Long-timer Louie is Adopted!

August 10, 2020

Louie with his adopter, Gail Wilcox

After 332 days in the care of Kitsap Humane Society, Louie, a handsome Catahoula hound mix who struggled with fear issues, was adopted!

Louie came to KHS from an overcrowded shelter in Texas through our Rescue Me program, with the help of our rescue partner Three Little Pitties. If he hadn’t been transferred to KHS, Louie wouldn’t have had a second chance. Louie was adopted out and then returned – twice – due to his first family’s concern about his rough play with their older dog, and his second family’s unexpected move overseas.

We’ll never know what happened to Louie in Texas. But during his stay at KHS his stress escalated, and he demonstrated severe “stranger danger” and could be unpredictable with men and other animals. A dog like Louie can be difficult to rehome, because many potential adopters with the skill, experience, and training to care for Louie had other pets in the home. The same was true of many of our foster volunteers.

Team Louie volunteers and friends

Louie could be so sweet and affectionate, though, and a group of roughly eight volunteers became good friends with him. He loved it when they came to walk him and was bright and happy in their presence. When construction got underway for the new canine behavior training center on campus, staff and volunteers knew he needed a break from the shelter and hoped to learn more about his behaviors in a home setting. His friends worked with staff to come up with a foster plan. His first foster parent, Sarah Isbell, welcomed him for four months while friends cared for her cat. While she was at work and later recovering from an injury, teams of volunteers visited daily (sometimes as early as 6 a.m.!) to take Louie on walks and help him build trust and confidence with snuggles, positive-reinforcement training, games, exercise, and playtime.

“We knew he was a good dog that didn’t do well in a shelter,” Sarah said. “He could be leery of people he didn’t know but he could also make friends. The whole intention was to see how he would do in a home, and he got comfortable pretty quick!”

Louie with foster parent Sarah Isbell

His second long-term foster parent, Gail Wilcox, has been a devoted lead dog-walking volunteer at KHS for 18 years! She helps clean kennels and has a special touch with the dogs. She and Louie were good pals before she took him in as a foster, and weeks turned into months. Meanwhile, the staff at KHS continued to look for a rescue placement for Louie, a nearly year-long search that found most rescues already full.

And then Gail decided that her home was Louie’s forever home. At KHS, we call this a “foster fail,” but it was anything but.

“The right adopter was in our family, and it was the perfect match,’ said Sarah Moody-Cook, KHS director of animal welfare. “Thanks to the support of our community, Louie got a second chance.”

Gail and Louie are settling in nicely.

“He’s a sweet boy and I enjoy his company,” Gail said, noting that former foster mom Sarah comes to visit and takes him on remote trail walks. Gail also takes Louie to behavior training lessons with a specialist once a week.

“It’s pretty remarkable that all these people came forward to help care for him,” Gail said. “He’s a good dog, and I’m glad to have him.”