Brazil Tennis Open Employs Shelter Dogs As ‘Ball Boys’ To Inspire More Adoptions

“We want to show that abandoned dogs can be adopted and trained."

During an exhibition match with players Roberto Carballes Baena of Spain and Gastao Elias of Portugal, four unlikely assistants showed up on the court.

The four-legged “ball boys,” whose names are Frida, Costela, Mel, and Isabelle, are actually shelter pups looking for furrever homes. Reportedly, the canines were trained for weeks before they helped out at the Brazil Open tournament.

As you can view in the video above, the dogs dutifully retrieved the balls which, for obvious reasons, were often intentionally missed.

Not only was the match entertaining for the public (and the players, no doubt), it served a purpose to show how useful and well-behaved many shelter animals can be.

“These are dogs that were mistreated,” said their coach Andrea Beckert from the Association of Animal Wellbeing. “We want to show that abandoned dogs can be adopted and trained,” Beckert added. “After all, it’s not easy to get a dog to only pick up the lost balls, and then to give them up!”

Some photos from the event follow:

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

“We want to show that abandoned dogs can be adopted and trained”

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

Many shelter animals have endured tough lives. By adopting a dog or a from a humane shelter,  you can make all the difference to an animal in need.

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