A familiar face around the shelter at Manatee County Animal Services has officially been welcomed into a home of her own.
Ember, a 7-year-old American Staffordshire Terrier mix, spent more than two years in the MCAS shelter.
But Tuesday, she was adopted by Yvette Klausch, of Spring Hill, more than 85 miles north of Bradenton. Klausch heard and read about Ember through dog-rescue friends on social media.
“It broke my heart to find out there was a dog that had been there for two and a half years,” Klausch said.
Klausch had been interested in getting to know Ember since before Christmas, but was not able to make the more than hour-and-a-half long drive to Manatee County to meet her until January, according to Hans Wohlgefahrt, MCAS spokesman.
Klausch and her husband, Jim, already have three rescue dogs and four rescue cats. But they met Ember and decided to bring her home for the weekend.
But Klausch’s older dog and cat were skeptical of their new sister. Shelter staff and Klausch reached a foster agreement to allow Ember to stay in the home for a week. A week has officially turned into forever.
Klausch said they made a sign that said Ember wanted to make her visit a “staycation” and sent a picture of it to the MCAS staff asking to adopt her.
After a check-up with the veterinarian Tuesday, Ember was given the “all-clear” and the adoption was made official.
“She’s great, she’s a good dog,” Klausch said.
Ember arrived at the shelter on July 5, 2016, in poor health with little hair after she was found roaming through Bradenton.
After medical treatment, her health and hair returned, but she still has an ongoing skin allergy and some issues with dry eye, all of which can be treated.
In March, Ember was featured in the MCAS “Lucky Pet Promotion” after being at the shelter for more than 600 days, as reported by ABC Action News.
Shortly after, she was adopted by a family, but was returned to the shelter in August after they brought another pet into the home.
The Bradenton Herald featured Ember as an adoptable dog looking for a home for the holidays in December.
Kassandra Zess-Pagel, vice president of Friends of Manatee County Animal Services and an MCAS volunteer who regularly handled Ember, described her in December as a playful and attentive dog who is a “volunteer favorite” around the shelter.
Klausch described Ember as a morning dog, who loves to tear apart her stuffed toys and chase salamanders around outside.
“She’s a joy,” Klausch said. “She listens to commands and she knows where her treats are kept.”
Klausch encouraged others to give animals in shelters a chance at a new life through adoption.
“I think that adopted dogs are more grateful or more loving because you can see the change in a dog when they know they’re home,” Klausch said. “I don’t know how dogs feel, but the look in their eyes when you’re walking by them in a kennel or shelter, there’s just a look. When they’re home, they know.”