by Beth Meyer
Rowdy to the Rescue is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization of volunteer animal enthusiasts who recognize the need to educate the public about animal overpopulation, and to rescue companion animals from high kill shelters.
Founded in 2009 by Chris Hughes, the organization includes a program called Thera-Pits (www.thera-pits.com).
The Thera-Pits Therapy Dog Program is a no-charge, alternative learning program offered to any school. Thera-Pits uses registered therapy dogs and volunteers to offer different programs based on class needs, which may include allowing children to read to the dogs. This allows the children to read without being self-conscious of their disabilities, to build their confidence, and to learn how to interact with companion animals. Each one of the Thera-Pit therapy dogs has been rescued from being put to sleep, and now spend their time being normal pets and bringing people joy.
Given the negative image held by many about pit bull type dogs, one of the largest hurdles faced by the program is that they use pit bulls. Chris Hughes told me: “The general public has a fear instilled in them about this type of dog. I always say we may have 1 million people wanting us to succeed but 2 million wanting us to fail. We try so hard to change people’s perception of these dogs by using them in the therapy enviroment.”
Cornerstone is proud to be able to donate towards the surgery of a recent addition to the rescue, Bunny. When she recovers, we hope to host her for a visit and a few treats/belly rubs in our office.
Here’s a picture of “Gremlin” on the job. Gremlin, the Thera-Pits spokesdog, was rescued from a fighting operation. She is now a registered therapy dog and works with children with autism. She’s also the first pit bull accepted into the University Hospitals Pet Pals Program.