Instead of ballboys, 'balldogs' were trained for the Brazil Open to encourage adoption of shelter pups!

Animals Australia

Animals Australia team

Last updated 11 August 2016


Ok, so maybe balldogs aren’t quite as efficient as ballboys but they make up for it with how much fun they have doing the job.

Four shelter dogs — Frida, Costela, Mel and Isabelle — rescued from slums and abandoned lots around Sao Paulo were trained to retrieve balls for tennis players in an exhibition match during the Brazil Open. Organiser Marli Scaramella said she wanted to show that rescue dogs are just as trainable as any other dog.

In fact, rescue dogs are in no way different to other dogs. Watch these people fall in love with dogs and cats in pet shops, not knowing that they were in fact from a shelter:

An organisation in Brazil — Quatro Patinhas — swapped dogs in pet shop windows for rescues and shoppers couldn’t tell the difference.

The only difference between buying and adopting is the difference you will make for that animal. For a dog or cat in a shelter, the difference could be life or death. In Australia, there are still hundreds of dogs and cats killed every day for no reason other than they don’t have a home to go to.

You can help by pledging to adopt your next best friend from a shelter. Or if you’re ready to adopt a new family member today, meet the dogs and cats searching for a loving home on or


Adoption saves lives