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Wish comes true: Dog, cat find home for holidays

BRADENTON — Rachael, the mixed-breed boxer who held the current record for the longest stay for a dog at the Humane Society of Manatee County, has a new home.

So does Delsie, the toothless cat who held the current record for a feline.

Rachael is now in the arms of a loving Bradenton family who adopted the dog Tuesday afternoon. She had been at the Humane Society since October 2006.

Maryetta Gandy, who lives in Bayshore Gardens, said she had to have Rachael after reading about her in Tuesday’s Bradenton Herald.

“I saw her face in the paper this morning, and that was it. I knew it was my dog,” said Gandy. “I saw her face, and I knew there was something about that animal.”

Ginny Koczynski adopted Delsie, the 5-year-old cat who has lived at the shelter since June 2006.

“I have just been bereaved of one cat when I read about Delsie,” Koczynski said. “I really wasn’t looking for another cat, but what pushed me over the edge was the fact that she has no teeth. That’s what spoke to me the loudest, and the fact that no one had adopted her.”

Delsie is going to have a lot of company in her new home. Koczynski has three adult cats, named Spud, Polly and Nathan, and a dog named Phoebe.

Rachael and Delsie were not the only lucky animals to get a new home for Christmas.

After their photos appeared in the Bradenton Herald on Tuesday, the Humane Society experienced a record day for adoptions. In all, 10 cats and three dogs were adopted by day’s end.

Among the lucky cats were Snowflake, which had had the second-longest stay at the shelter for a feline, and Trisket, who held the third-longest. Trisket is 14.

Denise Deisler, the Humane Society’s executive director, was thrilled.

“I don’t know if this would have happened without that story and pictures,” Deisler said. “This is a dream come true for the staff. We are so happy.”

Both Rachael and Delsie are timid animals who never drew much attention when prospective owners came to look for a pet, according to Humane Society spokeswoman Hildy Russell.

“Rachael has come a long way during her stay at the Humane Society, overcoming extreme fear problems, Russell said. “She is a very skittish dog so when people would come look at the dogs, Rachael would head straight for the back of the kennel.”

Gandy said she was having breakfast Tuesday morning with her son, Ishmeal, 19, who is visiting from North Carolina, when she saw the picture of the dog in the paper.

“She yelled out she wanted the dog. Twenty minutes later here we are,” Ishmeal Gandy said while his mother signed adoption papers at the Humane Society.

After filling out the paperwork, the proud new owners claimed Rachael as their own.

“She’s ours! The adoption is complete,” Maryetta Gandy said.

For caregivers at the Humane Society, finding a home for Rachael made their holiday.

“We were all saying finding her a home would be a Christmas wish come true,” Deisler said. “And it happened. We couldn’t be happier.”