After being injured in an incident, Chester is one pup that captured the hearts of city officials.
As a puppy, Chester was brought with his mother and siblings to the Weatherford Parker County Animal Shelter after the owner was unable to care for them.
“The mother dog was very protective of her newborn pups and we had to work carefully around her. One day during feeding of the mom, a puppy got too close to the food bowl and the mother bit the puppy’s head. We immediately separated the puppy and had to perform some medical attention,” WPCAS Animal Services Operations Manager Eric Shumar said. “The puppy’s eye was injured along with his head/face. One of our vet tech employees took the puppy home for the night so he could be bottle-feed. She continued to take the puppy home every night and return with him the next day.”
Chester became part of Vet Tech Sarah Blackford’s life and routine.
“He didn’t eat for the first two days, but with a lot of care I got him eating a puppy food mush,” Blackford said. “He would wake up throughout the night and loved to eat once he got going. He didn’t care what time of the night, when he was hungry he’d let me know.”
Blackford began taking Chester home when he was about three or four weeks old on Aug. 7.
“A month or so later, [Chester] was in the city chambers at an Animal Shelter Advisory Committee meeting — we were sharing his story with the committee,” Shumar said. “One of the city IT employees present at the meeting became very interested in [Chester]. Both the IT employee and his wife work for the city and they started talking about [Chester] at home.”
That employee was city of Weatherford GIS Tech Chris Maxey.
“Chester was there in a batman cape sleeping next to Jackie, she’s one of the techs that works at the animal shelter. She was there with Chester to share his story with the board members. Chester stood out to me right off the bat because he was acting like a perfect gentleman in a room full of people,” Maxey said. “Since he was sleeping and Jackie did not share his story yet, I didn’t notice his injury. After hearing what happened to him and what the amazing people at the animal shelter did to save him, I knew he would be a perfect fit for our family. I always looked forward to hearing about his progress.”
After being neutered a few weeks later, which Blackford assisted on, Chester was officially adopted by Maxey and his wife, Becca.
“Chester is doing great in his new home. It took him a little while to warm up, but it doesn’t seem like he’s letting his injury slow him down. I am so thankful for the time, dedication and care the WPCAS gave to Chester,” Maxey said. “Sarah did a great job helping him develop social skills and commands. Chester knows the word ‘sit’ because Sarah took the time to train him. He will also sit without command when he knows treats are involved or it’s time to eat.”
Blackford said it was bittersweet to see Chester go.
“I started to miss being woken up at all hours of the night to feed my little man,” Blackford said. “But I’m super happy that Chris’ family fell in love with Chester and know they’ll be a great home. Plus as a fellow city employee, we’ll get plenty of updates on Chester.”
Chester is now settled in his new home with a companion to play with, Bruiser, who the Maxeys also rescued.
“He and Chester have become best friends. They are constantly running and playing, and when they finally get tired, will even take naps together in Chester’s bed,” Maxey said. “My family is so thankful that we have all agreed to volunteer our time to WPCAS to help the other animals there, just like they helped our Chester.”