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What brightens any new home? For Rehoboth's mayor, it's a new rescue dog. Meet Minnie


Marina Affo   | Delaware News Journal
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Rehoboth Beach Mayor Stan Mills and his wife, Marcia Maldeis, don't have human children – but their fur babies are pretty good stand-ins.

So when a couple of their dogs died of old age in the last year, they knew they would eventually get others. About a week ago, they did just that and adopted Minnie from the Brandywine Valley SPCA's Georgetown campus. 

"We just love animals and being able to cuddle with them and catering to them and walk with them," Mills said.

Minnie is a mixed breed dog who was brought up from Hammond, Louisiana, by the Brandywine Valley SPCA through its partnership with Tangipahoa Parish Animal Services. The collaboration is helping the Louisiana shelter move from a 20% save rate for its animals to a 90% save rate by the end of the year.

"We've always believed it's much better to rescue animals than to purchase from a breeder, and that's just our philosophy," Mills said. "She might not have survived down there so we're very pleased to have rescued her and, of course, she is a great addition so far to our family, including our cats." 

Mills whispered while sharing that he and his wife will probably get another canine friend in the next six months. Then, he laughed, acknowledging that it wasn't a secret. 

"She's a partner in this crime," he said of his wife. 

The pair have lived in the Rehoboth area for 23 years – 22 of which have included dog and cat rescues. Minnie joins two cats already living in their home, and even the first night, Mills said she was sniffing her new animal siblings. Already, they seem to have a good relationship, he said. 

During this era of COVID-19, having a new pal in Minnie has also enriched their lives.

Mills and Maldeis recently finished building their new home with a sturdy fence, perfect for a dog. 

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"Some of the stress from building a house and moving into it is behind us," Mills said. "And we thought it was a great time to search for and introduce a new dog to our family." 

For anyone who is unsure about adopting a new furry friend, Mills said one of the best parts of being Minnie's humans is that they're enriching her life, as well.

Because she was a rescue, she could barely walk when she was brought to the shelter – she was paralyzed with fear – and had to be carried most places. When the couple brought her home, it was the same experience.

But in the past week, they've seen a lot of improvement. Minnie is now walking more around the house and will go on walks with the couple in their Rehoboth neighborhood.

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"You know, during the pandemic, of course, our social activities are cut down so this gives us a lot more indoor time, if you will, with a new dog," Mills said. "We just have looked forward to this opportunity for a long time." 

If you're interested in adopting a rescue animal or would like to get more information on pet adoption, visit bvspca.org

Contact Marina Affo at 302-353-0375 or maffo@delawareonline.com. Follow her on Twitter at @marina_affo