Looks like Chance the Snapper isn’t the only animal Frank "Gator" Robb plans to take home from Chicago.
The alligator expert who famously captured the elusive reptile in a Chicago lagoon doesn’t just have a soft spot for cold-blooded creatures – he also has one for dogs. Robb has already rescued three furry friends so far, and he said he is expecting to take home a fourth – this time from the Windy City.
"At some point here soon I'm going to have a rescue dog from Chicago – there’s no way around it,” he told NBC 5 while he was in town this week.
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After a long day of wrangling dangerous reptiles, Robb said his rescue pups are what keeps him grounded.
“They have so much love to give and it just doesn’t matter how bad your day is going, you come home to a dog or a cat or whatever it might be – it could be another animal too – it makes your day," he said.
Robb’s three rescue dogs include 5-year-old Opy, 4-year-old Marble and 4-year-old Blitz – all Shetlands.
Opy was the first dog rescued by Robb, who said the animal was mistreated and kept in a box on his neighbor’s front porch.
"[The owners] were dropping food in but no one was letting them out," Robb said. "He was covered in all kinds of bad things as you can imagine. He was on the verge of not making it."
Robb took in one of the dogs from the porch and his friend took in another.
His next two pups began with similar stories of abuse.
"Imagine you’re in a place where you probably don't want to be there," Robb said. "You're reaching out for somebody to give you some help. Those animals are reaching out for help and that's – you gotta help them. Let them open up their heart to you the way you’ve got to open your heart to them and it’ll change your life."
As for his next rescue dog, Robb said he hopes to have a new member of his fur-mily in the coming weeks. And he encourages others to do the same at NBC and Telemundo owned stations’ Clear The Shelters pet adoption campaign set for Aug. 17.
"All you've got to do is take a walk through Chicago Animal Care and Control and you see all those dogs and cats and every other kind of animal they have down there that needs a home and needs a place. It opens up your mind and you heart to man I need to help out," Robb said. "You need to help out. People need to go out and adopt these animals and give them a home – they’re counting on us."
He just has one piece of advice.
"If you don’t have experience with exotic animals you shouldn’t have them," he said, eluding to the three alligators that have been captured in Chicago in recent weeks.
For more information on Chicago-area shelters participating in NBC and Telemundo owned stations’ Clear The Shelters pet adoption campaign, click here.