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Sat., Sep. 5
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Long-time resident of Potsdam Humane Society finds a new home


POTSDAM -Baron von Willie, the longest temporary resident of the Potsdam Humane Society’s animal shelter, returned to the facility on Thursday morning.

But it was only for a visit - long enough for his new owner, Gabe Hinkley, to officially sign the adoption papers.

The 2-year-old pit bull mix had been calling the shelter his home for more than 628 days when a newspaper article pointed out his plight - adopted twice,with neither of those adoptions working out because of circumstances beyond his control.

His first adopted family had to give him up after they split and neither one could have a dog. Ditto for the his second adopted family, and Baron found himself back at the shelter again.

Once he was spotlighted in media coverage, Baron’s time at the animal shelter came to an end thanks to Mr. Hinkley, who along with his girlfriend saw the feature and fell in love with the dog.

“My girlfriend, Tiffany, before I thought about it, asked me, ‘Did you look at the picture on the website?’ He kind of just spoke to me with those eyes. I thought about it for a few days,” Mr. Hinkley said as he and Baron signed the official adoption papers Thursday morning at the shelter.

Baron’s $90 adoption fee had already been paid, but Baron continued to call the shelter home until Mr. Hinkley came along. They spent three weeks getting to know each other as part of the shelter’s “Foster to Adopt” program. That gives the pet and the owner a chance to see whether it’s a good fit.

In both cases, it was match made in heaven, and Baron was set to become Mr. Hinkley’s first dog since 2008.

“When we got to my house, he was a little uncomfortable at first. But he acclimated within 48 hours,” Mr. Hinkley said.

Now, he said, Baron stays by his side, walking together about three times a day, and he has developed a relationship with Mr. Hinkley’s girlfriend and children.

“He’s great with my kids. He has settled right in. My kids love him,” he said.

Baron has already displayed some of his abilities in the short time he has been with Mr. Hinkley.

“He’s extremely intelligent. He’s able to open my girls’ dresser drawers and take things out of there. Two or three drawers are open when I come home,” he said.

With Baron’s adoption now official, one of the dogs who has taken over the title of longest temporary resident is “Bubba Chubba,” a 3-year-old pit bull mix. He and other animals are available through the regular adoption process, as well as via the “Pets for Vets” program in which all veterans, active or retired, have their adoption fees waived with an approved adoption application.

The Canton VFW Post 1231 matched donated funds to help kick off the program. All memorials for Anne Ellis have also been directed to the Pets for Vets Fund.

Contribution checks to help support that program can be mailed to the Potsdam Humane Society, with “Pets for Vets” on the memo line.

Check the Potsdam Humane Society’s website at, email them at or phone 315-265-3199 for more information about “Pets for Vets” or any other program.

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