Adopted Pit Bull Becomes Therapy Dog

Karl was born to bring joy to others. Now his family is helping spread the word that pit bulls are lovable, too.

Alicia + Karl

An adopted pit bull brings love and compassion to others through his work as a therapy dog. Now Karl’s family is working to raise awareness about this good-natured breed.

"Although I feel we have made great strides in our therapy work, we are often met with rejection and hesitation due to Karl’s breed. We now have two missions: First, offer love and support to anyone willing to accept it from Karl. Second, show the world that pit bulls are amazing dogs, with a true heart of gold!"

Our family adopted Karl from the incredible organization, Adore-A-Bull Rescue, in February 2017. AABR pulled this sweet and scared pit bull from our local SPCA. Karl was very sick with pneumonia and was lucky to be rescued into an amazing foster home where he could recover and gain strength.

Adopted Dog Karl

We met Karl at our local Petco for an adoption event and knew immediately he was the dog for our family! From the moment that sweet blue pit bull walked into our home, it was clear he was meant to be.

I recognized instantly that Karl was special. He loved everything and everyone he met, and everyone he met loved him, too. On a whim, I took Karl to visit a dear friend of mine who is bedridden due to a brain injury. Karl calmly jumped up into the hospital bed and lay down next to my friend for hours while we chatted. That was the “aha” moment: Karl was meant to be a therapy dog!

Adopted Dog Karl

After a year of basic obedience training, Karl passed his Canine Good Citizen Test with flying colors. Then, the real test: passing the therapy pet certification. Again, Karl nailed the test and his evaluators couldn’t believe how awesome he was! We became a registered Pet Therapy team with Pet Partners and our therapy journey began.

Adopted Dog Karl

As a pet therapy team, Karl and I began to visit schools, nursing homes, a children’s museum, and even attended a young girl’s funeral to offer love and support to the grieving family. Although I feel we have made great strides in our therapy work, we are often met with rejection and hesitation due to Karl’s breed. When Karl and I were denied access to visit a local school because of his pit bull heritage, I knew that we now had two missions: First, offer love and support to anyone willing to accept it from Karl. Second, show the world that pit bulls are amazing dogs, with a true heart of gold!

Adopted Dog Karl

When Karl isn’t working, he spends his time watching over his two human brothers. He is always by their side, no matter what craziness they are into. The greatest compliment we receive (next to what an amazingly well-behaved boy he is) is when someone tells us that they have always been afraid of pit bulls, but Karl changed their mind.

Karl and I will continue our mission to offer love, support and comfort to anyone who may need it. We will also continue to show the world that pit bulls are amazing, loving, gentle and kind little souls who want nothing more than to show their love. I am so proud of Karl and the amazing ambassador he has become.

“Don’t let the world change your smile! Use your smile to change the world!”

Each year, the Petco Foundation invites adopters to share the story of how their adopted pet changed their lives during the annual Holiday Wishes campaign, giving the organization that they adopted from a chance to receive a grant award. This story by Alicia won Adore-A-Bull Rescue in Cincinnati, Ohio a 2019 Holiday Wishes award.