Gabriel's new owner gives back to local shelter

BUFFALO COUNTY, Wis. (WEAU) -- Wednesday night, WEAU brought you an update on the once severely malnourished dog, Gabriel.

On November 1, Gabriel was brought to the Dunn County Humane Society weighing around 23 pounds when shelter staff say he should have been closer to 60 pounds.

At that time, he was believed to be a stray. Authorities say they later learned the woman who dropped him off was in fact his owner.

Gabe went to a foster home in December. This week, the adoption was finalized with his new owner, Henry Chan, as Gabe got a clean bill of health.

Chan says he wants to use Gabe's story to raise awareness about the importance of all local animal shelters and rescues.

Henry Chan is working hard to keep his "boss" happy.

"He makes sure I measure twice and cut once," said Chan.

Chan is volunteering his time to help finish some projects at the Buffalo County Humane Association under the close supervision of his newly adopted dog, Gabriel.

"He doesn't bark orders at me," said Chan.

Chan officially adopted Gabriel from the Dunn County Humane Society on January 7.

But he adopted another dog - Lucky - from the Buffalo County Humane Association many years ago. Lucky passed away in November 2016. He was 15 years old.

Chan says when he saw a post about Gabriel, he felt ready to adopt another dog.

"He was in such rough shape when they took him in and two months later he can play for two hours and I'm getting worn out," he said.

Chan says he wants to use the attention on Gabe to advocate for local animal shelters.

"We want to use Gabe with his situation to let everybody know shelters are so important. Of course he came from Dunn County, but it's not just Dunn County, it's every shelter," said Chan.

At the Buffalo County Humane Association, Chan got involved with the building project about a year ago.

"I saw they had posted on their Facebook page looking for someone to help do some tile work. I'm like, I can do it. So I'm like, I'll volunteer," he said.

Chan is the owner of Shanghai Bistro in Eau Claire and says he learned some basic construction skills from remodeling restaurants.

"Did tile work, and I was snooping around and walking around and I'm like this is a beautiful building. It's brand new, it's like 99.9 percent done. I'm like all right, I gotta stay on it. I can do this, I can do that, just let me do it, and they're like okay," he said.

"Henry's been a lifesaver. He's been really good. We wouldn't have all this done if it wasn't for Henry," said Brenda Miland with the Buffalo County Humane Association.

Miland has a special bond with Henry Chan.

"I was actually the person who adopted Henry his first dog (Lucky)," she said.

She's grateful that connection brought Chan back to help get this building fully operational.

Henry Chan says he's even more motivated to give back having Gabe by his side, and he hopes Gabe's story inspires others to give back to their local animal shelters.

The Buffalo County Humane Association is located at 950 North Eau Claire Street in Mondovi.

After issues with a previous contractor a few years ago, which delayed finishing the building, the shelter is currently fundraising to finish the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system.

The hope is to finish an isolation room, a kitten room, and the dog kennels in the near future.

The cat room at the building is open during limited hours.

To learn more about the Buffalo County Humane Association, click here.