Samson is a 17-month-old bully breed boy who came to Haven Animal Rescue and Community Outreach (fka Safe Haven Humane Society) on Jan. 29, 2018 from an overcrowded open-admission shelter in Kenosha, WI. He had been seized from a neglectful situation and wasn't doing well in that hectic and crowded shelter environment.
Samson was placed in one of our finest foster homes. The Kenosha shelter had already diagnosed him with cerebellar hypoplasia, which is a non-progressive disability caused when part of the cerebellum is not completely formed at the time of birth. This causes Samson to have some jerky and uncoordinated movements that are mostly only noticeable when he's overtired or trying to go up and down stairs or in and out of a vehicle. Shortly after Samson entered his foster home, we noticed he wouldn't respond to loud noises or commands. Our own vet confirmed that, on top of his neurological disability, Samson also is profoundly deaf.
Samson's disabilities have been a challenge, to say the least. He is a sweet, good-natured dog, whose other senses are constantly in overdrive in an attempt to make up for what he cannot hear or understand. Samson is easily overstimulated and requires a consistent routine, an environment that is not busy or chaotic, and humans who can interact with a laidback, patient, and firm approach. Unfortunately, he has not been able to stay in our foster care program as it has become evident that he needs to be the only pet in a home without young children. In his short life, Samson has moved through two foster homes and two shelters (He was placed in our small shelter building but soon became too overstimulated in that environment too.)
We are not ready to give up on him! Currently Samson is staying at Liberty K9 Lodge, where he is getting amazing care from the kind, patient, and very experienced staff. When it's play time, Samson has his own dog run in between two other dog runs and enjoys running the fence line down and back again with his neighboring canines. When he's tired, he has the ability to decompress in a quiet, stimuli-free area. The staff is careful to interact with him without excitement and in a gentle but firm manner, and he is THRIVING! So far, the daycare and boarding arrangement has worked wonders for him, and we'd love to be able to keep him there while we continue the search for his perfect forever family.
Haven Animal Rescue and Community Outreach is made up completely of volunteers of different experiences, and we have amazing veterinary and training partners in our community too. Recently we took Samson to his favorite vet, and we all agreed to try an anti-anxiety medication to try to calm Sam's overactive brain and senses. As the medication and new environment start to settle him down, we are hoping to bring in our team of trainers to re-evaluate him and put together a new training plan that we all can use to prepare him for his forever family.
Samson has been featured on local and national news outlets, and has garnered a few adoption applications, but none have been a good match for his special needs. One other thing we'd like to do is to promote him through a wider network to try to find that very special family that we know is out there somewhere.
Donations to Samson's Second Chance Fund will help pay for Sam's extended stay at Liberty K9 Lodge, follow up veterinary care and medication refills, behavioral training sessions, and social media and other advertising to reach potential adopters.
Samson is a goofy, lovable boy who deserves as many chances as we can give him! Please help us provide the care he needs and the opportunities to finally find his forever family.