Lena sweetly and patiently waits, on delicate, tiny little paws, her pretty face cocked, with a lovely smile and a gentle wag until the visitor looks over and sees her. And, then, oh my! Her beauty is staggering. Her glistening white coat and deep chocolate brindle patches are breathtaking. Her petite figure is athletic and her conformation is sound. But it"s her beautiful face, lovely ear set, engaging smile and twinkle in her eye that will capture your heart.
And, Lena"s beauty goes all the way through to her soul. She has a feminine sweetness and gentleness that makes her an ideal candidate for any family composition and nearly any lifestyle. Her athleticism, focus in training and enormous desire to please her handler open up so many opportunities for the family she chooses as her own. And her diminutive size makes her a great candidate for an apartment or condo dweller, a family with small children or an active senior. Lena is a very special young lady!
Sweet little Lena was able to achieve her accomplishments because she is part of a program known as the Shelter Partners for Pit Bulls
. This program is designed to encourage responsible pit bull terrier guardianship, improve the public image of the bully breeds, increase adoptions and reduce euthanasia. Sponsored by Best Friends Animal Society
and a generous grant from PetSmart Charities
, Hillsborough County Animal Services is one of five shelters participating in this project. Each location has its own Pit Crew designated to the care and training of the pit-bull-terrier-type dogs who find themselves, whether by confiscation, surrender or as strays brought in by officers, at the animal shelter.
Photographs courtesy of Hillsborough County Animal Services Pit Crew