Pandemic delayed adoption of pit pull, unfolds inside SEA Airport

KING COUNTY, Wash. — Inside the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport an unlikely introduction unfolded as a man, fresh off a flight from Canada, greeted a young pit bull in the terminal.

The dog–named Cash–is the next-to-last dog to be adopted from the Humane Society for Tacoma and Pierce County from an abuse case that began in mid-December.

Cash was one of 37 dogs taken by the shelter and described by staff as malnourished and terrified after the sheriff’s department removed them from Elmer Givens Jr.'s Tacoma home.

Deputies seized more than 40 dogs, along with syringes, first-aid supplies and training tools that led deputies to question whether the dogs were part of a dogfighting ring.

Patrick, who didn’t want to share his last name, had followed along with the stories coming out of Tacoma.

“It’s been a long process and a long time,” he said. “We’re excited to finally meet him in person and bring him home to his sisters' and his new mom.”

Patrick said his wife specifically connected to Cash after her own difficult upbringing. It led her to help others–and Cash is the family’s latest effort to help someone else with a troubled past. A family friend was fostering Cash, which allowed them to introduce themselves to the dog over a number of FaceTime calls, but when the pandemic closed the Canadian border, they weren’t able to bring the dog home.

“Those were challenges, but we weren’t giving up on him,” Patrick said.

The family eventually found that they could travel to the U.S. by plane to pick up Cash in the airport, a decision that they didn’t hesitate to make.

“I’m amazed at the amount of hoops that they went through to make this happen,” said Victoria Gingrey, a communications specialist with the Humane Society of Tacoma and Pierce County. “It truly does make us all emotional to know this is coming to such a happy ending.”

Thanks to the pandemic, Gingrey said a number of families have stepped forward and become fosters–helping the shelter out as they have shifted their own operations to remain open.

Anyone interested in fostering or adopting a dog is urged to visit http://www.thehumanesociety.org/ to get details.