Recently a gentleman came into the lobby and told me that he needed to surrender his dog, Moxi, after she had nipped his child in the face. He added that while his child was okay, requiring a couple of minor stitches, that he no longer felt he could trust Moxi around his child. I asked if she had shown this sort of behavior before and he admitted that he hadn’t noticed but that it didn’t mean she hadn’t been giving him warning signs. He explained how the incident had been provoked by the child who was playfully blocking the door as Moxi was trying to get outside.While the father said that Moxi was quite friendly, the tone in his voice suggested that I too probably shouldn’t trust her.
When Moxi was brought in, I was half expecting a snarly dog that we couldn’t handle, but instead I sat face to face with a dog who’s tail was happily wagging side to side. I knew in that moment that she was everything but a vicious dog. Per health department laws we had to quarantine her for 10 days and monitor her for signs of rabies before conducting a behavior evaluation. It is typically uncommon for us to take in a dog with a bite history in our adoption centers so we had to look for some assistance. This is to prevent the risk of a bite happening to one of our volunteers or to a member of the public. We simply have to be extra careful. We reached out to a rescue group that we’ve worked with in the past who have a group of caring professionals that are experts in working with pets that have behavior issues. The rescue coordinator came to our site and immediately fell in love with Moxi. Unfortunately, she was unable to take her in as Moxi came down with Kennel Cough during this time. We monitored her condition until she made full recovery. At this point, Moxi had been in the shelter for a few weeks. I was impatient about waiting and felt she was an exception, she was ready to be adopted as long as the following restrictions were met: she needed to be the only dog and she needed to go home with adults that understood her past. Next thing I knew, she was adopted just two days after posting her on our adoptable pets page! The person was patient, had experience with pets, didn’t have any children but simply all the love and affection to offer Moxi. It was the perfect fit!
I think Moxi was worth advocating for because I know that she was influenced by the environment she was in. Sometimes changing the environment can change their lives. In this case, it seems that Moxi was just very stressed around young children so putting her in a home without children allows her to live her life to the fullest.
Submitted by: Emily Ruppert
Animal Control Technician