Shelter Dogs Used as “Ball Boys” for Brazil Open

The Brazil Open tennis tournament is using shelter dogs as ball boys to help raise adoption and shelter awareness.

A dog picks up a tennis ball during the Brazil Open tournament in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Thursday Feb. 25, 2016. The dog was one of four trained animals that engaged onlookers Thursday night by picking up balls that went out of bounds. Not long ago, the same dogs had run abandoned in Sao Paulo, Brazil’s biggest city. The unusual initiative was made to promote the adoption of abandoned street animals. (AP Photo/Leandro Martins)
(AP Photo/Leandro Martins)
 
 

 

 

 

Four rescue dogs from a shelter in Brazil have been employed to be “ball boys” at the Brazil Open Tennis Tournament.  The event took place last week in Sao Paulo, and the dogs were used in an effort to spread awareness about adoption, and overcrowding at shelters.

 

 

 

 

 

“These are dogs that were mistreated,” trainer Andrea Beckert explained.  “We have to make them adapt, feel the environment, the court, the noise of the balls and the noise of the people.”

 

 

Portugal's Gastao Elias receives a ball from a dog during the Brazil Open tennis tournament in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2016. Four trained shelter dogs that once roamed the streets of Sao Paulo found themselves center stage at the ATP 250 Brazil Open tournament. The unusual initiative was made to promote the adoption of abandoned street animals. (AP Photo/Leandro Martins)
(AP Photo/Leandro Martins)