Just imagine: you’re a tiny dog in a world of seemingly threatening giants, running loose for at least 2 months and terrified of everything. At just 8lbs almost everything is bigger than you. Your nervous system is in a constant state of fight or flight. You have to scrounge wherever and whatever you can for both food and water. You have to find your own shelter when darkness falls, or in bad weather. There is never any peace, which is utterly, completely exhausting.
This was Chili’s recent history until he was rescued. He was spotted staying pretty close to The Michigan Auto Compressor plant in Parma, MI. After months of trying to catch the little guy a policeman, luring Chili by the promise of an easy meal, finally trapped him.
Initially Chili was brought to The Jackson County Animal Shelter on Spring Arbor Road, in Jackson, MI. Two of CHS’s volunteers—Joel and Paula Freehling—also spend time volunteering at Jackson County Animal Shelter. They recognized that Chili’s behavior was fear-based. We were told that at JCAS Chili spent all of his time cowering in the back of his kennel shaking with fear and snapping at anyone who tried to approach him.
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It was soon decided to give Chili a chance to recover at Cascades Humane Society. It was very clear that Chili needed a lot of extra work and time to see if he could build any sort of trust with humans. Time and extra resources are both in short supply at many shelters. It’s just not there to give to dogs like Chili. It also takes a lot more money to house a dog like Chili because it takes so much more time to recondition them. Unfortunately, very often dogs like Chili will be euthanized. This is no one’s fault, but it is a troubling fact of shelter life for many dogs.
Once Chili was transferred to CHS our Director of Operations, Sue Chambers, stepped in to help the dog. Chili spent all of his time in Sue’s office. He hid most of the time under Sue’s desk. She knew Chili needed time before he would be able to approach people. Sue made no attempt to approach Chili. She ignored him. She did, however, often throw treats to Chili. She just patiently waited for the dog to approach her.
Sue often brings one of her own dogs, a Chihuahua named Peanut, to work with her. It was thought that by watching Peanut interact positively with people, Chili might be encouraged to do the same. Over several weeks this did seem to bolster Chili’s confidence with people. He is now showing more curiosity and less fear of people in general. Chili’s not home free, but he’s making great progress. He now will even come up to Sue and give here kisses! Given enough time, Chili will make someone a great companion.
It is only through the support of donations from our many supporters that CHS can take the time to work with dogs like Chili. CHS receives no support from any city or government source. Please consider clicking the link below so we can keep helping dogs like Chili. Truly, every dollar counts!