Sunday, April 21, 2024

Furry Friends Feature: 310 Homeless Days for Local Dog

26,784,000 seconds or 446,400 minutes or 7440 hours or 10 months and 6 days or 44 weeks and 2 days or 84.93% of a year…no matter how it is put, Elon the dog has been waiting at The Heritage Humane Society and hoping for his forever home for the last 310 days.

A good samaritan brought Elon into the shelter last year on May 26, 2022. The two-year-old American Pit Bull Terrier mix was found as a stray running around Lafayette Square.

Since living temporarily at The Heritage Humane Society, staff and volunteers quickly discovered Elon is a sweet dog. Like many, he wants to quietly observe new people and dogs and then when he’s feeling confident, he reveals his fun-loving personality.

Loves nature and comfort items

Animal Care Attendant Christopher Wilhide works with Elon the most. He shares that Elon loves watching birds and being out in nature.

“Going to Waller Mill and exploring the trail there is a weekly activity for Elon and he loves it,” shares Wilhide. “Discovering new smells, running into the water, and climbing on top of picnic tables for a better view are all things he loves to do there.”

Elon likes to have a comfort item with him when he’s outside. He enjoys finding a stick to carry or will even bring a stuffed animal along. Wilhide shares that Elon is a sweet cuddly boy who enjoys topping off an adventurous day by being a couch potato.

Wilhide adds, “With an exercise outlet, he is very well-behaved. He knows sit, stand, and up (standing to beg on his hind legs) and we are working on down. He also loves playing frisbee.”

Shelter volunteers Janet and Mike Zikes enjoy taking Elon on Fido Field Trips. Janet reports, “Elon is a high-energy pup with a strong personality. He is affectionate and he can be goofy, trying to climb into your lap when you stop to take a break during a walk. He is working on being a better walker but he is easily distracted by other dogs. He is interested in other dogs, but not in an aggressive way, just in an ‘I want to play with them’ way.

Some dogs can be intimidated by men. When asked about Elon, Mike Zikes shares, “I am a guy and he did quickly bond with me but it was during extended fido field trips on which we took long walks so that extended one on one time likely helped to build a connection. He is a sweet dog that just needs a little extra time and attention to adjust to you. He can definitely be the best friend you’re looking for.”

Elon’s best pal, Tyson

Elon also likes walking with his best shelter dog buddy, Tyson. The shelter staff and volunteers love when pets in their care discover best buddies at the shelter. For Elon, that is the other biggest dog at the shelter, Tyson.

Tyson is a five-year-old American Pit Bull Terrier mix. On Dec. 12, 2022, he was surrendered right before the holidays. It was through no fault of his own as no dogs were allowed on the previous owner’s rented property.

His adoption fee is even sponsored by a generous, anonymous donor. All Tyson needs is a home again.

“Tyson has striking good looks, accented by his crooked little teeth, which are my favorite! His smile will light up your life along with his sweet personality,” shares Amanda Ibrahim, shelter volunteer. “He is such a good boy and quickly became one of my favorites the moment I met him. If you are ready to fall in love, come meet this handsome boy today.”

Training classes discounted for new adopters

The Heritage Humane Society has a course selection of dog training classes and free workshops for area owners. For those who adopt from the shelter, they receive $40 savings on a six-week-long dog training class.

Fosters desperately needed

With more than 75 dogs currently in the care of The Heritage Humane Society, like shelters everywhere, relies heavily on volunteers to include fosters. Those who are interested can learn more online about becoming a foster. From there, they can submit an application and a member of the shelter staff will contact them. Fosters receiving training and ongoing support from the shelter team.

Fosters provide a safe home and lots of love. The shelter provides everything else including food, toys, blankets, bedding, and medical care. Some pets only need a few days of fostering while others need weeks and months. It is up to the individual foster’s desired level of commitment.

Fido Field Trips

For those who are looking to give a shelter dog a break for a few hours, The Heritage Humane Society offers Fido Field Trips. From walks around Colonial Williamsburg, playing ball in a field, going for a run, to swimming at nearby beaches, the shelter always has pups who would love a field trip and some one-on-one time. Fido Field Trips are a part of the volunteer program at the shelter.

Getting started

The Heritage Humane Society has more than 200 cats, dogs, and small pets currently in their care. These featured pups and the other adoptable pets are available during The Heritage Humane Society’s visiting and adopting hours from 12 to 4:30 p.m., Tues. through Sun.

To learn more, visit, call 757-221-0150, or visit The Heritage Humane Society located at 430 Waller Mill Rd, Williamsburg, VA 23185.

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