Hansel: A New Leash on Life

| Blog, News

OHS programs help a small dog lead a big life

As a small dog roaming the streets of Madera, California, Hansel had no idea the life that was waiting for him in Portland. Hansel’s journey began at a local shelter. After waiting long enough to ensure an owner wasn’t looking for him, Hansel was bound for a trip north that would change his life forever. The OHS Second Chance program helps pets like Hansel in overcrowded and rural shelters throughout the region. In July, Hansel was transported from Madera to OHS in one of our Second Chance trucks.

Jessie gave Hansel a forever home.

Upon arrival at OHS, it was clear that Hansel’s story was different than his fellow Second Chance passengers. He was extremely shy, fearful and shut down — avoiding anyone who tried to approach him.  During his initial exam, our medical team found several foxtails (needle-like grass seeds) lodged in Hansel’s armpits as well as a serious ear infection and perforated ear drum. While Hansel was under sedation for neutering, the foxtails were removed. Hansel was lovingly cared for during his surgical recovery. But, it soon became clear that foxtails were not the sole source of his shyness.

The OHS Behavior team spent time with Hansel to observe him and to start gaining his trust. Hansel had experienced trauma, and the Behavior team developed a consistent routine and provided positive interactions with people. With the help of specialty volunteers, the Behavior team spent the next couple months building Hansel’s confidence and watched him begin to relax. His personality was emerging.

Hansel slowly responded and warmed to a few people, and then his progress stalled. His ear infection, despite treatment, was not healing as expected. The doctors at OHS decided to sedate Hansel to examine his infected ear. Sure enough, additional foxtails were located and removed from his infected ear. Hansel turned a corner in his progress and responded to both his antibiotics and his training. He started making friends with more people, being goofy and playful and was no longer the shy dog he had been when he arrived.

As Hansel progressed, he was made available for adoption. Jessie and Paul answered Hansel’s call for a forever home and immediately fell in love with his sweet personality. He continues to thrive in the care of his new family, where he feels safe enough to relax and be his goofy self.

Help more pets like Hansel receive lifesaving care and a family to love. Donate at oregonhumane.org/Hansel.


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