Four-month-old Ivan was snatched from his kennel at the Washington Humane Society (WHS) shelter on New York Avenue in November 2010. Three suspects, posing as potential adopters, were caught on surveillance video taking the dog from the shelter. The suspects took Ivan from his cage and escaped by breaking through a wooden fence behind the building.
WHS worked quickly to ensure Ivan’s safe return. With the public’s support, Ivan was returned to the shelter with only minor cuts and scrapes, and his kidnappers were handled by the Metropolitan Police Department. In addition, the individuals responsible for Ivan’s safe return donated their $1,000 reward back to the Washington Humane Society. It was a true testament to how much our community cares for animals.
As a passionate and energetic puppy, today Ivan is affectionately called Ivan the Wonderful, and he is living with human companions at the Animal Farm Foundation, a not-for-profit organization that rescues and re-homes animals. A regular obedience and training class attendee, Ivan is now a professional at “four-on-the-floor” and loves everything that life has to offer. He is a regular participant in multiple dog playgroups and he recently served as the Animal Farm Foundation canine representative at a local school’s 5K fundraising event. Ivan is continuing to win the hearts of his caregivers, and the Foundation is confident that he is well on his way to finding his forever home.
Pit bull type dogs often have a lot of energy and need their exercise, but under the care of responsible owners these dogs have become therapy dogs, certified Canine Good Citizens and even assistance dogs. The Animal Farm Foundation is one of many exceptional rescue organizations with which WHS works to help more animals find homes. The Foundation dedicates its resources to securing equal treatment and opportunity for pit bull dogs. Whether a dog is called a "pit bull" because of a documented pedigree, or merely on the basis of physical appearance, this group understands that recognizing that these dogs are individuals who deserve to be treated as such is an integral step toward a compassionate future for all dogs.
WHS is always seeking additional rescue partners to save more animals, especially our pit bull type dogs, who are often judged unfairly and turned away by both individuals and organizations who refuse to work with them based on stereotypes. WHS believes we need to address the real issues behind aggression and undesirable behaviors in all dogs, which include poor socialization, lack of training and unsterilized dogs. By working with like-minded organizations to develop community-focused solutions, together we can educate the public and return dogs like pit bulls to the hands of serious and responsible dog enthusiasts.
If you operate a rescue group and are interested in working with WHS or learning more about our pit bull program, please contact Claudia Roll, Shelter Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org.