Jeremy, a young American Bulldog mix, has called the Tombstone Small Animal Shelter home for about two years.
He has seen dogs and cats come and go since he first arrived as a rambunctious, 6-month-old puppy. Nearly 140 dogs and 41 cats passed through in his first year; 75 dogs and 71 cats were adopted last year.
“He is a special dog and I love him,” said Elaine Perry, president of the Tombstone Small Animal Shelter. “I feel sorry for him. It will be two years in May and for as long as I know, that is a record for this shelter.”
The shelter can house a dozen dogs and seven cats at a time. It is a no-kill shelter, which means Jeremy has a home there until he’s adopted out.
Perry, who has worked at the shelter for 10 years, said that Jeremy was given up by his first owner because he was an overactive mutt.
“I don’t know any puppy that isn’t overactive,” said Perry. “If they aren’t active they must be sick.”
After living in the shelter for a short time, a military family decided to adopt Jeremy but the family also took in young foster kids and because of Jeremy’s size, the family was concerned that he would accidently knock the kids off their feet.
“They brought the dog back and since then, for some reason he couldn’t get adopted again,” Perry said.
Perry said very few people come to see him.
“We get a lot of calls, but once they talk a while, they decide not to come and see him,” she added. “I think they are afraid that he will not get along (with other dogs). Sometimes he does not present well. He really looked intimidating and we knew he wasn’t.”
Perry said she believes that the problem is not that Jeremy is an aggressive dog but that he is protective over his home after seeing so many of his kennel mates leave the shelter.
“He thinks this shelter is his home so he is going to guard it,” said Carol McDonald, who has volunteered at the shelter for four years. “So sometimes that doesn’t look so real appropriate, but he has improved so much.”
McDonald said she believes that Jeremy is a wonderful companion and a sweet dog. He just is never given enough time to show how great of a dog he is.
“He would make a good hiking companion,” she said. “He just loves water. He would do great with a swimming pool. He would have died and gone to heaven. He is probably the smartest dog I have ever seen. He learns very quickly. I think if taken to good obedience classes, I think he would ace it.”
Although the volunteers and staff members at the shelter see Jeremy as the perfect companion, they hope Jeremy will have a permanent home where he can run, be loved and have his own ‘happy tale’. That’s the story an adoptive family tells after they get their new pet home.
“Every time someone tells me a ‘happy tale’ it … makes us want to do more,” she said.
On March 12, Jeremy came a step closer to his happy tale. He was adopted by ranchers in Pearce.
To adopt a pet:
Tombstone Animal Shelter
1040 S. Landin Park Way
Visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/TombstoneSmallAnimalShelter