Bruno Mars came to the Washington Humane Society (WHS) healthy, smart, and while slightly sheepish at first, the WHS staff saw a goofy and happy dog emerge over time. A one-year-old terrier, boxer mix, Bruno Mars was brought to WHS in July, 2012, because his owner did not have enough time to properly care for him.
Bruno Mars excelled in his training sessions. Check out this “Inside the Trainer’s Studio” video where Bruno Mars showed off his “default down,” a pose used as an alternative to “sit” that often helps dogs with a tendency to be on the jumpy side. Despite his obvious awesomeness, Bruno Mars was frequently overlooked by potential adopters. In addition to the dedicated work of the adoption staff and volunteers, WHS brought together resources from several programs to help Bruno Mars.
- Bruno Mars went to a WHS volunteer foster home, where he could receive special attention and extra promoting from his foster family. Bruno Mars’ foster family went above and beyond, creating his own blog and Twitter handle just for him - @AdoptBrunoMars.*
“Bruno is such a sweetheart, and I am so glad that he has found his forever home. I knew he'd find his match; he has so much energy and such a great attitude. We did a social media and blog push for him. That was a lot of fun, because we got to try and capture his voice, which was, of course, one of perpetual excitement and happiness,” said Monica, Bruno Mars’ foster mom.
- Bruno Mars went on People and Animal Cardio Klub (PACK) runs on weekends, helping him get his exercise in and increase his chances of being spotted on one of the outdoor adventures.
“Bruno was one of those dogs that we could rely on to be comfortable and play appropriately with any dog we introduced him to. His adoption was bittersweet. We were so happy to see him go to his forever home, but we miss having him to help us with our dog play dates!” said Marika Bell, Director of Behavior and Training on behalf of the WHS training and adoption staff and volunteers.
- He received spotlights on two major local media outlets. Bruno Mars was featured on the Petline segment on WUSA 9 and also on an ABC 7 News online adoptables slideshow. Bruno Mars was featured as one of the special WHS dogs on the “12 Days of Adoptables” holiday adoption campaign.
“I love Bruno Mars. He is such a great dog! I was fortunate enough to be able to bring him around to different TV stations for special adoption features, and he charmed everyone he met. I was ecstatic when he found his forever home, because I know that his family will love him forever!” said ChristieLyn Diller, WHS Director of Marketing and Communications.
On February 9, 2013,
Bruno Mars got his chance.
Monique Whatley a paralegal with the Department of Justice and her 18-year-old son Trey from Fort Washington, MD stumbled across Bruno Mars’ picture on the WHS website.
“He was sitting nice and his posture made him look like a very nice dog,” said Monique. “I was looking for a bigger dog, and his demeanor really caught my eye.” Monique set a time to meet Bruno Mars at the Georgia Avenue Adoption Center.
“When I first met Bruno, I was a little taken aback at his
size, because I previously had a Jack Russell Terrier who was stolen from our
family. I never had a big dog. I talked with the adoption center staff and did
a couple more sessions where they showed me a few of his training exercises
that I could reinforce with him. Then I found out that Bruno went from one adoption center to the other and then to a foster home. When I found
out his history, I said - this dog really needs a chance,” said Monique.
Bruno’s New Life
Bruno Mars, now simply Bruno, was timid in his new home at first. Now more than a month after his big day, Bruno is very inquisitive and loves to smell everything. On walks, he takes in all the scents of the community. Bruno has a goofy side and loves to pounce and play in his new big backyard.
Bruno is working on sitting patiently to wait for his food to be set down. His favorite toy right now is a squeaky ice cream cone. He goes through many stuffed animal dog toys because of his love to chew and shake. Bruno also has regular visits with his extended family in Hyattsville, where he romps happily around the dog park there.
If you want to help dogs like Bruno Mars find their forever families, consider becoming a foster volunteer. WHS is calling on individuals, families, and businesses to volunteer as temporary foster care parents for homeless dogs and cats. For more information on becoming a foster parent, visit www.washhumane.org/foster or contact email@example.com.
WHS never puts a time limit on an animal’s stay in the adoption centers and makes special efforts to give the animals that have been there the longest get extra attention. One way that WHS helps animals find and keep their forever homes is through the patient and caring work of the WHS Behavior and Training team. Dogs and cats learn important training skills using positive association and modern training techniques, such as clicker training. Check out Posey the cat doing clicker training for St. Cat-Trick’s Day!
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*Please note: WHS
fosters are encouraged to promote their animals using online marketing, as long
as the website, blog, or social media channels cannot be confused with the
organization’s own channels.