OAKLAND — Kemo, a blind pit bull mix believed to be about 4 years old, was anonymously left on the doorstep of Oakland Animal Services four months ago. He quickly became a favorite of the staff with his charming and lovable personality.
And now the agency has found a home for Kemo with Mutts n Stuff, a rescue group in St. Louis that will keep him in a cottage built specifically for a blind dog.
"It's hard to find rescue groups in the Bay that take on pit bulls," said Megan Webb, the Oakland organization's director. "We are excited Mutts n Stuff will take him. It will be a good place for him."
The cottage was built after a blind pit bull named Phoenix was rescued from a major dogfighting bust in Missouri in 2007. Phoenix died in April.
The cottage is equipped with heating and air conditioning. Kemo, who is blind from a degenerative disorder, will have his bed and food in one place. He will also have a play yard.
"Since he is blind, he is always bumping into things. He had begun to show signs of stress here," Webb said. "At the cottage it will be very quiet for him and he will have the training he needs."
Upon arrival, Kemo will begin training for his Canine Good Citizenship and receive a Therapy Dog certification. The goal is to have Kemo ready to get out into the community by the beginning of next year. He will visit children's hospital wards, cancer centers, and other hospitals where he will provide assistance and care.
"He will get the training with our three-legged boxer mix," said Gale Frey, founder of Mutts n Stuff. "Kemo comes to us in really good shape. The Oakland Animal Services has done a great job of socializing him with people."
Mutts n Stuff found out about Kemo through Our Pack, a pit-bull training, education and rescue group from the Bay Area.
"We work with Our Pack and they connected us with (Mutts and Stuff)," Webb said. "We are happy for our new partnership."
Kemo will fly out soon along with Jeb, a 9-month old pit bull who will be trained and put up for adoption.
"Pit bulls are unique animals and Kemo will be a very well-trained dog," Webb said.