Johnny, a Pit Bull, was saved from a dogfighting operation in Chicago. He was frightened and hesitant when he first entered the house of Clara and Andrew “Roo” Yori after being discovered tied in the basement of a repeat offender with nine other canines.
Fortunately, the pair had prior experience with fighting dogs, having fostered and adopted several, including Hector, one of the 51 Pit Bull-type canines taken from Michael Vick’s home in 2007. Johnny was fostered by the Yoris through the Court Case Dog program at Safe Humane Chicago. Johnny gained confidence in the company of the couple’s other rescue dogs, so they decided to adopt him permanently.
However, adjusting him to life as a cherished friend was difficult. Although we will never know exactly what happened to Johnny, his early conduct indicates that he did not spend much time outside of his underground jail. He was scared of the stairs in his house, for example.
Positive reinforcement training and clear instruction from his people, like with other rescue dogs, helped Johnny overcome his past trauma. Roo, also known as the K9 Ninja, has been on America Ninja Warrior for the previous six seasons. He decided to make a dog version of the show’s obstacle course while working with Johhny.
Roo taught Johnny to jump from step to step, Army-crawl beneath a cargo net, chomp onto a rope for a ride on the canine zipline, and even scale the mega-wall before hitting his very own K9 Ninja Warrior buzzer, all while luring him with food and toys.
For a dog who was once frightened of stairs, this is quite astounding! Johnny now spends his days snoozing, snuggling under the blankets with his owners, and insisting that they throw his toy at every chance he gets. He also enjoys sitting like a person in dining room chairs, especially on meatloaf night.
Roo Yori, on the other hand, is far more than a great athlete and dog owner. He uses his ninja warrior fame to help other homeless and disadvantaged dogs like Johnny by raising awareness (and donations). Wallace the Pitbull Foundation, his organization, works to better the lives of dogs and those who care for them. The nonprofit has earned more than $78,000 for rescue, adoption, and educational activities since Roo participated in American Ninja Warrior.
With the premiere of American Ninja Warrior Season 14 (Roo’s seventh season on the show) approaching, he’s hoping to raise $100,000 for the Wallace the Pitbull Foundation. Make a donation or commitment to his Ninja for Dogs fundraiser to help him attain his goal.
Roo will throw Johnny’s toy for every donation/pledge to Ninja for Dogs. So, today, lend a hand to this lovely youngster and contribute to a worthwhile cause!