Could you imagine spending year after year knowing that no one wanted you? One sad, lonely pooch knew this all too well. Would anyone come to her rescue?
Anybody who has a dog knows that a dog’s life is always too short. When a dog spends a majority of their life in a shelter, it’s always heartbreaking for the volunteers that work there. The purpose of a shelter is to find a loving forever home for every homeless dog, but what do they do if that task seems impossible?
Imagine how the volunteers at the Santa Barbara Humane Society in Santa Barbara, California felt when they couldn’t seem to find a forever home for a beautiful American Staffordshire Terrier. What was going to happen to this amazing young pup? There had to be someone out there who wanted to love her, right?
Say hello to Dahlia! Dahlia was only six months old when she was a stray pup that found herself at the shelter. Considering how loving and playful she was, nobody expected her to be at the shelter for too long. Unfortunately, everyone would be proved wrong. Day after day, Dahlia sat at the shelter waiting to be adopted. Sadly, no one came for her.
Why wasn’t anyone adopting this beautiful, sweet pup? What was the reason why Dahlia was stuck at the shelter for many years? Volunteers just didn’t understand it. Dahlia was a favorite of all the volunteers. She went on trips to the beach. She played in playgroups. She lounged in the sun and played in the pool. But how could nobody see how amazing she was?
As Dahlia’s stay at the shelter turned into almost 7 years – 2,531 days to be exact – the shelter posted on their Facebook page, sending out a plea for help. They shared Dahlia’s sad story in hopes of someone wanting her. Animal lovers were touched by her story, and the shelter’s post was shared roughly a thousand times! But would someone see her story and want to adopt her? That was the question.
The Humane Society received an overwhelming amount of inquiries about Dahlia. People from all over the country submitted applications to adopt the wonderful pup. Dahlia was even on the local news and articles were being written about her. But even though she became famous, nobody had adopted her yet. Was there anyone out there who wanted her? What if she never found a loving home?
After spending time going through dozens of applications, the volunteers finally found a hero for Dahlia. A man from Orange County had come to adopt Dahlia, and he was perfect for her. It had taken seven long years, but the longest resident of the Santa Barbara Humane Society had finally found her loving home. But she had been in a shelter for so long, how would she do in a new place?
The staff had wanted to send Dahlia to someone locally so they could ease her into her new home. Since Dahlia had been in the shelter for so long, it would take some time for her to adjust to a new way of life. Sadly, it’s pretty common that dogs get adopted only to be brought right back, sometimes more than once. It can be a bit difficult for dogs to transition into a new home. So how did Dahlia do?
The shelter’s volunteers and workers were ecstatic that Dahlia had been adopted. The sweet pup had finally found a place to call home. The staff at Humane Society kept checking in her, though, to make sure she was settling in nicely. There were even people calling the shelter to check up on her, as well. All of the reports were positive. Dahlia was doing well and loving life.
Seven years is a long time for a dog to spend at a shelter, but there are many dogs that have a story like Dahlia’s. Some dogs just tend to get overlooked and end up spending years in a shelter. The Humane Society hopes that Dahlia’s story encourages other shelters to adopt long-term residents. Homeless dogs everywhere, no matter how long they stay at a shelter, deserve a home of their very own.