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5 Long-Term Shelter Pet Stories That Are Tear-Jerkers

on March 15, 2021
5 long-term shelter pet stories that are tear-jerkers
dog adoption
cat adoption

Everyone loves a tear-jerking story. And pet-rescue has some incredible ones to share. 

According to the ASPCA, about 6.5 million companion animals enter U.S. animal shelters every year. And each year, about 3.2 million dogs and cats are adopted.

Pet adoption is becoming more popular. But the animals that still struggle to find forever homes are the ones that a lot of people pass in the shelter because of age, behavior, or health issues.

But what some people pass because they seem unadoptable is an opportunity for us to share their story.

No pet is unadoptable. Every homeless dog and cat deserves a forever home. Some might have special needs that require a little patience and attention. But with the right family, these unadoptable pets can find their forever home and the love they all want.

Their story might not be glamorous, but their heart is.


Here are five stories of homeless pets looking for their forever home.

Meet Daphne. Tabby Cat

Meet Daphne

Daphne is a 3-year-old orange Tabby cat. She is the most affectionate and playful cat at Great Plains SPCA, but she has had no one interested in adopting her.

She has no challenges but does have what some might consider a quirk. She doesn't like to be held. Then again, this quirk lives in us all at some point.

She might not like to be held, but she makes up with affection in other ways. She is sweet and loving and adores the attention she gets at the shelter.

She is treated like the queen she believes she is and dreams of being a queen in her own home one day. She will do best in a house with no other cats or little kids who try to pick her up.

Her favorite thing to do is curl up on her favorite rug and dream about her forever home. If she sounds like the cat for you, reach out to Great Plains of SPCA.

UPDATE: Daphne has found her forever home. 

Meet Oak. American Bulldog.

Winston, Once Oak, Found His Forever Home

Oak is a one-year-old American Bulldog. Just a few weeks ago, he lived outdoors on a chain with no chance of a good life. And today, he is happy and loved on at Great Plains SPCA after being rescued by the outreach team.

Although he has never had anything nice or experienced love, he is loving and sweet and loves attention.

He loves long walks or just snuggling up on the couch to watch tv. But because he never knew when he would get his next meal, he has some food aggression. He doesn't mean to, so he wants to find a home with kids over the age of 12. He needs to be left alone while he eats.

Some people have passed his kennel at the shelter and called him ugly, but Scott came along and told him he is beautiful and is now on a mission to find him his forever home. If you would like to meet him, contact Great Plains SPCA.

UPDATE: Oak, now known as Winston, has found his forever home. 

A note from the family: We love him and are so happy we saw your video. Shane has been uninterested in having a dog since his AB O’Malley died. His interest in Oak was immediate! He’s gotten SOOO much love and attention since he came home. He met all four brothers, two girlfriends, and even some grandparents.

We had a family vote, and we’re proud to say that Oak’s new name will be Winston.

Meet Baloo. Atika Dog.

Meet Baloo

Baloo is an eight-year-young Akita dog. He has been homeless for 400+ days.

He is a gentle giant, weighing in at 91 pounds, and loves to play and get back scratches. But because of his size, he needs a home with a doggie friend near his size and no kids under 12.

Baloo loves to snuggle and is excellent at entertaining himself in or out of his kennel. He knows basic commands like "sit, lay down, and kennel." And is house and kennel trained. He also doesn't do well at dog parks or around cats.

But don't let his age fool you. He is young at heart and will love you forever.

Meet him at Lucky 13 Rescue.

UPDATE: Baloo has found his forever home.

Meet Ophelia. Feline.

Meet Ophelia

Ophelia is a six-year-old grey and white cat and is currently the longest resident in the cat room at Great Plains SPCA.

She might be quirky, but the staff loves her personality. She loves to roam around the cattery and explore. She has luxating patellas, which cause her knees to get tired with jumping and climbing, so she likes the steps down from high places.

She loves scratching cardboard scratchers and never uses anything else. She loves rolling around and licking catnip leaves. And is playful and enjoys batting around toys.

If you love to cuddle, she will cuddle you back. She is gorgeous and sweet and ready to find her forever family.

Contact Great Plains SPCA to schedule your meet and greet.

UPDATE: Ohphelia has found her forever home. 

Meet Pluto. Shepherd Mix.

Meet Pluto

Pluto is a 10-year-old Shepherd Mix. He spent his entire life living outdoors on a chain. The Great Plains SPCA outreach team rescued him and is indoors and getting shown love for the first time in his life.

Pluto is very under-socialized, so his hero will need to be patient. Life away from the chain has been a little overwhelming, but he's already showing so much progress. Love is foreign to him, but you can tell that's all he wants.

He's not going to jump in your lap the first time you meet him. It's going to take some work with someone patient who is going to offer a ton of love. But when he does get comfortable with you, he will every-so-gently paw at you to ask for attention.

Pluto knows a few commands like, "sit, come, and shake." He is treat motivated and listens well to directions when he trusts the person. He doesn't know what toys are yet, but will be happy to learn.

Humans might make him nervous at first, but other dogs make his goofy side come out. He shows potential when interacting with small and big dogs at the shelter. And another dog might help him grow.

Pluto will make an excellent dog for a family with children 12 and older. But he needs to meet all family members before he is adopted to help him get comfortable.

Help give him a forever home established around love. Contact Great Plains SPCA to schedule a meet and greet.

UPDATE: Pluto has found his forever home. 

Adopt Don't Shop

Pet Adoption Requires Work But is Worth the Reward

As you can, stories of homeless pets can sometimes break your heart. But it is these same stories that offer hope. By adopting a homeless pet, you give them a forever home.

Even though some shelter pets require a little extra love and attention when you first bring them home, the reward is a pet who will love you forever.

You might have rescued them, but they end up saving you when they open their hearts to love.