Pit bulls are regularly seen in shelters due to the restrictions on the general breed, but what many people fail to realize is, there are many different types of pit bulls. There is the American Pit Bull Terrier, the American Staffordshire Terrier, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier and if a dog is mixed with any of the above, then it’s considered a pit bull.
For one pit bull named Sheldon, life was far from enjoyable as he sat in a shelter, ignored by most. Until a special someone noticed him, that is.
Sheldon is a unique dog because unlike many of our furry friends, he is shy. He wasn’t warming up to staff or prospective owners, which caused him to get the nickname “grumpy”. But who could blame him? He had just been abandoned and put into a shelter where he knew absolutely no one. It wasn’t looking great for Sheldon…
Everyone knew that Sheldon had been apart of a family, as he was well taken care of and was more comfortable around people he had a chance to get to know. The pre-shelter life of a dog can make it hard for them to adapt to their new surroundings, and often, they know they’ve been left behind. In 2016, Sheldon found himself at the Maricopa County Animal Care and Control Center in Pheonix, Arizona.
When Sheldon first arrived, he was obviously sad about his situation. The many volunteers that make up the center tried to comfort him with snacks and playtime, but nothing would help. He attempted to show he was a good boy by offering his paw and sitting on command, not understanding it wouldn’t win him a home. Over the next few weeks, no one came for Sheldon and there was little interest from new owners, as he was incredibly shy.
They knew they had to make a decision because he couldn’t live there forever, and the shelter was known for euthanization.
There are anywhere from 600-800 pets at the shelter at any given moment, so Sheldon was having trouble getting noticed. However, there was one woman who noticed this unique pup, and she kept tabs on him regularly. It had been nearly 90 days that he had been in the shelter, and Heather Haltmeyer wasn’t going to sit around and let this happen any longer.
Heather’s main job at the shelter was to take pictures of the animals to post on their social media accounts as well as their cages. The goal is to get each animal noticed for their individual personalities and match them with forever homes. She knew that Sheldon needed some serious help getting noticed, so she started snapping–and the images are incredible.
What Heather noticed was the moment she put a bow-tie on him and gave him the special attention that comes with a photo-shoot, he blossomed. He instantly came alive in front of the camera, as if he knew the point of the project. He started showing off his personality and even showed her some of his best tricks.
She even made a huge realization about the dog, that many didn’t know previously.
Although Sheldon seemed sad, even grumpy, most of the time, he actually wasn’t. The expression on his face gave the impression that he’s never having a good time, yet he is actually extremely playful. He was a natural in front of the camera, not something many dogs can say.
As she kept shooting, the pictures kept getting better and better.
Heather, along with all the other volunteers, keep the Facebook page updated at all times, in hopes that the pets in their care will find forever homes. Updating the public on Sheldon’s poses became a regular thing,“We may be biased, but we think Sheldon should be a doggy celebrity with all those expressions. Think of all the fun you could have taking pictures of him if you adopt!”
Was anyone going to adopt poor Sheldon?
Heather wanted everyone to know what kind of dog he is and his personality so that he would never end up here again. It’s important to get a dog that fits a family’s lifestyle and needs, which is why she continued to fight to give him another chance at life, “Sheldon is a great dog with a great energy level. He’s not crazy hyper, but he’s no slow-poke either. Sheldon is equally happy to sniff around on his own or come over for some pets and attention.”
All they had to do now, was wait.
It’s hard to believe that no one wanted Sheldon, as that face is so lovable. In fact, many people felt the same way which is why he quickly became a hit all over Facebook, “He looks a bit like a grumpy old man. Oh, somebody please help him to turn his frown upside down.”
One woman saw Sheldon and knew he was perfect for her.
When Emily saw the posts on Facebook, she knew it was the right fit,“I fell in love with his serious expressions in his pictures and knew he belonged in my house.” However, it wasn’t going to be easy getting Sheldon, and time was ticking.
The shelter in Arizona that Sheldon was at had received a lot of heat in the last couple of months. As an attempt to help with overcrowding, the shelter had euthanised 25 full-term puppies. Although people were outraged, the shelter didn’t get rid of their kill policy and Sheldon was in danger.
Good news for Sheldon! After three long months of living in the shelter in the shadow of death, he was rescued by Emily. The two started their adventure together with a little excitement and nervousness, as you can see here.
Ever since his rescue, Emily has been documenting their adventures.
Emily has reported that Sheldon, who is now known as Castiel, is doing so well. He not only loves to lounge on the couch, but he’s made many kitty friends while wandering the courtyard in his house. If you’d like to keep up with their adventures, you can check out their Instagram page named “Official Grump Dog”. In the bio, it described him as, “Judging you always… Professional Grump, Destroyer of Socks.”
And we couldn’t be happier.