Homeless Dogs Trained to Retrieve Tennis Balls at Brazil Open

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by Caroline Golon

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Photo credit:
AP/Leandro Martins

A recent high profile tennis tournament became an unexpected showcase for adoptable pets in Brazil.

According to the Huffington Post, four adoptable dogs from a Sao Paulo shelter were trained for months to be “ball dogs” for the Brazil Open 2016.

The dogs waited patiently beside the tennis court while top tennis players battled for the win.

The dogs’ job was to retrieve stray tennis balls and play “ball boy” when needed. As soon as the ball hit the net or bounced off the court, the dogs would get to work, collecting the tennis balls and removing them from the court.

Sometimes, reported the Huffington Post, the players overlooked the balls on purpose so the crowd could clap and cheer for the dogs.

These adorable (and talented!) pups, Frida, Costela, Mel and Isabelle, definitely captured the crowd’s attention and their hearts. More importantly they showed how shelter dogs can be trained to do incredible things.

“The idea is to show people that a well-fed and well-treated animal can be very happy. We have more than 1,000 dogs in our care,” Marli Scaramella, the organizer of the initiative, told Fox News Latino. She said that all four ball dogs were currently residents in a Sao Paulo shelter.

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