Mickey is a 6-year-old dog that has been at the Nebraska Humane Society for four months and needed to find himself a family.
Officers with the La Vista Police Department proposed teaming up with the shelter for a new program called “K-9 for a Day.” The project entails shelter dogs join a local police officer for a ride-along. Mickey was selected as the first dog to participate.
The project aims to help get shelter dogs like Mickey some extra exposure with potential adopters. In addition, it also gives them a break from the shelter, which can sometimes be a stressful environment for many animals.
“We love this partnership,” said Pam Wiese, a spokesperson for the Nebraska Humane Society. “The dogs are more relaxed, and they are able to showcase their personalities as they interact in a more normal, natural way.”
Captain Bryan D. Waugh suggested his department pair up with the Nebraska Humane Society for the program after hearing about a similar initiative in Green Bay, Wisconsin. He thought it would help the shelter dogs in La Vista.
“Any agency looking for a great community policing opportunity would benefit from the program while strengthening the relationship with their partners at local animal shelters or rescues,” Waugh said.
The officer picked up Mickey and brought him to the station to collect a police patch for his collar before they headed out to some stores to make friends with shoppers. Mickey also went for a walk and seemed to especially enjoy sticking his nose out of the police cruiser while driving.
“It was obvious our first dog Mickey had a great day,” Waugh says.
Mickey’s day was documented in photos, videos and newspaper articles. That’s how Shannon Andresen spotted him, immediately fell in love and decided she and her boyfriend Tyler Nelson should go over to the shelter to adopt him.
“I said, ‘Tyler, get me that dog and you’ll make me the happiest girl in the world,’” Andresen said. “Game over.”
The couple visited Mickey that weekend. On Saturday, they played with him at the shelter and by Sunday, they had put in the adoption paperwork and brought him home.
Mickey has been with them ever since, and “he is absolutely perfect,” Andresen says.
Andresen brags about Mickey’s good manners, how cute it is when he plays with his toys and how much he likes to snuggle. Even Mickey’s snoring is charming, Andresen says.
This is exactly what Wiese hoped for when she sent Mickey out for his ride-along. It is also what she hopes for all the other dogs. Wiese says the program will likely happen once a month.
“We were thrilled that Mickey’s exposure got him a new home and the right home too!” Wiese says. “That is really what our mission is, finding a good home for every pet.”
“We absolutely love him,” she says. “He’s so perfect that I can’t get over it.”
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