GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — After suffering abuse on video, a West Michigan dog is set to be adopted by a new family.
The Kent County Animal Shelter spent the last few months working to re-home Higgins the dog, after cell phone video of a man repeatedly punching a dog spread on social media.
The Kent County Animal Shelter says Higgins is now in a loving home.
“He was placed in a foster (home) because it’s a long time to stay in a shelter environment and the foster family obviously adores him, so he’s being adopted officially by the foster,” said Namiko Ota-Noveskey, the program supervisor for the Kent County Animal Shelter.
Ota-Noveskey says the foster program is lifesaving, and the shelter needs more people to be a part of it.
“The shelter is so stressful. (There’s) separation from people, noises, constant foot traffic that’s not always routine. So we try to keep things as routine as possible,” said Ota-Noveskey.
To encourage more families to get involved, the shelter is offering an alternative to traditional fostering. People can now take an animal for a few days at a time.
“Not everybody might be into keeping dogs for an extended period of time. So, if you are in that kind of situation but would really love to help animals, what you can do is — this is usually for dogs — you could do field trips, sleep overs,” she said.
They say their goal is to get animals into their forever home. They say the journey is much smoother when animals go from home to home rather than the shelter.
“A shelter is not a home. Our goal is to place them into a foster environment and the benefit of that is reducing stress but also we learn a lot more about individual dogs,” said Ota-Noveskey. “Some of these dogs may have been in an unfortunate situation, not necessarily abuse but neglect, meaning they just weren’t receiving the proper socialization or the care that they needed. So it’s really nice to be able to go into a home setting where people are kind and they can get the things they should have.”
If you’re interested in adopting, fostering or helping an animal at the Kent County Animal Shelter, they have a volunteer application available online. People can also call or email the shelter for more information.
The shelter says while families may have a specific animal they prefer to foster, they will be giving out the dogs in the most need of relief first.