One local shelter dog is not only a hero, he’s still looking for a forever home.
Two-year-old Zeus has been at the Panhandle Humane Society (PHS) since Oct. 4 and has been actively training with staff to be a great family pet. While he has been at PHS, Zeus has been progressing well, according to the staff.
“He’s still young and wiry,” said Cathy McDaniel, executive director.
While waiting for a family, Zeus recently had the opportunity to save another dog’s life. McDaniel received a call from a local veterinarian and asked if she had an available blood donor for a transfusion. Zeus was up for the task.
“The vet in Mitchell called and he donated blood,” McDaniel said.
The use of shelter dogs as blood donors isn’t common, but the request does occasionally come in.
“It helps someone’s pet to live and survive and it gives another animal like Zeus a chance to find a home,” she said. “We really hope this will help his chances to find a home.”
PHS has been asked three times since she took over as director to help with a donation.
“We don’t know who the dog was, but Zeus was a hero and saved its life,” McDaniel said.
In exchange for his donation, the Mitchell vet offered something else that would make adopting Zeus more desirable.
“Instead of a free T-shirt for donating blood, he got neutered,” she said. “Not only does the adoption price go down, any behaviors go down, too.”
Zeus came to PHS from an area rescue. They didn’t have the room for him and asked McDaniel if she could take him in.
“We’ve been trying to find him a home ever since,” she said. “He’s a great dog and he’s been here such a long time.”
PHS staff said even though Zeus works hard each day at training, is good around other animals and children, he has started to become depressed.
“He’s been here for six months, that’s a long time. We haven’t given up on him, but he’s starting to give up,” McDaniel said. “He sees all these other dogs come in and get adopted and he’s still here.”
Zeus’ spirits are lifted whenever someone comes in to walk him or play with him. McDaniel said it is frustrating that a perfectly good adoptable dog is still at the shelter. She believes Zeus is a Blue Heeler/Pit Bull mix and the stigma surrounding pit bulls might be why he has been passed up. It’s a common problem for shelters around the country who take in pit bull mixes. McDaniel said every shelter has too many, preventing them from being transferred some place where they would have a better chance of being adopted.
“It’s tragic. There’s nowhere for them to go. It’s a really sad dilemma,” she said. “What’s worse is they have a horrible stigma about them and we have some really sweet ones here.”
The Blue Heeler part of Zeus means he loves being active.
“Heelers are a working dog. He needs a job to do,” McDaniel said. “They are happiest when they have a job, even if it’s herding kids.”
McDaniel is determined to find Zeus and every animal at PHS a home. She said there are shelters elsewhere that may have given up on Zeus by now.
“We’re not going to do that. We don’t give them a number above their heads of how many days they have left,” McDaniel said. “We try really hard to adopt them out.”
Two donors have agreed to pay the adoption fee for Zeus when he is adopted.