As 2009 comes to a close at the Multnomah County Animal Shelter, staff and volunteers celebrate a bittersweet event. This week, their longest shelter resident, a tawny-brown pit bull named Tequila, has found a forever home after an incredible seven months care at the County shelter in Troutdale.
“Tequila’s extraordinary story has a happy ending because of dedicated staff and volunteers,” said Mike Oswald, director of animal services.
Tequila was rescued by MCAS officers in May 2009. She was a victim of animal mistreatment and abuse. She was shy and selective about her dog friends and not responsive to potential adopters. Despite her challenges, several staff and volunteers fell in love with the five-year-old dog and they became her staunchest advocates.
Four years ago, Multnomah County Animal Services (MCAS) recognized that dogs in their long term care need more than food, water and a warm bed. The shelter embarked on the Open Paw program, which provides mental enrichment and stimulation for shelter pets.
Marie Cass, an animal care worker at the Troutdale shelter, formed a close bond with Tequila. She brought her to her home at night so the animal could have much needed “down time” and to give staff more information about Tequila’s behavior in a home setting. With plenty of training and breaks from the sometimes raucous atmosphere of the shelter, Tequila’s disposition proved to be manageable and sweet – a perfect fit for a new home.
Staff members and volunteers who have cared for, fostered, and trained Tequila since she arrived at the shelter in May are excited for her and are confident that she will make a wonderful companion for her new owner.
“I am so fortunate to have found such a beautiful and intelligent companion,” said Tequila’s new owner, Rob Sanders. “Tequila and I wanted to thank all the staff at MCAS for not giving up and letting her find her home. I especially want to say ‘thank you’ to Marie for fostering Tequila and caring about her so much.”
“We are so happy that she has found a new home. Her story is a reminder that there are many pets who need extra- special care to find their new families,” Oswald said. “Many unwanted adult dogs come under the care of the public animal shelters in our area. We do everything that we can to help them find a new, life-long home.”