Courtesy of Clay County Animal Shelter, Henrietta, TX
July 4 is a big deal here in the U.S. but, for one Texas dog, Independence Day now has a very special meaning.
Jill is a happy, white American pit bull mix who has a great personality and is one of the sweetest pups you'll ever meet.
"She's a big cuddle bug," Clay County Animal Shelter Adoption Manager Bonnie Stone tells Daily Paws. "She just wants attention all the time."
Jill came to the shelter as a stray when she was about a year old. Initially, her path to a forever home was blocked by the case of heartworms she came to the shelter with. Once she had been treated for the worms, however, the sweet doggo's sense of adventure became something prospective adopters needed to be made aware of.
"She was a fence climber," Stone says. "She was actually adopted out once and we told the gentleman about that, but one day he left her outside alone and she hopped the fence and took off. So she was returned to us from that home.
"But the main thing that stood in her way was because she's an American pit bull mix. When you call landlords around here, that's one of the breeds on the list that's a no-no."
In an area like Henrietta, Texas, where most of the Animal Shelter's adopters are renters, that's a huge obstacle to overcome, and in Jill's case, the months dragged on and on. Eventually, those months became years. Ten of them, in fact.
"We're a no kill shelter, so we have had dogs in the past who never got homes," Stone says. "We had one dog come to us at six months old and pass away here at the age of 14. So we did have that worry for Jill."
But finally, on this past July 4, Jill met her forever person.
Keelie Blassingame, Jill's new dog mom, is also a renter but unlike so many of the other people who had expressed an interest in Jill over the years, her landlord didn't have a specific restriction on any particular breeds. Instead, he just wanted to meet each dog in person and get a feel for its personality. Luckily for Jill, personality is where she shines the brightest. Once the landlord met her sweet, smiling face, the adoption was given an enthusiastic thumbs up and Jill (now referred to as "Jillybean") was headed to her forever home.
When you've spent 10 years with a pupper as sweet as Jill, letting go is always a sad day. But the good folks at Clay County Animal Shelter know that they're only saying goodbye to Jill because she's finally found her person. And that makes the bittersweet day worthwhile.
"No matter how long they've been here, they become family members to us," Stone says. "But when they get adopted out, we're happy."