How Shelter Pitties Save Their Own Lives By Playing Their Hearts Out

Written by: Greyceli Marin

May 19, 2015

Every day it feels like the world is one step closer to ending Pit Bull discrimination. Dogs Playing For Life is one of the many organizations committed to showing everyone the love that all dogs deserve.


When dog trainer Aimee Sadler founded Dogs Playing For Life, she took it upon herself to educate shelter workers on how to help their jeopardized pups have a better chance at finding homes. The team of trainers visits shelters nationwide and organizes doggy play groups that encourage socialization and increase their adoptability.

playing pitties

Most recently, Aimee held a seminar at a shelter in Prince George’s County, Maryland, where breed-specific legislation won’t allow Pit Bulls to be adopted into the community. After posting a video on her Facebook of the not-so-scary and super charming Pits, she caught a special pair of eyes.

Kristen Auerbach from Fairfax County Animal Shelter in Virginia immediately volunteered to pull four pups from Prince George’s whose lives would’ve otherwise been cut short. Here’s Kristen with the lucky four: Storm, Sky, Kisses, and Ghost.

Kristen, Storm, Sky, Kisses, and Ghost

Thanks to the Dogs Playing For Life seminar held a few days prior, Aimee was able to identify the “play group rockstars” that would be the perfect fit in Fairfax. This is Ghost, one of the Fairfax rescues from PG who’s still in need of a home. She can’t hear you over the sound of how gorgeous she is, and also because she’s deaf.


Tracie Hotchner, an old friend of Aimee’s, interviewed her on her podcast Dog Talk. From minutes 2:20 to 22:00, Aimee talks about how crazy her logical idea made her seem, but she just knew it had to be done, and she was right.

Over 40 international shelters have held playgroups with the organization, and the two shelters that have implemented the practices in their entirety maintain a canine live release rate of over 95%.


You can learn more about these miraculous playdates on Dogs Playing For Life and from their partner shelters Southampton and Longmont Humane Society.

Featured image via Artful Paws Photography

Written by: Greyceli Marin

May 19, 2015

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