Deputy Scott Punkett adopted Sonny the pitt bull and hopes he will thrive in his new environment.
Punkett and a gym member greet Sonny in between weight sets.
by Maggie Winterfeldt
Richland County Sheriff's Deputy Scott Punkett's new police gym in Richland County was quiet and bare, until rescued pitt bull Sonny arrived.
"It's the persona, you know what I mean? Sonny fits here because of his physique, his energy, his attitude, you know? He's perfect for the gym," says Punkett.
Sonny was rescued from a dog fighting ring and brought to the pound where Punkett adopted him from. He says Sonny was the first dog he saw and he knew immediately that he was a perfect match.
"Coming from a Heinz 57 background, my mother always said Scotts, Irish, English, and something else...who knows what else? It fits. I'm not a pedigree," Punkett explains.
Sonny's story is all-too-common for pitt bulls who are at high risk for abuse and abandonment. Michelle Elkins Manages Pets Inc. shelter and adoption center and says that she receives about two to three pitt bulls a week. Not all of them are lucky enough to be adopted.
"That is probably the top animal we get here," Elkins says.
While Sonny is still timid after his difficult beginnings, Punkett expects that in time, he will thrive in the gym like a Dalmatian in a fire house.