Meet Capone, the Winner of "Best in Rescue" 2022

In May, we brought you the story of Capone the Pit Bull, who won "Best in Rescue" at the 2022 American Rescue Dog Show. We stayed in touch with Capone's owner, Elisha, and got to know more about her and her adorable pup! Learn more about him below!

Capone the winner of the American Rescue Dog Show 2022

1. Tell us about Capone:
Capone was found on the streets of Jacksonville, FL with a pregnant female.  He was positive for heartworm and skin fungal infection. He has a gentle soul and stands out everywhere we go. He loves people, cuddling, and his brother, Murray. Since adopting him in August, we have traveled to 20 different states, have been coast to coast, touched both sides of the Gulf of Mexico, and been to the Smokey and Rocky Mountains. Both boys are perfect travel companions and are go with the flow kind of dogs.

Capone and his owner Elisha

2. When did you adopt your dog and how did you know he was "the one"?
We had just lost our 12-year-old Shepherd Pit Bull mix, Coheed, back in August of 2021. It broke our hearts, especially our year-old puppy Murray. We went and looked for the perfect fit for Murray and our upcoming change of lifestyle. With receiving San Diego orders with the Navy, we decided to do tiny living. We found Capone (Chunk) on Petfinder after looking at a few dogs that were not the right fit. We reached out to his foster and the moment I saw him; I knew he was meant to be ours. Murray and Capone instantly acted like they were litter mates and have continued that since the day we brought him home. He has helped us mend our broken hearts and has been the perfect fit for our tiny living.

3. What is your favorite thing about Capone?
The way he loves people. We go to the dog park or dog beach, and I don’t exist. He must say hello to everyone he sees. He doesn’t care about color, gender or if you’re in a wheelchair. He will run up to you, with an ear-to-ear grin, and sits and waits for the love. People can’t help to fall in love with Capone everywhere we go. Oh, and his ears are awesome too!

Capone smiling on the beach

4. Does Capone have a secret talent?
I joke and say, Capone has a love potion that affects everyone that he meets. He has changed many views of people on this amazing breed. The instant smile he brings to strangers and people he knows, is truly great to see. 🥰

5. How did you hear about the Rescue Dog Show?
We knew one of the judges, Jennifer Gray with the rescue, Sunny Day Acres.  Long story short, in 2016, she agreed to work with my now husband’s hard to handle Shepherd/Pitbull mix, Coheed, while he was deployed. Jennifer was a judge on the show 2019-2020, while it was hosted by the Hallmark Channel. She posted a role call for the show, and since we had just moved to the San Diego area, we figured, why not? I put him in for Best in Ears and one of the producers, Jill Goularte, called and asked about his snoring. Jokingly, I said he could be in "couch potato", "belly rubs"," kissing", or "talking". But snoring, snoring he was the best, and it was perfect for him. We changed the application to snoring and the rest is history.

Capone and his owner with the award

6. What was your experience like being on the show?
I am totally humbled by the whole experience. Meeting all the other rescues and hearing their stories, will forever stay with me. We were excited to give back, even if it would have been $500. We adopted Capone for free with the Animal Care and Protective Services of Jacksonville. They were running a sale if you fostered to adopt a “medically challenged” dog, they were for free. Capone received all his treatments before we officially took ownership of him. We are happy to report, he has made a full recovery. The winning prize of $110,000 will help so many dogs, and we couldn’t be more grateful.

Capone celebrates his win

7. What's the coolest trick your dog knows?
I keep going back to how he changes people’s minds about the breed. Right before the dog show aired, I received this message from a contestant I briefly met:

        I’ve been meaning to tell you - my sister got attacked pretty badly by two pitties about 3 years ago walking my parents’ dog. With me working at a shelter and talking about pitties, she was always super against them, given her experience with them. When we first saw Capone at the hotel she was scared and didn’t want to say hi. And when she petted him, I was so proud of her. Ever since she’s (and I) have been rooting for him and she sees pitties completely differently now. Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful boy with us.” 🤗

The impact Capone had on a stranger, who became a friend, is something special. Capone has a light in him that is hard to come by. The joy he brings to everyone we met, and this potion that he has, is truly amazing. He can open the eyes of people thinking about rescuing a dog of his breed.

8. Did you expect Capone to win "Best in Rescue"?
Not at all. We were up against some amazing dogs. In my eyes, they were all winners. He really stole the hearts of the judges and the stage crew. Along with me, when his name was called, tears were following from all directions.

9. Is Capone truly "Best in Snoring"?
He sure is! He snores like crazy, living in an RV, there is no where to go. 

10. What are you most proud of Capone for?
I keep going back to his love for people. I don’t know much about his past, but the clear signs he's been used from breeding. He used to have nightmares. Capone would cry, whimper, run and shake in his dreams. We would have to wake him up, he would realize he was with us and fall asleep wagging his tale. I am proud that he is the perfect ambassador for his breed.

11. How did you hear about Big Barker?
I have seen them online. They have some amazing reviews. The kindness of the team has been outstanding and we recommend them to anyone we meet!

Capone on his Big Barker dog bed

12. What made you want a Big Barker bed for Capone?
With how short and stocky Capone is, this bed will do him wonders. We want nothing but the best place for him to snore - and we've now got that perfect spot!

Capone gets his Big Barker dog bed

13. What is your advice to others about rescuing dogs?
I would remind people they never replace the loss of our loved ones, but they just expand and help fix our hearts. Dogs are meant to help get through chapters of our lives. Don’t look over the special needs dogs. They will give back more than you know. ♥️

Thank you to Elisha and Capone for taking the time to tell us about your story and the American Rescue Dog Show! We wish them nothing but the best in their travels!

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