Henny gets new life, new home
In less than two months, the staff at Pet and Wildlife Rescue (PAW) have been able to turn the life around of a dog that was so aggressive, it was days before she could even be touched.
Henny – a one-year-old boxer mix – first came to the attention of PAW – which provides animal control services for Chatham-Kent – when a call was received in the early morning of Sept. 23 about a dog tied to a fence outside the Wallaceburg animal shelter.
Jason Hamm, manager of animal control services, said the dog was very aggressive and hard to handle when the animal control officer arrived.
However, that’s where Chantelle Kuhn, an animal care attendant with PAW, took the lead in rehabilitating Henny. A YouTube video of Henny’s transformation can be found by searching “The Book of Zelda.”
“It took a couple days for any of our animal control officers or shelter staff here to even touch her,” she said.
She added the dog had “horrible fleas,” which caused hair loss on her back end.
Kuhn said everyone at the shelter worked together to slowly introduce the dog to human contact as well as other dogs.
She said shelter employees started to give her treats.
“She slowly came around to treats. She was really food motivated, so we were able to get close to her that way and build her trust,” Kuhn said.
But she said Henny’s biggest turnaround happened when she was introduced to other dogs.
“She was like a totally different dog when she was around other dogs.”
Kuhn began fostering Henny in her home. She found she could only pet the dog when her other dogs were around.
“When she saw that the other dogs trusted me, that’s when she felt comfortable for everybody to give her pets,” she said. “Now she’s just … like a totally different dog, a wiggle-bum, that’s all she does,” Kuhn laughed. “It’s the sweetest little thing.”
She said the dog’s name came from her boyfriend, who kept calling her different names and she responded to Henny.
However, there was still work to be done to get Henny to trust humans again.
“I’d bring her into work and we’d all take turns socializing her … so she got used to people coming in and out of the shelter,” Kuhn said.
Henny is among the several dogs the staff at PAW have been able to rehabilitate.
“We do everything in our power not to destroy dogs. Obviously, it’s an outcome that nobody wants,” Hamm said.
He said a dog is assessed and, if it is deemed the animal can be rehabilitated, they do it on site.
“If we think that the dog is too aggressive or it needs more care than we can provide, we are in touch with tons of rescues, both breed-specific and ones that work on aggression, and we’ll transfer dogs out to give them the best chance,” Hamm said.
Kuhn said when most dogs come in, they’re just terrified.
“That’s really the reason they’re always showing the aggression a lot of times, is just out of fear,” she said.
Henny has gone from being fostered by Kuhn to becoming part of the family by being adopted.
“When she came into my house, she definitely felt like she was at home the way she was really attached to my other dogs,” Kuhn said, adding Henny cuddles up to her other dogs and night.
“The way her personality just came out and her acting so goofy all the time, you could tell she just felt at home.”
Chatham Daily News
Chantelle Kuhn, an animal care attendant with Pet and Wildlife Rescue, has welcomed Henny into her home after helping rehabilitating the one-year-old boxer that was found tied to a fence at the Wallaceburg animal shelter in the early morning hours of Sept. 23. Henny, front right, has quickly taken to Kuhn's other dogs Bo, left, and Phoebe.