Charley, dog found on river, to be offered for adoption soon

Pup recovering from mild cold in care of foster family

Charley, a Pug and Shepherd mix found on Milwaukee's Kinnickinnic River.

Charley, a Pug and Shepherd mix found on Milwaukee's Kinnickinnic River. Photo By C.T. Kruger

April 3, 2013

Charley is about to finally get a new home.

The two-year-old Pug/Shepherd mix found in mid March on a slab of ice floating on the Kinnickinnic River is scheduled to be neutered April 4 and offered for adoption April 5 at the Elmbrook Humane Society.

Humane Society officials said Charley is recovering from cold symptoms that prevented him from being adopted earlier.

"It's the kind of slight cold that includes stuffiness and watery eyes that any of us could get," said Rachel Coolbroth, director of Community Relations and Development. "Right now, Charley is in foster care with a Brookfield family. He is being nursed back to health and is getting an opportunity to be with a family."

High interest

The Humane Society is expecting a large turnout of those who want to adopt. The more than 100 calls the organization first received swelled to well over 1,000 inquiries, including calls from other states such as Illinois and Michigan.

Anyone who wants to take Charley home will have to be prepared, said Animal Care Manager Lorraine Sweeney. The Humane Society hours begin at 9 a.m., but adoptions do not take place until 1 p.m.

"This is going to be a first-come, first-serve situation," Sweeney said. "We will need to have anyone interested in adopting Charley to bring everyone who lives in the household. If there is another dog or dogs, they should come too because we want to see that everyone gets along."

Sweeney also recommends that interested parties complete an application before arriving on Friday.

"Anyone interested must be prepared to adopt," she said. "We cannot hold an animal until someone makes up their mind. We have done that in the past, but it has not worked."

The individual or family that successfully adopts Charley will be getting a gem, Coolbroth said.

"He's silly and sweet," she said. "He behaves like a puppy, even though he's two years old."

Charley's journey

Charley's adoption story began with misfortune for his previous owner, a Milwaukee County resident that lost a house in this tough economy. Not able to care for several animals, Charley's owner shipped him to a family friend.

On March 17, a man spotted Charley floating on ice in the Kinnickinnic River. He alerted police who rescued him. He was taken to the Milwaukee Area Domestic Animal Control Commission. His owner wanted him to go to a no-kill shelter, so he wound up at Elmbrook.

There, he was bathed, microchipped and showered with love and attention, Coolbroth said. His foster stint is a stepping stone to going to his "forever home."

"We wanted him to be ready for adoption by now," Coolbroth said, "but his cold kept him from being neutered. We did not want to put him under a general anesthesia (for neutering) in that condition."

Sweeney said the fanfare over Charley has a halo affect for the more than 30 dogs and 40 cats at the shelter. She said while a majority of adopting families prefer puppies and kittens, older animals can be a perfect fit.

"Only one family can adopt him," Sweeney said. "But when they get here, they will see we have so many other animals ready for adoption. If they are ready to adopt, we have plenty of other animals who will make a great addition to their home."


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