WALLINGFORD — A longtime shelter dog will start the new year in a new home.
Domino, a 4-year-old male pit bull mix, spent almost three years at the Wallingford Animal Shelter and left for his new home on Thursday.
“This is the best Christmas gift ever,” said Katie Ehlers, town animal control officer. “I think he’s going to be a really good boy. He just needs to get home and chill out.”
Affectionately known around the shelter as “Dom,” he needed a home with no small children and no other pets. His new home is in Wallingford with a woman who just bought a house with a big yard, Ehlers said, which is “perfect.”
“I can’t think of a better situation,” she said.
The woman contacted the shelter and started the application on Tuesday. Kimberly Inglis, an animal control volunteer, inspected the home Wednesday, and Domino went home Thursday.
Inglis and her brother, Shane Pasanio, created a YouTube video about Domino and launched a campaign to find the dog a home by Christmas.
The Record-Journal published a story on Domino’s situation on Dec. 21. Ehlers said the story drew lots of attention, as did a subsequent television news story and social media shares.
“We received a ridiculous amount of calls,” she said. “With all of the hype that he caused, a lot of people have been coming into the shelter and we think that other dogs are going to get a home because of that.”
Domino arrived at the shelter neutered and vaccinated in March 2014 and he has not had any medical issues since, Ehlers said. But he will need basic obedience training to help adjust to being in a home again.
The shelter raised some money for the training, offered by the Knotty Dog in Torrington. After three years in a kennel, “he needs to relearn how to be a dog in a house,” she said.
Many local businesses also donated goods and services for Domino’s new owner.
Wallingford restaurant Knuckleheads and Middletown gastro-pub Celtic Cavern both gave $100 gift certificates. Thomaston Feed in Cheshire regularly donates dog food to the shelter, and some of the more than 3 tons that the pet supply store has given this year will go home with Domino. Little Shop of Howlers in Hamden offered a year of grooming.
Celynna Linton, whose dog Bella went missing from the town of Chaplin and was found dead in Wallingford, donated the adoption fees for Domino and two other shelter dogs, 2-year-old Lula and 3-year-old Maisie.
Lula is the shelter’s next “project child,” Ehlers said. The female pit bull mix arrived last March, and with Domino’s departure she’s now the dog that has been at the shelter longest.
“She’s been an excellent dog,” Ehlers said.
Rocco, a 4-year-old former Wallingford shelter dog, is also on the shelter employee’s minds. He’s currently being housed at the Dan Cosgrove Shelter in Branford.
The Wallingford Animal Shelter can be reached at 203-294-2180 or email@example.com.