This article was featured in WYDaily on 10/28/22.
Jerome the homeless dog is looking for a special someone to call family. Today marks his 624th day at The Heritage Humane Society. The six-year-old mixed breed canine is the poster child for October’s National Adopt a Shelter Dog Month.
Orphaned by divorce
Jerome originally came into the care of The Heritage Humane Society on Nov 25, 2020, as a surrender due to divorce. After a long four-month stint, he thought he found his forever home on March 26, 2021. Sadly, Jerome was surrendered again to the shelter on June 12, 2021 and has been there for more than 16 months ever since. His 2021 surrender was the result of Jerome wanting more time with his new owner and when left for long periods of time, Jerome had separation anxiety worried he was being abandoned again.
488 dogs and counting
Since loveable, huggable Jerome has been at the shelter, 488 other dogs have been adopted from there. Each time Jerome is wondering if the next adopter will be his match.
“Many times, people interested in adopting a dog, cat, or one of our small pets, are anticipating that they’ll come to The Heritage Humane Society and their perfect match will immediately hop up on their lap, give lots of licks, deliver on the purring power, or a wagging tail. While we have those wonderful moments, we also have a lot of pets like Jerome who share the same traits as many humans, they simply need a little time to observe and warm up to new people and new situations as opposed to being the life of the party,” says Kimberly Laska, Executive Director of The Heritage Humane Society.
Love from his Fido Field Trip human companions
Heritage Humane Society volunteers Janet and Mike Zikes have long taken Jerome on Fido Field Trips at least once a week. Fido Field Trips allow Jerome and other shelter pups like him to get a break from the kennel.
“We love Jerome!” shared Janet in a recent email who went on to share, “Jerome loves his Fido Field Trips. No matter where we go, he is happy to be with us and he is excited to take in all the sights and smells. He is an easy walker, but he does like to sniff every tree he sees. He is so busy sniffing, he barely notices other dogs and people walking by. He is a good walker and when you’re ready for a break, he will sit on the bench with you.”
Jerome takes time to build trust with people. When he does, his huge heart opens wide. The Zikes and the shelter’s other volunteers and care team staff share that Jerome is very smart, playful, and active, so he needs someone who will continue to work with him and give him lots of opportunities to exercise and play. Older kids are recommended because he really loves toys – and treats, Jerome says, remember to bring lots of treats.
Shelter Volunteer Amanda Ibrahim shares, “I absolutely love Jerome! Walking into his room and seeing him light up makes my day! He gets so excited as he runs from toy to toy showing me his favorites at the moment. This boy is a true gem and if you’re lucky enough to be on the receiving end of his joy and love, there is no better feeling! He loves long walks, belly rubs, peanut butter-filled Kongs, old toys, new toys, any type of toys, and most of all he would love to meet you! Currently, I have been taking him to level one dog training classes where he has become a star student. He is a quick learner and is overall an amazing dog!”
Training classes and workshops
Adam Claar is the Dog Training Class Instructor at The Heritage Humane Society. He is a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant with the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants, a Certified Professional Dog Trainer – Knowledge and Skills Assessed, and a Canine Good Citizen, STAR puppy, and Trick Dog evaluator for the American Kennel Club.
Claar has been working with Jerome and shares, “he’s consistently been a training class superstar and he seems very proud of his roll-over trick.”
As Jerome continues to learn, Claar can also provide his new human companion(s) with tips to help him relax more and not have separation anxiety when they are apart. This way Jerome won’t be anxious and will learn to trust that his human companion is not abandoning him.
Jerome is on track to continue thriving. He could continue benefiting with the shelter’s Adult Level 2, Trick Training, and AKC Good Citizen classes. A variety of dog training classes are located at The Heritage Humane Society.
Sponsored adoption fee
The Greater Williamsburg community is all pulling for Jerome to end being homeless and find his forever home. His adoption fee is completely sponsored by the Drive Safe Hampton Roads Christopher King Foundation. With his adoption fee covered, The Heritage Humane Society also makes it easy to purchase items for Jerome’s new home with its ReTail Store located in the shelter’s lobby.
Jerome is available to meet during normal adoption hours, 12 – 4:30 p.m., seven days a week.
To learn more, visit HeritageHumane.org or call 757-221-0150.
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