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Rigsby, dog in Florida needs a permanent home

Rigsby, depressed in the shelter
Denise Carey-Costa

Rigsby, a big, fluffy teddy bear of a dog has been bounced from shelter to shelter and home to home for most of his eight years. He was dumped at Orange County Animal Services in 2005. Rita D’Angelo Tikador happened to be at the shelter that day rescuing some other dogs. When she saw Rigsby she fell in love with him as he kept licking her hand through the cage. He went to live with her and her 4 male dogs until Rita could find him a home. Rigsby got along fine living and sleeping alongside the other dogs but he was still happier in the company of humans.

A few months after going to Rita’s house Rigsby was adopted. He enjoyed his new family life immensely for 5years until the son (who adopted Rigsby) joined the army and was deployed overseas. The parents decided they did not have time for Rigsby and sent him to the foster care system where he stayed for two years. Imagine how his heart must have broken when once again he was taken from the home he had known for 5 years and dumped amongst strangers.

After two years in foster care Rigsby was placed in a new home with a family who had a little girl who was seven years old. This family loved him dearly and every night he slept on the little girl’s bed. Once again Rigsby’s chance at a happy family life was destroyed when while on a walk he attacked a small white dog that crossed his path. He went after the dog and shook it very hard. Although every effort was made to save the little 5 pound dog, he passed away. Some people theorize that Rigsby thought this small dog was a cat. He had never attacked a dog before in any other environment he had lived in. The family felt so bad about Rigsby killing the little dog they decided they had to give him up.

Once again Rigsby had nowhere to go and no foster available so he was sent to a group called Pet Pals in St. Petersburg, Florida. He did well there but they felt he was not adoptable as his recent dog attack made him a risk. Some felt the only option for Rigsby was to have him euthanized. Rita was not going to give up on the dog that had placed his trust in her that one day long ago when he reached out to her and licked her hand through the cage at Orange County Animal Services, askig for mercy. She felt she owed it to Rigsby to give him a second chance.

Through some networking and pleading on Rigsby’s behalf Rita was able to find someone to board Rigsby at a facility in Oviedo, Florida. Rigsby is doing well in boarding and has not shown any aggression towards the other dogs there. But Rigsby is depressed and bewildered. He has been taken away from every home he has ever lived in, been in and out of shelters and fosters since he was very young. Rigsby has so much love to give. He loves his humans through and through and would make an amazing family dog. Rigsby gets along well with bigger dogs but does not do well with small dogs. Please give Rigsby a chance. He deserves to live in a home with a family that will keep him for the long term and not give up on him like all the others.He has had enough turbulence in his life. The love and loyalty you receive back from him will be ten fold. . If you can help Rigsby please contact

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