After months in a shelter, dog finds forever home in Seymour


Woody ran laps as fast as he could in the backyard of his home one Friday evening.

The beagle mix dog’s ears and tongue were flapping in the wind as he jolted through different areas of the yard.

It was a joyful and typical moment for a dog.

But Woody isn’t a typical dog, and the moment would not have been possible without the care of his new owner and a few volunteers.

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Named after the main character in “Toy Story,” Woody is a rescue dog and spent 283 days at Mercy Rescue and Adoption in Hayden.

The organization, founded in 1995, operates solely on donations and volunteers. They pay to spay and neuter animals and get treatment for any conditions they may have.

“We focus on the hurt, the old and pets with the major bills,” board member Heather Chase said.

Woody needed treatment for a condition caused by eating too many crawfish, a sign he had been running as a wild dog previously. The rescue also paid for him to be trained for proper behaviors.

He shakes and gives kisses and high-fives.

The organization at 6870 W. County Road 300N in Jennings County had adopted him out twice. One family said he barked too much, and the other experienced allergies.

The third time was the charm when Chase found him a forever home in Seymour.

She didn’t have to look far to find someone to adopt Woody. Her sister, Brittney Findley, agreed to adopt him and provided a forever home.

Chase had tried to get Findley to adopt the dog before, but she had just lost her dog of 10 years in February.

“I really wasn’t ready when she first asked,” she said.

Findley said she had volunteered at the rescue and spent time with the dog then.

“His story of being in the shelter for so long touched my heart,” she said.

She realized months later that things were lonely at home without a dog. Findley and her daughter, Madison, eventually agreed to adopt Woody, but there was one issue: Their home didn’t have a fence in the backyard.

Woody needed a fence because of his anxiety around other dogs. He fears them, which Chase said could be a sign of his history of abuse.

Chase got the idea to approach several businesses to see if they would be interested in helping build the fence. Tractor Supply Co. in Seymour decided to donate a lot of the materials for it, and six individuals donated money.

“Without Tractor Supply and those individuals, Woody wouldn’t be here,” Chase said.

To make it even better, seven volunteers helped build the fence over the course of 13 hours Oct. 12.

“I’d never built a fence before, but we had a few engineers who knew what they were doing,” she said.

The fence was completed, and now, Woody lives with Findley and her daughter.

“I knew this would be the best place for him,” Chase said. “He loves it here, and he’s a member of the family already.”

For Findley, she said Woody has a great personality and a loving attitude. Findley said it also doesn’t matter how long the two have been apart, Woody is always excited to see her.

“Every time I walk into the room, his tail starts wagging, and he is always happy to see me,” she said. “I could have rounded the corner and been gone for five seconds, and he would be happy to see me come back in the room.”

By most measures, Woody is a great dog. He is quiet and well behaved but has fun when throwing a toy in the backyard, Madison said.

“I love Woody,” she said. “He’s a great dog for us.”

Findley is thankful for the volunteers who have cared for Woody and for those who helped her bring him home.

“It shows the rare breed of individuals out there who have the dedication and passion for those animals who can’t speak for themselves,” she said. “When you have people like that who step up, it’s truly amazing.”

Once more, Woody waited patiently by the back door, eager to go outside.

Findley motions to Madison to let him out, and once the door is open, Woody takes off in his new backyard.

It was a moment only possible because of caring people who didn’t give up on man’s best friend.

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