Imagine going years knowing no one wanted you. This was the reality for one lonely pooch at the shelter. After seven years, would anyone come save her?
A Tale Too Long
A dog’s life is always too short – just ask any loving dog owner. So when a dog spends more time than is necessary in a shelter, it’s especially heartbreaking
for volunteers and shelter workers. A shelter’s goal for all of the homeless dogs is to find them each a wonderful forever home. But what happens when that’s an impossible task?
Imagine the utter dismay of volunteers at the Santa Barbara Humane Society in Santa Barbara, California, when finding that ideal forever home for a young, beautiful American Staffordshire terrier
proved to be difficult, to say the least. What would become of this wonderful young dog? Surely there had to be someone out there who would adopt her, wasn’t there?
Meet Dahlia, a female stray who found herself at the shelter at the tender age of six months old. Being a lovable, silly and playful pup, no one expected Dahlia
to be at the shelter for long. Wow, was everyone wrong. Dahlia sat at the shelter, day after day, watching those around her get adopted. But no one came for her.
Was She Unadoptable?
Why didn’t anyone want this gorgeous, soulful dog? Why was Dahlia left at the shelter, month after month and year after year? Volunteers couldn’t understand it. She was a
shelter favorite. Dahlia played in playgroups, took trips to the beach, lounged in the sun and played in the pool. How could other people not see how special Dahlia was?
As Dahlia’s stay at the shelter lingered on, reaching day number 2,531 – just shy of seven years – the shelter put out a desperate plea on its Facebook page, asking people to share
her story so this sweet girl could finally be adopted. Her story was shared roughly a thousand times as the heartstrings of animal lovers everywhere were pulled beyond capacity. Would she finally get her home?
The humane society was overwhelmed with inquiries regarding Dahlia. They received numerous applications from people interested in adopting her from all over the country. Dahlia even became a bit of a celebrity after
appearing on the local news and in news articles. But even after all of the publicity, Dahlia still hadn’t been adopted. Was her savior anywhere out there? What if Dahlia never found her home?
After poring over dozens of adoption applications, the humane society finally found Dahlia’s hero. An Orange County man had come to adopt Dahlia, and he was a perfect fit. After seven
long years, the Santa Barbara Humane Society’s longest furry resident had finally gotten her own forever home. But after such a long time, how would Dahlia acclimate to her new surroundings?
To Be Or Not To Be
The humane society wanted to adopt Dahlia to a local person so they could help transition her into her new home. Dahlia had been at the shelter for a long while and would need time to adjust to
a different way of life. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for dogs to be adopted and returned, sometimes multiple times. It can be difficult for a new dog to settle into a new home. Did Dahlia fare all right?
Right At Home
Volunteers and workers at the shelter were over the moon with Dahlia’s adoption. The sweet-natured pooch had finally found her forever home. The humane society kept tabs on how she
was settling in with her new surroundings. Numerous individuals contacted the shelter out of concern to find out how Dahlia was doing. Reports were all positive. Dahlia was doing very well.
A Lesson For Others
Seven years is a long time at a shelter, but Dahlia’s story is not that uncommon. Some dogs just get overlooked and end up staying at a shelter for years. The humane society
is hoping that Dahlia’s situation encourages others to adopt long-term residents. After all, homeless dogs everywhere – regardless of the length of stay at a shelter – deserve a home of their own.