Local dog obedience trainer works to rehabilitate rescued pit bulls and bully breeds, including newest kennel resident Buddy

    (Lander, WY) – Tristan Larsen, the Kennel Manager at the Smith Creek Pet Resort, not only rehabilitates abandoned and abused dog breeds like pit bulls, she also aims to dispel the idea certain breeds should ever be deemed “dangerous.”

    Run by Scott and Francine Lewis, the Smith Creek Pet Resort recently agreed to let Larsen reserve a rehabilitation kennel specifically for pit bulls and bully breeds as a part of her Strong Heart Rescue program.

    Larsen, a former vet tech, is also currently studying Dog Obedience Training & Behavior Modification at the Animal Behavior College, and has also trained at Maddie’s Shelter Medicine Program at Cornell University.


    The Mission

    “I think “problem breeds” are not a real thing,” Larsen commented on the misconceptions and myths associated with bully breeds. “The word pit bull is a blanket term for multiple breeds, and I just feel like pit bulls are labeled and deal with a lot of propaganda.”

    “These dogs deserve a chance at life, and deserve to know what love is. It just makes me feel good doing this kind of work.”

    Larsen went on to say that bully breeds have been a huge part of her entire life, and how her family pit even helped teach her one-year-old how to walk.


    “There are no bad dogs, just bad owners. Pits are just misunderstood, and people need to just educate themselves a little better.”

    Larsen later explained there are many reasons as to the need for rehabilitation and rescue, citing homelessness, overloaded shelters, and the overall need for more enforcement of neglect and abuse laws.

    “There’s dogfighting that goes on. Dogs that are turned into bait dogs, that are attacked until they’re almost dead, then are dumped. Then when they get to shelters they’re labeled aggressive because they’re covered in scars, and they’re not. They face horrible things like starvation, abuse, and nothing ever happens to the people that do it.”


    Larsen commented that many of these dogs end up not getting adopted because of their rough start to life and unfair labeling.

    “I’m going to make a stand for these dogs; they have souls, you know?”


    Buddy knows how to be a good boy for treats! h/t Vince Tropea photo

    One of the pit-mix doggos Larsen recently rescued and rehabilitated is Buddy, a poor little little guy who has had a very rough start to life, having been discovered homeless, malnourished and neglected.

    Larsen was contacted about Buddy by Yola’s Pet Rescue, and was later medically cared for at G Bar G Veterinary Services.

    Buddy has since made literal leaps and bounds in his rehabilitation, and is now looking for his furever home.

    Here’s some more about Buddy from Larsen.

    “Buddy is around 3 years old. When we found him he was terrified of humans! He’s only been with us at the kennel about a month and he is absolutely in love with everyone he meets! Buddy is neutered, (microchipped) and up to date on all vaccinations. He will have to take thyroid medicine for a long time. I have about a 6 month supply to give whoever adopts him. It’s also very cheap. Buddy walks great on a leash, knows basic commands of sit, shake, lay down, sit pretty and army crawl. Buddy dose fantastic with almost any dog. He should go to a home with no intact males. He’s good around cats and people of all sizes. Buddy deserves humans who will show him love everyday. The sad story he was dealt in the beginning of his life is now over. Buddy is a Strong Heart Dog Society pup for life! His adoption fee is 125$ reach out if you would like to meet this amazing guy!”

    Call the Smith Creek Pet Resort at (307) 332-5412 to enquire about meeting or applying to adopt Buddy!

    Other Success Stories

    Larsen also shared some of the other success stories of her rehabilitation work, with the hope being to add Buddy to the list.

    County 10 readers and KOVE 1330 AM / 107.7 FM’s Coffee Time listeners may recall learning about Watson, who, after an eight month stay at the Lander Pet Connection and Larsen’s rehabilitation, was officially adopted last year and went on to become the K-9 unit at a police station in Salt Lake City.

    Larsen also recently rehabilitated a fella by the name of Vader, who is now going on to South Dakota to become a service dog for her friend who recently had their leg amputated.

    Check out some photos of Larsen’s other past success stories below!

    Once again, to reach out about adoption, leads on rescues and more information about rescuing bully breeds, call (307) 332-5412 and ask for Tristan. (Keep in mind, Larsen works specifically with abuse/neglect rescue rehabilitations, not re-homing.)


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