Success Stories

Jacob – From Foster to Forever Home!



One of the “risks” a volunteer faces when spending time at the Laguna Pit Bull Center in Tiaong, Quezon is the possibility of falling in love with one or several of the nearly 200 rescued dogs that eagerly greet visitors and volunteers with their wiggly, waging tails and happy, smiling faces. Sometimes it’s an instant connection. Other times it’s a bond that develops gradually as a volunteer gets better acquainted with a particular dog through regular visits and canine enrichment activities like bathing, walking or playing with the dogs.


No one knows this better than Laguna Pit Bull Center site manager Carmela Balcazar. In February, she began fostering Jacob, a lithe, little pit bull  who developed a skin allergy and required extra TLC to nurse him back to health.When Carmela first started volunteering at the center in September 2012, she took a liking to a large, teddy bear-like dog, but soon realized that her lifestyle and her home were better suited for a smaller, more active dog. It was around that time that she decided to foster Jacob.


“Jacob was being walked by one of the caretakers when I noticed he was a young, thin male, somewhat unsure yet biddable, and small enough for me to physically handle,” she explained. “The more I walked and got to know him, I started to see that I could work with him.”


In February, Carmela made it official and adopted Jacob. He joins her pack, which already includes several other dogs in addition to a goat,  snake, birds and other wildlife. In the short time that she has had him, Carmela observed that Jacob is “blossoming” into a confident companion dog although she admits it’s a continuing learning process. “At this point it’s still about managing the household pets and gaining trust as well as respect so that he listens and adjusts his behavior accordingly.”


Carmela advises adopters to be prepared to commit substantial time, effort and patience to a dog. After all, adopting a dog is a commitment to care for the dog for the duration of its lifetime.


“Research about the breed. Talk to experienced and knowledgeable breed aficionados so you can make an informed decision if the breed is for you,” says Carmela.


Managing expectations is equally important.  “Be realistic with your capabilities as a dog owner. These dogs are not for everyone, just like Chihuahuas or Labradors.” She explains,”Rehabilitation requires a substantial amount of time and effort. Potential adopters have to be committed as these dogs have been raised by irresponsible owners who didn’t give them much of a life.”


Finally, Carmela says to pick a dog that fits your lifestyle. To help ensure a successful match, potential adopters are required to visit the center several times in order to bond with the dog they wish to adopt.


“These dogs have come a long way and despite the hardships they’ve endured they  exhibit the very traits that give them such a following: they are sweet natured and a people-loving breed,” she says.


As the saying goes, there are no bad dogs, only bad owners. And it is  this belief that Carmela and the rest of the volunteers at the Laguna Pit Bull Center hope that people will come to understand when they meet the dogs, who were victims of human cruelty and not vicious by nature as some would like to believe.


Currently, the Laguna Pit Bull Center has about a dozen dogs ready to find their forever homes. “The adoptables are ready for the next stage. They need a human to love and complete their life.,” says Carmela. “If you are an experienced dog owner, do consider adopting. Who knows? Your next heart dog just might be a rescued Laguna Pit Bull.”


Jacob & Carmela

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