Foxy goes home with her new owner

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Foxy, the puppy whose alleged rescue story captured West Michigan’s attention, has been adopted.

The Chihuahua-mix puppy was taken home by her new owner Thursday.

Foxy was about 8 weeks old when she was brought to the Kent County Animal Shelter in February. The woman who gave Foxy to the shelter said at the time that she had found the puppy in the trash in freezing temperatures, but the Grand Rapids Police Department later said the woman admitted she lied about Foxy’s origins.

Foxy’s left eye had been injured and had to be removed by Dr. Cassandra Bliss, according to a release from the Kent County Animal Shelter. Bliss, of BluePearl Veterinary Partners, has worked with the animal shelter before and performed the surgery free of charge. Foxy is expected to be able to adapt to the loss of her eye.

Foxy, after getting out of surgery. (Feb. 12, 2014)
(Foxy after getting out of surgery. Feb. 12, 2014)

After undergoing surgery, Foxy was put up for adoption. By that time, she was very popular — the story of her rescue (though it turned out to be a fabrication) had tugged at animal lovers’ hearts.

The shelter received about 50 applications to adopt her. A panel of adoption specialists, administrative leaders and shelter veterinarian Dr. Laurie Wright started looking for the right home for Foxy.

On top of standard checks, like whether applicants have had previous animal control contacts and whether their landlords allow pets, the panel considered Foxy’s special needs. They soon thinned out the stack of applications.

The process hit a slight snag when Foxy bit someone during a home visit and had to be quarantined for 10 days because she was too young to have gotten a rabies shot. But the bite was not serious and the behavior was not typical for Foxy, so the adoption process soon moved forward.

The panel interviewed about a dozen potential owners. This week, they decided they had found the right person.

“We had so many great applicants, that narrowing the list down was difficult,” Wright said in a statement. “If we could, we’d send a Foxy home with everyone who expressed interest, but there is only one Foxy. We feel that we’ve found a perfect fit.”

Erin Fisher, Foxy’s new owner, has a “keen awareness of Foxy’s special needs,” the animal shelter said, “and a great environment for Foxy’s wellbeing.”

Foxy the puppy and her new owner. (March 13, 2014)
(Foxy and her new owner. March 13, 2014)

The puppy’s story has helped increase the number of adoptions from the animal shelter.

“We are extremely thankful for all of the concern Foxy has received in the community, and the amazing coverage that she received from local media,” Kent County Shelter Supervisor Carly Luttmann said in a statement. “We’ve had quite a few people come into the shelter, interested in Foxy, but adopted other pets. Foxy’s story has helped raise awareness for what we do here, and opened a lot of hearts.”

Spokeswoman Lisa LaPlante said adoptions increased 20% the week Foxy was found.

Among the animals who benefited from Foxy’s story was Anchovy, a 3-year-old cat. Foxy was seen playing with the cat in a video posted on the animal shelter’s Facebook page. Someone saw how patient Anchovy was with Foxy and decided to adopt him in late February, according to the shelter’s Facebook page.

Anyone looking to adopt an animal can get more information at www.icpawz.com or call the Kent County Animal Shelter at 616.632.7300. Dog adoptions cost $50 plus a $12 one-year license. Cat adoptions cost $5, according to the shelter.

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