A man named Jon Mancinetti lived in Los Angeles, California, by himself and didn’t have any family there, so he tended to feel rather lonely at times.
He also didn’t feel right being at his apartment and not having a dog there with him. That’s when he received a text from his friend. It was a picture of an adorable pit bull who was in need of a forever home.
Jon took one look at the picture and knew right away that the dog in the photo was his next dog. The dog, named Russell, was rescued from dogfighting, but despite his rough past, he was as friendly and sweet as can be!
Jon and Russell quickly became inseparable and formed a very special bond. Jon took Russell everywhere with him, including events where young kids could read to him.
Russell was out to prove that pit bulls just get a bad rap and that they aren’t all the vicious dog that people think they are. He made a great breed ambassador.
But then Russell got sick with cancer and sadly passed away. Jon was absolutely devastated to lose his furry best friend and didn’t think he’d ever find such a special dog again. But instead of moping around, Jon finally realized what he was meant to do in life.
He helped give Russell an amazing last couple of years, and he knew he could help do that for other dogs who were stuck in shelters. So, that’s exactly what he did.
Jon began fostering many shelter pit bulls, giving them the best life possible with lots of love, play time and cuddles. Shelters can be extremely stressful environments for dogs and can really take a toll on their bodies, both physically and emotionally. Jon was able to lessen those burdens for these pups by opening up his home to them.
Of course Jon missed Russell, and none of these dogs would fully fill the void, but the dogs were still there for him and helped him, just as much as he helped them.
Pit bulls are one of the most common dogs in shelters, and because of their bad raps, many people don’t want to adopt them. But Jon has worked hard to find his foster pits loving homes, just like Russell worked to prove to people that pit bulls can be just as loving and friendly as other breeds.
One of his foster dogs, Smokey, turned into a foster-fail and Jon adopted him permanently. Smokey had been dumped by his owners at a high-kill shelter. But luckily, Jon saw him for what he was worth and decided to give him a second chance. They had an amazing bond and Smokey was so happy to finally be free.
“When I took him out of the [shelter] cage, he was just running around so happy,” Jon told The Dodo. “There’s no way I could put him back in that cage.”
And Smokey never has to worry about being in a cage ever again!
There are many dogs stuck in shelters all over the world. If you’re thinking of getting a furry new friend, visit your local shelter today!
Click here to follow Jon and his doggy adventures on his Instagram account.
Growing up, Ashley always had a passion for writing. After receiving her Bachelor's in Journalism from Stony Brook University, she now uses that passion to write about the thing she loves most in this world: animals! When she isn't writing, you can find her curled up on the couch with a kindle in her hands and her Guinea Pigs on her lap.
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