Not long ago, I came across a site on Instagram called“pittbullsandaddicts” and with my love for people and animals, immediately became smitten and moved by the work of its Founder - Mike Favor.   Mike is also Founder of “Outside Your Elements” Program at FREEDOM HOME in Staten Island, NY.

What initially grabbed my attention were posts of his dog Joey (aka “Roo”) that Mike rescued.  Joey’s front legs had been cruelly amputated, and Mike took on the responsibility to adopt, love, care for and rehabilitate the dog.  Joey’s resilience and canine affection are a testament to successful adaptation, healing and survival.  Joey’s a warrior, not to mention a major inspiration.  In fact, I was so touched by Mike’s work and passion (as well as his personal background story) that PATH donated several dozen individually packaged, dog themed art note cards, as well as a large detailed pen ink drawing (all created by the talented inmate artists I work with) for Mike to sell or auction off in order to help raise funds for his needs.  

A little background info: 

Mike has worked tirelessly as a carpenter and contractor (re)building custom decks, fireplaces, tree houses, barns, outside dog kennels etc., while simultaneously saving, rehabilitating and adopting out Pittbulls and other dogs.   His Pitbull, Arya saved his life and helped Mike remain on the road of sobriety.  Mike has been sober since March 26, 2016.  The caring for and loving his dog proved to be beneficial and therapeutic on so many levels. It not only built Mike’s confidence, but held him accountable to his work and personal responsibilities.  It gave Mike purpose to live and remain sober! 

Mike’s real passion is Pittbull rescue and mentoring recovering addicts to stay sober through his “Outside the Elements” program.  By removing addicts from their environment (or out of their elements) and  into “ Freedom Home”  (a 4000 sq. ft wood enclosed foster home for abused, neglected and abandoned animals) offers recovering addicts an opportunity to work with Pittbulls and to live, work and learn viable and positive life skills that will help them remain sober. – ALL EXPENSE FREE!!!!!! 

And, yet, this can only be made possible through support by others.  

If you feel so inclined, you can remit funds in any amount, large or small to Mike’s GoFundMe account by logging on HERE!                                     



Leslie Lakes, Director

Art credits:

“Resolute Breed” blue pen ink drawing by Pete Zarogoza; Utah

Pitbull Puppy by Pete Zarogoza

"Worst of the Worst" pastel drawing by Victor Garcia

Photos of Mike Favor and his dogs at Freedom Home