There's an old saying about ferocious dogs: They're only as bad as their masters make them. Pit bulls are often considered fierce, but there are some sweet ones. For example, Rux is so sweet, he visits schools and other public places as a certified therapy dog to teach kids about violence to animals. But his life could have taken a different path.
As a puppy, his ears were cut with scissors, and he was left bleeding to death. A neighbor called animal control about potential harm being done to the new puppy next door, and former animal control officer Dianna Boles Burrows responded.
"I went out and found that Rux had been held down and his ears had been cut off," she said.
Following surgery to correct his ears, Rux stayed with Burrows until his court date in July 2009.
"His owner pleaded guilty to animal cruelty, so I was able to adopt him that day," Burrows said.
Rux was 12 weeks old and 18 pounds when Burrows rescued him. He's now 21 months old and 871/2 pounds -- and he's still growing.
A registered AKC puppy, he's attended obedience classes and training at Play Dog Excellent and is now an AKC-registered Canine Good Citizen, an achievement he earned before he was a year old.
"To be his age, he's done really well," Burrows said. "He's a very happy, lucky boy, living a normal life now."
THANKSGIVING HELPERS NEEDED
The Humane Educational Society, 212 N. Highland Park Ave., is seeking volunteers to help with cleaning and feeding at the shelter over the Thanksgiving holiday. Hours needed are 8 a.m. to approximately 2 p.m. Thursday and Friday. To sign up, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Treats for the animals are welcome. For more information, call 624-5302, ext. 228.