Home at last
After three and a half years, Inez has a forever home
Delaware Humane Association staff member Cathy Blankenship started out in the Cattery, but now she greets visitors with a smile at the front desk as a Client Services Representative. With six children, two grandchildren and four dogs between them, Cathy and her husband Wayne already had a big family. But, they recently decided to make room for one more—a Pit Bull Terrier named Inez who waited nearly three and a half years at DHA for her forever home.
A staff favorite right from the start, Inez received lots of love and attention, and had many happy moments at DHA (especially while playing “nanny” to litters of puppies). However, we know she will be happiest in the comfort of a real home, surrounded by her new family. Congratulations, Inez and family!
In May 2009, DHA assisted the Humane Society of the United States by helping find temporary placement for 29 dogs from a hoarding situation at an overwhelmed rescue in Kentucky where 295 cats and dogs were found. Of those dogs, DHA was able to take in 19, and named them all after cities in Kentucky. One of those dogs, a nearly two year old female Pit Bull Terrier, was Inez.
Most of the dogs were suffering from medical issues including malnutrition, parasites, flea infestations, and sarcoptic mange, requiring them to be isolated from the regular canine population. Some were very fearful and exhibited a range of behavioral issues.
Already caring for DHA’s existing canine population, the kennel staff went above and beyond to give the new arrivals all the love, time and effort needed to care for them while recovering, and it was a real cause for celebration when the last sick dog was moved into the regular kennel. One by one they were adopted, some waiting longer than others, but eventually Inez was the only “Kentucky Dog” left at DHA. She waited, and waited. Two years after arriving at DHA, we had a bittersweet celebration to mark the anniversary. A little over another year would go by before Inez’s ultimate heroes entered her life.
We asked Cathy to tell us about the journey from meeting Inez to taking her home...
I first met Inez when I was hired here at the shelter in January 2012. Every time I took garbage out to the dumpster Inez was at the fence wagging her tail at me, so I started petting her and giving her treats. We bonded gradually. Wayne started coming in to get to know her, too. The first couple of times Inez would bark at him because he wore his hat. Gradually she took to Wayne as well and he was able to pet and give her treats, even with his hat on! We love Inez because she is sweet and so loving! We love sitting out in the field with her, where she loves to sit on our lap and roll over for belly rubs.
Nancy Fitzgerald, a professional dog trainer, is DHA’s Dog Assessment and
Training Coordinator and developed the shelter's Homeward Bound program
to enhance the adoptability of the shelter's dogs and to encourage and
improve their well-being while here. Nancy worked very hard with us over
a couple months to help integrate Inez into our pack: Max, a Yorkie;
Daisy, a Boston Terrier/Chihuahua mix; Stewart, a Chihuahua; and Dixie,
our “mutt”. We had a total of seven dog meetings here at the shelter
instead of the usual one or two. Inez and our three smallest, more
submissive dogs did well together right from the start, but one of our
girls was still a bit nervous about the whole thing and needed some
extra time for she and Inez to get to know each other.
After a while, it seemed as if things might not work out and we considered giving up, but Nancy encouraged us to keep trying. She suggested taking them all outside of the shelter to a park where they would all be on neutral territory, and it worked! We did two park walks and it went great. A few weeks ago, Nancy brought her for a walk around our neighborhood with my dogs. Inez came in to see her new home and lay right down on the floor like she belonged there all along.
Inez will complete our home full of pets, and will be as loved and spoiled as our other dogs are now. Quite a few people have asked if we will change her name. We have no intentions of doing that; she will always be Inez, or “Nezzie” as the DHA staff like to call her.
We are thankful that DHA supported our desire to work with Inez and make it possible to bring her home with us. The whole staff is very happy for all of us, and I am happy to be a part of the effort to find homes for all of our shelter animals, especially the older dogs and cats.