BAY MINETTE - Last year was a wild ride. Not just for humans, but for animals as well. Three-legged, bulldog mix Justine was no different. Her story began a happy new chapter at the end of 2021, when …
BAY MINETTE - Last year was a wild ride. Not just for humans, but for animals as well. Three-legged, bulldog mix Justine was no different. Her story began a happy new chapter at the end of 2021, when Justine went to her forever home on a cattle farm. Also, she and her new owner share something in common - they're both amputees, increasing their understanding and bond.
"We were all so excited when Justine went to her new home on Dec. 21," said Beverly Poiroux, assistant director of the North Baldwin Animal Shelter. "Her new owner had her leg amputated when she was 9. She's 23 now, and when she came in Justine instantly went to her and laid her head in her lap. I think they're going to be good for each other."
It was a long road to Justine's happy ending. Just a few short months ago, she was abandoned along County Road 112 in Bay Minette, which Poiroux referred to as "a dumping ground."
"People are bad about dumping animals out there, so someone just left her there," she said. "She was found by a gentleman who brought her to us. She came to us with an injured leg."
Justine first arrived at the shelter on Sept. 25 and was taken to Delta Animal Hospital, the vet used by the shelter. There, she received her vaccines, but the vet delivered the news that her leg would have to be amputated. From there she made the trip to an orthopedic surgeon to have her leg removed. She returned to North Baldwin Animal Shelter for recovery. The entire operation to treat Justine was approximately $3,000.
"We babied her and took care of her," said Poiroux. "We knew we had to find her a home. She's a bulldog mix and they're so hard to place, and with a missing limb the odds were stacked against her, so we were determined to find her a good home. Two employees, Candice and Jennifer, took pictures of her and set up backdrops, they took the extra time and steps to find her a home and went the extra mile to make sure she got where she needed to be."
The staff made it their goal to find Justine a good home before Christmas. They thought they had succeeded when Justine went to a new home shortly before the holidays, but she was returned shortly after when she and the small resident dog already living in the home did not get along. The shelter staff did not give up hope, and immediately posted that Justine had returned and that they were still searching for her forever home. Not even a week later, Justine was heading to the farm that she would call her home.
"So far so good, everybody's happy as clams," said Poiroux. "I think Justine's new owner is super sweet, and I think as time goes on their bond is just going to grow and grow."
To date, the North Baldwin Animal Shelter has found homes for over 33,000 animals. The no-kill shelter is a private nonprofit organization. It also offers "compassion adoptions" for the senior and special needs dogs at the shelter. Poiroux said these dogs are older and looking for a good home to live out their lives, and not animals that will put a large medical expense on their owners.
The North Baldwin Animal Shelter is located at 1700 McMeans Ave. in Bay Minette. To learn more or to ask about the adoption process, call 251-937-8811. Follow them on Facebook @northbaldwinanimalshelter to see adoptable pets.