By Beth Mullen, Director of Behavior and Training
I want to tell you a story. One that showcases why I love working for the Washington Humane Society.
This summer, a Pit Bull-mix named Prince Harry came to the Washington Humane Society. He was friendly, wiggly, and energetic. Shortly after, he was transferred to Montgomery County Humane Society (MCHS), where he languished for months. Then, MCHS called us and asked us if we would take him back due to "behavior issues."
"Of course," I responded. We stand by our dogs.
When he came back, our Behavior and Learning Center staff assigned him a Shelter Scholar. These are specially-trained volunteers who work with WHS animals to teach them behavior skills with the hope they are then easily adopted. After some hard work and patience, a family came in and fell in love with him. Prince Harry adored the attention from their children. Our staff and volunteers were thrilled!
Just a few weeks later, the family was so happy with their WHS experience, they returned to find Prince Harry a companion! Halo, a beautiful white Pit Bull-mix was sitting on the adoption floor. The family thought Halo was lovely, brought Prince Harry in for a Meet-and-Greet, and the two dogs became fast friends. The family had another canine member. Bliss.
Sadly, Prince Harry succumbed to some sort of allergic reaction on Labor Day. While his family rushed him to an emergency clinic, the vets determined that he had severe brain damage. The family made the painful decision to put him down.
Prince Harry, despite a short life, had love, family, and friends. He deserved that. All animals deserve that.
Despite their obvious devastation about the loss of Prince Harry, the family returned to WHS to find a companion for Halo. They said the choice was a difficult one, but they knew Prince Harry would want them to save another dog. The WHS Rehoming staff introduced the family to Hobbs, a Pit Bull-mix who really opened up with the companionship of other dogs. Unfortunately, Hobbs wasn't yet approved for Prince George's County.
Then, the family took a leap of complete trust and faith in our staff. Without Halo present, which is not usually recommended, the family trusted our staff's suggestions and headed to Georgia Avenue to meet Buzzer. It was near the end of the day and our staff had been working overtime, but we're committed to finding loving homes for our animals. They left with Buzzer.
Every department and every location was involved with getting these dogs an obviously loving home. Whenever we are down, I hope we can remember Prince Harry, Halo, and Buzzer. Our staff is awesome.