For 300 days, Kaye, a 2½-year-old breed-defying sweetheart of a dog, has been waiting at Berkeley Humane, the last of 150 pets rescued from Florida last September, hours before Hurricane Irma made landfall.
It’s not that Kaye is just looking for a good home. She’s looking for her first ever home.
Kaye was born on the streets of Puerto Rico, where she learned to provide for herself. About a month before her evacuation to California, she was rescued by a Florida group.
Then, with Hurricane Irma bearing down on Florida, Berkeley Humane, East Bay SPCA and Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation jumped into action, flying every adoptable pet from a Ft. Lauderdale shelter to safety and new beginnings in the Bay Area.
“About 50 of them came to Berkeley Humane,” says Jeffrey Zerwekh, executive director of the shelter. “What we did not know at the time was that mixed into this population were three feral street dogs from Puerto Rico — Kendra, Holly and Kaye. All three of those dogs ended up in our care here in Berkeley and although it took lots of work from my amazing volunteers and staff, we are happy to report that two of them are now in loving homes.”
Kaye, however, still waits.
There’s no sugar-coating the reasons why Kaye hasn’t been adopted. She has some problems that don’t show her in the best light. Those issues, however, are likely not the ones potential adopters might expect from a dog raised on the streets.
“She doesn’t have a mean bone in her body,” says Kristen Loomer, director of operations at Berkeley Humane.
Whatever trauma she suffered in Puerto Rico has left her distrustful and wary. When potential adopters come to see her, she hides under chairs and is constantly on her guard. She shuts down, turning away from those who would love her, and avoiding their touch and eye contact.
That’s not something that makes her easy to love, but Kaye has shown that she has the ability to bond with a special person, to trust and return the affection offered her.
Michelle Jewell, a veterinarian and adoption specialist at the shelter, was determined to make friends with Kaye. For a week, she spent her 30-minute lunch breaks in Kaye’s kennel, sitting on the floor, eating her sandwich and speaking quietly to Kaye.
At first, Kaye wanted nothing to do with her, but eventually, she accepted food — turkey and chicken deli slices — …
Source:: The Mercury News – Lifestyle