The Dog Liberator™

The Dog Liberator rescues abandoned dogs throughout the Southeast. Based in Central Florida, this non-profit organization fosters all of their dogs in a home environment. Founded in 2009, all dogs are fully vetted, spayed or neutered prior to adoption. The Dog Liberator focuses in rescuing the herding breed, which consists of Border Collies, Shepherds, Sheepdogs, Aussies, Collies, and Deaf/Blind Dogs.

Hello, I’m Johnny Cash! ~ Adopted

Hello, I’m Johnny Cash! ~ Adopted

“Urgent! This Hall County pup must have adoption or rescue immediately or he will be euthanized on next kill day!”

The message from Vicki Truelove came across my Facebook newsfeed last week, along with a photo of a smiling, mostly black Aussie pup.

What a handsome boy!

I clicked on the link and read the rest of Vicki’s message explaining that the shelter goes through the kennels and periodically weeds out its black dogs … and that this youngster’s time was nearly up. BBDS or “Big Black Dog Syndrome” is a pretty widely accepted theory that black dogs are killed in proportionately larger numbers in shelters than are dogs of other colors. The belief is that darker dogs, especially larger dogs with little to no white markings, are more difficult to adopt out because the public perceives them as dangerous and scary. Some rescues won’t even pull black dogs because they, too, are afraid of losing valuable space to dogs they’re consider “unadoptable.”

Well, not me! I adopted a big, black dog myself, after all. So I messaged Vicki that I would foster this Aussie pup, provided she could arrange to have him pulled and transported south to me in Ocala. True to form, Vicki had the pup — who we named Johnny Cash for his black “attire” — pulled at the next opportunity. And not a moment too soon! Johnny’s kennel card was being pulled for euthanasia by shelter staff when our volunteer arrived to claim him. Phew!

Just chilling at home.

Vicki arranged for a temporary foster in the Atlanta area, but we were stumped on how we’d get Johnny south to my home in Ocala. Enter the wonderful Elli Chambers, who responded to my post on the Dog Liberator Facebook fan page and graciously offered our boy a ride to Ocala on her way south from Atlanta to Orlando for Thanksgiving. I love it when a plan comes together!

What a joy Johhny Cash is to have as a foster! Full of puppy energy and goofyness, but not over the top in any way. He’s loving and friendly, and doesn’t seem to meet a stranger. Johnny enjoys playing with my two boys, especially Shelby the Corgi. He loves toys and is very smart and food-motivated. Johnny already knows sit, so we’re working on adding stay, down, and shake to his repertoire.

Now for the particulars: We believe Johnny Cash to be 10-12 months old. He weighs 43 lbs. and has been completely vetted and microchipped. Johnny is very people- and dog-friendly, loves to travel, does well in his crate, and (this is my favorite part!) appears to be housetrained.

Playing with Shelby the Corgi.

Johnny Cash is being fostered at my home in the Ocala area. To view additional photos, visit his Facebook photo album. If you think you may be interested in adopting Johnny Cash, review our adoption process and contact me at  

Nov. 27, 2011: Johnny is such a great little guy. I say “little” — he weighs 43 lbs! Always happy, always loving, his little nubby tail never stops wagging. He just loves giving kisses and hugs. He gets along so well with my two dogs, romping and roughhousing with them at every opportunity. He also loves toys. He doesn’t necessarily fetch and return his toys to you, but he loves playing tug with them. He’s such a ham!

Dec. 4, 2011: I just love this boy! He is so friendly and loving, never meets a stranger, and really just wants to be everyone’s buddy. It’s truly impossible not to smile when he’s a round. I took all of my foster dogs to Darlene the groomer yesterday, and she just fell in love with Johnny. Kept threatening to sneak him out into her car and take off. Good thing Johnny has a meet tomorrow or Darlene’s husband might be getting a dog for Christmas!

Here’s a holiday video I shot today with all of my fosters, including Johnny Cash. Check it out!

Dec. 5, 2011: ADOPTED! Johnny Cash was adopted this evening by the wonderful Rich and Melissa Knicely, who lost their beloved Aussie, Jasper, to sudden liver failure in October. Enter Johnny Cash, 40+ lbs. of love and wet, sloppy doggie kisses. As you can see from the photo, Johnny really didn’t like the Knicelys and I had to hog tie him just to get him into their car. NOT! That little rascal never even looked back! Orlando, welcome your newest Dog Liberator dog!



One thought on “Hello, I’m Johnny Cash! ~ Adopted

  1. Thank you Vicki, Amy & Elli ! I had heard rumors of BBDS but I couldn’t believe it. I think movies with the Big Bad ‘Black’ Wolf has not helped their plight. For me…they remain one of my favorites. The Blacker the Better, I say!

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