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Dog’s Returned To Shelter 11 Times Before Staff Realizes He’s Had A Home All Along

Written by: Dee Michaels
Dee Michaels is a passionate and accomplished writer, renowned for his heartwarming and engaging stories on more
| Published on December 21, 2023

Gumby was brought to the Charleston Animal Society (CAS) as a stray in September of 2014. Over the course of the next year, the dog would end up back at the shelter 11 times after being adopted out. It turned out the hound mix was a talented escape artist, and he would constantly run away from his new home and end up back at the shelter. The CAS staff finally realized he was trying to tell them something…


Gumby quickly became known around the Charleston area for his Houdini-like escaping skills after arriving to the no-kill shelter in 2014.


The shelter did everything they could to try to find Gumby a forever home, but he kept ending up back at the shelter. He showed back up at their doorstep 11 times throughout the year. They didn’t know what to do.

His first adoption only lasted three days. The next one, just six. The staff started to warn every family about the dog’s tremendous ability to escape, and the third adopter was determined to make it work.


But the Hound was returned to CAS four more times. On one occasion, a Good Samaritan found Gumby and brought him in. Another time, it was animal control. He was brought back by his adopter two more times.


In March, Gumby was adopted by his fourth family. The shelter hadn’t heard anything about him for four months, and they thought this was it — he’d finally found his forever home. Then in July, Gumby was returned as a stray once again.


Gumby was adopted for a fifth time in August, this time ending up at a sister shelter of CAS nearly 30 miles away.



Back to CAS he went only to be returned by his sixth adopter shortly after.


In December, they gave it one more try. Gumby was adopted, but like always, it didn’t last long. The adopter said the dog escaped three times in a month, one of those times busting through the screen door!



The Charleston Animal Society finally gave up on trying to find Gumby a forever home. What they hadn’t realized is that he had a home this entire time — at the shelter. Gumby loved the attention given to him by the staff and was comfortable right where he was. He was happy and wanted to stay.


Gumby has always had an uncanny way of comforting the anxious and fearful dogs at the shelter, and they felt like part of him wanting to stay was the fact that he had work left to do.


Gumby officially became part of the shelter and was even given the title of General Manager. He’d help the team with behavioral demonstrations in addition to playing with the other dogs and spreading his love.


The staff may have put an end to trying to find Gumby an adopter, but they never gave up on him.



It’s not a traditional home, but the shelter is the place Gumby has always wanted to be. He’s found his purpose in life.


Additionally, the staff recently discovered that the serum from Gumby’s blood has healing properties. He’s now a blood donor for kittens with eye infections! Just another reason Gumby fits in perfectly at the Charleston Animal Society. We couldn’t be happier for him!