Local woman rehabilitates dogs

by Symptom Advice on March 27, 2012

There’s never a dull day at Samantha Porter’s home.

From the moment she wakes up, theJacksonvilleresident has the responsibility of walking, feeding and nurturing a family of pit bulls, Doberman pinschers,Chihuahuasand a parrot at her home.

“this is a full time job for me. I walk 10 miles a day with the dogs,” she said.

For Porter, it has become more than just a job. each day her mission grows to help erase the fear and misconceptions that the public often holds about Dobermans, pit bulls and other large breeds.

“When I take them for walks, people move to the other side of the street and it shouldn’t be that way,” Porter said. “I want people to see that they’re not as bad as portrayed.”

Porter has five years of experience as a dog psychologist and trainer. she opened her home to rehabilitate and provide love and support to dogs without families.

Through months of patience and determination, Porter has transformed her clan of “misfits” into mild mannered and loving animals through her rehabilitation and rescue organization, Manageable Misfits.

“it is primarily dedicated to pit bulls and Dobermans but I work with German Shepherds, mastiffs and other breeds that get a bad name,” Porter said.

Many of the dogs who come to her home have suffered from abuse and neglect, while others found themselves homeless due to owners moving or surrendering responsibility. with the help of volunteers, Porter evaluates each dog to determine temperament and compatibility with people and other animals before they are available for adoption. Porter says that although many pit bulls and other large breeds are perceived as aggressive, she feels dogs behave according to how they are trained by their owners.

“they get along great with people and kids, but if you put them in the wrong hands they will do whatever you train them to do,” she said. “because of the breed and stigma they are still trying to ban the dogs inOnslowCounty. there should be more laws in place to protect the dogs but I don’t think they should be banned.”

Originally fromMichigan, Porter grew up with a love for dogs, cats, reptiles and other creatures. she first started dog rescuing after moving toColumbus,Ohio, where she says dog fighting was a growing issue. it was also where she got her first Doberman and began providing professional and private training to other dog owners.

“Pit bulls and Dobermans have been my favorite for a long time,” Porter said. “I was never allowed to have big dogs growing up so when I got my first Doberman I was really excited.”

After moving toJacksonvillein 2008, she began networking with local rescue organizations and visiting animal shelters to train animals with behavioral issues and increase their adoption success.

“usually as far getting dogs, a lot of Dobermans come as surrenders and people can’t keep them because we live in a military town and they are not accepted as much,” Porter said. “Now I’m striving more to get dogs from shelters because around here a lot of the dogs don’t really get a chance.”

There are currently 12 dogs available for adoption. Potential owners must apply and agree to in home evaluations and recommendations from a vet if they have other animals. each dog receives required medical treatment from Manageable Misfits, including dhlpp, rabies and bordatella vaccines and are spayed, neutered and receive microchip implants.

“they can contact me on the website and I take them out to the park every Sunday so people can see them,” Porter said.

Porter says that like any other breed, Dobermans and pit bulls need love, attention and respect from owners during training.

They can also become excellent service dogs, detecting depression, anxiety, balance issues, symptoms of epilepsy and diabetes related illnesses. Onyx, a gentle 2- year-old Doberman is just one of her successful service dogs.

“We’ve had really good success as far as rehabilitation,” Porter said. “Our main goal is to look forward to providing more certified service dogs so that can be at apartments and deal with things like depression.”

In addition to training the dogs, Porter provides food, grooming and veterinary services for the dogs out of her own pocket and through donations until Manageable Misfits receives its 501 (c)(3) tax exempt status. Foster homes are also needed for the animals, and potential foster parents can apply and go through a home evaluation process to qualify.

“the thing I need most help with is foster homes if you can’t adopt a dog or you are thinking of adopting a dog but not sure one kind and that gives them an opportunity to test the dogs out without issues,” she said. “if anyone wants to come and take the dogs for a walk or bring their kids to play with them if they can’t have a dog, they are welcome to come anytime.”

To help raise funds for the rescue, she also provides services as a photographer and plans to host several fundraising events to keep the rescue in operation. she also compiled photos of her favorite dogs over the years to write her book titled “Manageable Misfits.” all proceeds from the book go directly to the rescue. Porter said she is willing to do what it takes to provide for the dogs and encourage the community to help give pit bulls, Dobermans and other rescued dogs another chance at life.

“I do as much as I can to help and now I need help from other people,” Porter said. “I don’t want people to have to cross the street when they see them anymore.”

WANT TO HELP? Manageable Misfits is in need of volunteers and foster homes for dogs. there are currently 12 dogs available for adoption. Monetary donations as well as food, toys and other supplies are always accepted. For more information, visit manageablemisfits.com, call 517-294-0366 or email sask9nc@gmail.com.

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