The little lost dog found wandering the streets could be on her way to her forever home.
Madison Animal Control Officer Fran Fellows said the number of calls received has been "overwhelming" and she thanked everyone who called and expressed an interest in adopting the dog, and to everyone who helped spread the word.
The Madison Police Department and Clinton Police Department, along with their animal control departments, and a pit bull expert who was helping the animal control officers, put out the word that the dog had to be adopted or she would — eventually — have to be put down.
There was no timetable set, but as much as the police officers and animal control officers loved the dog, they knew that a kennel was no place for a dog long-term.
Word goes out, the calls start rolling in
After articles were posted Thursday on Patch sites, and the pit bull expert and others helped spread the word via social media, the calls started rolling in, Fellows said.
She said there are so many calls that it's been hard to return every one.
Fellows said the Clinton Animal Control officer will start the screening process Monday, and that they will do their best to return the calls.
Potential owner meetings start Monday
"They are going to start on Monday meeting with people," she said. "There have been so many calls we have not been able to get back to everyone."
She said the dog is safe, warm, and comfortable where she is now at the Madison animal shelter and has put on about 10 pounds in the past few weeks because she's getting so many treats.
Fellows said her assistant has been taking the dog for long walks, three miles and longer, several times a week, along Middle Beach and in the center of town in Madison, on the assistant's own time, because she loves the dog so much. Police officers from both towns have been stopping by to check on the dog as well.
"A kennel is no place for a dog to live forever"
Fellows said the dog doesn't appear to be bothered by other dogs and did well during one interaction she had with a child, while the parents were closely supervising, but that there is a lot that the they don't know about the dog, so they are being cautious.
"People have to keep in mind that we do what is best for the dogs, but we are not a rescue shelter. When we pick up a stray dog, we know nothing about the dog. We don't know it's name. We don't know anything about it," she said.
She said she understands concerns expressed about the dog, because no one wanted to see the dog put down. "We don't have an attitude about pit bulls, but a kennel is no place for a dog to live forever," she said. She said most dogs that come into the kennel at Madison are quickly reclaimed by their owners.
Trying to find the right match for the dog
She said she and the other animal control officer are cautiously optimistic that a home will be found. The key is finding a just-right home, she said.
"We're looking for someone who knows the breed, who knows how to handle a strong dog," she said. While pit bulls often have sweet and kind temperaments, particularly if they are treated kindly by their owners, they also can be strong and they need a strong owner, she said. "They are great dogs as long as the owners know how to handle them, and treat them right."
She said this dog seemed a little fearful when she first came into the shelter, but has been very sweet with visitors when the come to see her. "She's probably put on 10 pounds from all of the cookies," she said. "Our shelter is old, but it's clean and warm."
"Our goal is to get her into a forever home," she said. "We really appreciate everyone who called. There have been an overwhelming number of calls and we're just in the process of sorting it all out."