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Posted By SLCo Animal Services
January 04, 2018

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Sabrina was originally adopted from Salt Lake County Animal Services as a puppy but returned to the shelter 5-years later. Sabrina had the cards stacked against her coming into the shelter environment. She was a 5-year-old, black pit bull, who wasn’t well trained and often did not get along with other dogs.

It did not take long for Sabrina to become a shelter favorite with her sassy personality.  Staff quickly realized that Sabrina was too smart for her own good and needed to have her energy directed into positive experiences.

Sabrina spent mornings in an office playing in the toy box (literally), chewing on bones and having some down time before starting with basics: not jumping on the table, learning to wait until called for, and walking politely on leash. After the “boring” lessons, she would play with food puzzles and the bubble machine. Then Sabrina would head to the play yard where she would open the toy box and jump in to retrieve the toy she wanted. She would finish her enrichment time with a stuffed Kong in her kennel.

During this time, a previous adopter, Theresa, began volunteering at the shelter and met Sabrina.  It was not long before Theresa fell in love with Sabrina and her quirky personality: jumping in toy boxes, sitting “frog-legged” and so on.  Theresa would take Sabrina to the park on outings, Barley’s Canine Recreation Center to swim, and eventually became her biggest advocate on “Team Sabrina,” taking her through a 6-week training course.

In August of 2017, Theresa was determined to foster Sabrina at her home. For Sabrina to live in a home with other dogs, Theresa had to redesign her home to provide a separate, safe space for Sabrina. Once they settled in, Theresa began training Sabrina on scent work and giving her all the luxuries of a home life again.

On November 25th Theresa and Paul knew it was time to make Sabrina an official family member. After spending 8 months in the shelter and several months in foster, Sabrina found her forever family.

Sabrina’s story is not uncommon in the world of animal rescue but her happy ending wouldn’t have happened without enrichment, training, and a dedicated team of staff, volunteers, and fosters. The life-saving programming provided at Salt Lake County Animal Services is due to the support of the community.

A special “thank you” to Theresa and Paul for volunteering, fostering, donating and adopting. Thank you for giving long-term shelter dog, Sabrina, the happy ending she deserved. Happy Trails Sabrina!

Here are links if you are interested in volunteering,fostering,  or adopting from Salt Lake County Animal Services or for questions about volunteering email