Wallace, a 10-year-old pit bull, is a special dog that has beaten the odds several times in his life. Wallace was rescued in 2004 by Andrew and Ciara Yori from the shelter where they volunteered. Without them, Wallace most likely would’ve been euthanized.
“He didn’t do well in that environment, he started to deteriorate,” Andrew said. As a pit bull many people were scared of him and his adoption chances looked slim. Andrew and Ciara stepped up knowing, “He wasn’t a bad dog. He was just in a bad spot.”
The Yoris had no idea what Wallace was capable of. They soon discovered he had a talent for Frisbees, a sport that is dominated by lighter dogs like border collies and cattle dogs. Wallace beat the odds and became a champion of the sport and for his breed putting a positive light on a breed that is often only shown in negative lights. Wallace won many championships even becoming the 2007 Purina Incredible Dog Flying Disc Champion.
He retired in 2009 from the sport, but his celebrity life didn’t end there. Best-selling author Jim Gorant met the Yoris and Wallace when he was writing his book “Lost Dogs: Michael Vick’s Dogs and Their Tale of Rescue and Redemption”. The Yoris had adopted one of the rescued pit bulls from the Vick fighting ring. Gorant was inspired by Wallace and his latest book project is all about Wallace and his life titled “Wallace: The Underdog Who Conqured a Sport, Save a Marriage, and Championed Pit Bulls—One Flying Disc at a Time.”
The Yoris were visiting Illinois for a book signing this past week when Wallace became severely ill. They rushed him to the closest emergency animal hospital on Tuesday. Veterinarians at the Animal Emergency of McHenry County discovered he had a tumor on his spleen that had started to bleed. Wallace was rushed into emergency surgery, where he miraculously survived.
Wallace wasn’t out of the woods yet though. Although he made it through the surgery successfully his blood count was severely low, he needed a transfusion. One of the vets that worked on him, Karen Turner, had registered her boxer Piper in the clinic’s blood donor program. Piper’s blood saved Wallace.
Veterinarian Turner noted that, “some dogs die before they make it to surgery. Some dogs don’t make it through the surgery, and some dogs die immediately after surgery. Wallace battled all those obstacles.” Wallace beat the odds once again thanks to the blood donor program at The Animal Emergency of McHenry County. The program was developed to meet the need of emergency and critical care facilities to have blood available for transfusions at all times. The clinic is reaching out to pet owners to help with this donor program. Each unit collected from eligible dogs can save the life of up to three critically ill dogs.