October 31, 2023 – As Humane Animal Partners (formerly Delaware Humane Association and Delaware SPCA) gears up to celebrate their 150th year of lifesaving work with an Anniversary Gala on November 16, they have another exciting reason to celebrate. After 1,007 days in Humane Animal Partners’ care, Tessy, a 4 year old black lab mix, has finally found a family to call her own.
Humane Animal Partners (HAP), a statewide animal welfare organization with adoption centers in Wilmington, Stanton/Christiana, and Rehoboth Beach, helps thousands of animals find safe and loving homes each year. While most animals wait only a short period of time before adoption, others heartbreakingly wait for years to find the right match; the right person willing to give them a chance.
Prior to arriving at HAP, Tessy was relocated from multiple shelters in Texas due to overpopulation. In January 2021, Tessy arrived in HAP’s care from Wings for Rescue, a trusted transport partner. Upon her initial arrival, Tessy was social and outgoing with everyone she met. However, as time began to pass, the stress of the shelter environment grew to be more than she could handle.
While in HAP’s care, Tessy was provided behavioral support, increased daily enrichment, and her own kennel, complete with custom curtains and sound-proofing installations to help lower her stress levels. She was hand-walked multiple times each day by staff and volunteers, who grew to love her so much that they would take her on outings to local beaches and trails to enjoy life outside of the shelter.
During her 1,007 days available for adoption, she received hundreds of applications due to her desirable breed. Tessy exhibited fear-reactive behaviors in the form of lunging, barking, and growling towards unfamiliar stimuli. Due to this, no one would give her a chance when they learned of her fears…until Jeanine Walker-Porter and Jeff Bush came along.
After attending a local adoption event, Walker-Porter and Bush fell in love with Tessy’s story, and wanted to give her the chance she had been waiting so long for. The couple visited HAP multiple times to ensure Tessy was comfortable with them. On October 20, they made it official and adopted Tessy.
“As I am writing this she is lying across my feet…she is always by our side. She loves to sit between the two of us,” says Jeanine Walker-Porter, Tessy’s adopter. Walker-Porter continues, “During the night she comes and gives us kisses. They usually start around 1:00 a.m. and go on till about 5 a.m. She starts with me then goes over to Jeff’s side and kisses him then goes back to her bed. I think she does this to make sure we are still here. We love her and are so happy she is ours.”
Tessy’s story not only highlights the challenges many shelter dogs face but also the importance of transport partners. Without her flight to HAP, she would have been at high risk for euthanasia due to overpopulation. Tessy’s transport to HAP was made possible by the Humane Society of North Texas (HSNT).
Danielle, the Rescue & Relocation Manager at HSNT states, “Tessy had a short 3-day stay with us until it was time for her to fly! Thanks to a partnership like this, that was why Tessy was able to fly. We were able to make space in our facility to take in more pets from some area shelters that don’t have the resources to send them on transport or may not have the space to hold them for extended lengths of time. We are so thankful to have partners like HAP that are willing to take southern pets, it truly makes such a difference for us.”