Brazilian Tennis Open uses shelter dogs as ballboys

Six shelter dogs stole the world’s heart after they acted as “ball boys,” fetching balls at warmups during this year’s Brazilian Tennis Open.

The dogs were present at the semifinal and the final leg of the competition and did an excellent job at their tasks

Wearing wrist sweatbands and neck scarves, the pups looked adorable and the crowd was in awe watching them at work, picking up tennis balls and handing them back to the players.

It’s not all cute and fun for these dogs. Cindy, Nanda, Pretinha, Mia, Arlete, and Ovelha all went through hard times as they were each abandoned at some point in their lives.

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The six dogs – aging between four and ten - have been living in a shelter, hoping to have new families to take care of them that would give them the love and affection that they need.

Having shelter dogs act as “ball boys” every year was conceptualized by Premier Pet, which is a pet-food company that supports pet adoption and help feed many dogs and cats.

Madalena Spinazzola, the director of corporate marketing and strategic planning for Premier Pet, spoke with Brasil Open and explained the reason for the initiative.

“They are dogs that have had a difficult trajectory, yes, but what we want to point out is not the history suffered from the past, but to prove that no matter what they have gone through, they can be great companions today and in the future!”

The dogs annually featured at the tennis event have all been loved by the people who got to watch them through the years.

In 2016, there were four shelter dogs during the tennis event in Sao Paulo. After the games, all four of them were adopted by different families.

In fact, one of the adopted dogs was renamed Serena after Serena Williams, the champion tennis player.

Meanwhile, a dog named Elmo went viral after he showed off his singing skills and musical talent on the piano, proving to us that all dogs are multi-skilled and have many creative uses at different levels. 

Contact your local SPCA or humane society today to adopt a furever friend of your own! 

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