HINESBURG – A five-year old psychotherapy dog from Louisiana was spared the ignominy of deportation to a dog-rescue shelter in Vermont on Tuesday, when DNA results showed that it was actually a purebred Dachshund and not a Pit bull, as it had originally been classified. Louisiana law demands that all Pit bulls in that state must be banished to canine-neutral jurisdictions, for reasons of public safety.
“Just glad it worked out this way,” said Fred Donnelly, the manager of Welcome Wags Shelter, which is located south of Burlington. “We always go out of our way to accommodate newcomers to our area but we were getting a bit crowded. So this is a win-win.” Donnelly explained that the mix-up probably occurred when two litters of puppies were accidentally switched at birth in the kennel.
“We are so grateful for science,” said Annabelle Fontenot, the dog’s owner, who was reached at her home in Baton Rouge. “I mean, we always thought Hercules was a mite small for a Pit bull, but we loved him just the same.” The Fontenots got Hercules to assist and counsel their cat, Pumpkin, who was traumatized as a kitten, when she was found to have a severe food allergy to salmon and tuna.
“I don’t know how she would have coped without Hercules,” Annabelle said. “He is trained in the Freud method, you know.”