Michael Mason James and Chance pause in front of JACCC.

By ELLEN ENDO, Rafu Shimpo

When a husky dog was found running around the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center’s Noguchi Plaza on Jan.18, Little Tokyo Business Improvement District (BID) safety patrol officers Michael James and Jessica Degadillo knew what they had to do: Find the dog’s owner or find him an adoptive home.

The mission began with a photo in The Rafu Shimpo. Phone inquiries about adopting the stray began to pour in almost immediately.

Before meetings could be arranged with the dozen or so prospective new owners, a worker at a Little Tokyo convenience store offered to keep the dog over the weekend. But when the convenience store worker brought the dog home, he was told that pets were not allowed. The husky ended up at the East Valley Animal Shelter, 17 miles from Little Tokyo.

Thus began a frantic quest to rescue the dog…again.

Miraculously, the husky was found among photos of more than 90 canines in the shelter database. Still, shelter workers were reluctant to release the dog to BID officer Delgadillo, who was technically not the dog’s owner. Delgadillo feared the gregarious husky might not do well in a shelter, alone and in a cage.

The situation appeared hopeless; that is, until BID captain James walked into the shelter office. The husky immediately started crying, ran to him, and put his paws on James’ shoulders, as if asking for a hug.

“I guess he’s your dog,” concluded the shelter worker.

More than a dozen individuals, couples, and families had inquired about adopting the dog, but it became clear that he had already chosen his forever home — with BID captain James.

The dog now lives with James and his two young children. They named him Chance.

“What else would you call a dog that has had so many second chances?” said James.

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