Humane Society for Hamilton County announces paraplegic dog adoption at Tinsel & Tails
After 13 months of living in a small office at the Humane Society for Hamilton County, a paraplegic pit bull has found a forever home.
A packed house at the annual Tinsel & Tails fundraiser at the Ritz Charles cheered as they announced that Gracie would be adopted by a woman from Alabama.
Gracie was hit by a car in Indianapolis and her owners couldn’t afford to take care of her, so instead of taking her in for help, the owners left her in the backyard with no medical attention. Now, Gracie is unable to move her back legs and drags them as she excitedly runs to see people. She also has a cart that she can pull. Rebecca Stevens, executive director for the countywide shelter, said despite her traumatic experience with people, Gracie still seems to love everyone she encounters.
Melinda Norris, a longtime supporter and three-time adopter from HSHC, drove in from Deatsville, Ala., to attend Tinsel & Tails and bring Gracie home. Norris, a former veterinary technician, has several rescue dogs on her farm. Her first adoptee from HSDC was a paraplegic dog named Dash who is doing well today.
“Gracie loves in spite of what she’s been through,” Norris said. “I just love that the Hamilton County Humane Society just gives second chances. They never give up. Some other places a dog like her might have been euthanized but they never give up.”
Stevens said many people on her staff have lost sleep worrying about Gracie over the past year.
“I’m so excited for Melinda to take her home,” she said. “We kept this a secret until tonight because our staff really loves Gracie so much and I wanted them to feel the excitement of seeing Gracie finding a home.”
Gracie’s story was just one of many during an evening where the HSHC hit its $80,000 fundraising goal. The full total might even be higher when the silent auction proceeds are added up, Stevens said.
Kevin Himes, a veteran of the U.S. Army, told the crowd about how he got Boston, a dog he found through the shelter’s program called Pets Healing Vets. Himes said he’s sober now after years of struggle. He had a traumatic childhood with abuse, and Boston helps him immensely, he said.
“He helped me through some tough times,” Himes said. “He’s helping me cope with serious emotional problems. The Pets Healing Vets is an excellent program.”
Elise Bell, an employee at Noah’s Animal Hospital, said she met Ox, a rat terrier mix, when he came in with injuries from a previous owner who bathed him in bleach. The tiny dog had burned skin and is missing fur, but Bell fell in love and decided to take care of him through the foster program at the Humane Society for Hamilton County.
“But when I took him home I knew I had to keep him,” she said. “I’m very happy to be a ‘foster failure.’”