When a dog gets adopted, they have lots of reasons to feel stressed and confused. They’ll likely need a few days, weeks, or even months to feel like they truly belong in their new home. But not every family has that kind of patience. And sadly, no one has been willing to be patient with the longest shelter resident at the Waco Animal Shelter.
Rusty has been in shelters for over 419 days now. Every time he gets a happily ever after, he’s quickly returned. Sadly, his last family only kept him for a single day. But it’s unfair to expect any dog to adjust that quickly. Poor Rusty needs someone who can truly understand him.
Waiting for Forever
Rusty arrived at the Waco Animal Shelter when he was still a puppy. His family at the time gave him up because they thought he was “too hyper.” But with enough research, they would’ve seen that most puppies are hyper at first. This event left Rusty scared and lonely.
For two months, Rusty stayed in a foster home, but then he was sent with a transport of dogs up to an Idaho shelter, where they were more likely to get adopted. While many of the other dogs in the transport found happiness, Rusty continued to wait. Then, after two months in Idaho, he was sent back to Texas. They said it was too hard to place him in a home because “he wasn’t dog-friendly.”
“Over the next few months, Rusty became depressed and frustrated, causing him to act out in his kennel and be highly reactive toward other dogs,” the Texas shelter wrote.
In November 2020, Rusty was finally adopted. But he was returned a month later because he was destructive. Then, at the end of March 2021, Rusty got a second chance when a couple fell in love with him. He thought that he had finally found the place he belonged.
Unfortunately, Rusty’s new family returned him after only 24 hours together. They said he was “too much work,” and that was that. But it makes sense that he would be a lot of work. He spent the past 419 days in shelters, so the sudden change of scenery was sure to make him nervous. They didn’t even give him a chance to get into the groove of things.
Help Rusty Find a Home!
Now, Rusty is looking for a forever home once again. And he truly hopes that it will stick this time. He would prefer a home with no dogs, cats, or young kids. All he really needs is someone to love him, be patient with him, and focus on his training. After all, many amazing dogs have been returned to the shelter numerous times, so Rusty still has a chance at happiness!
If you’re planning to bring a dog home, please remember that it’s a big adjustment for the dog, no matter their history. After all, it takes about 3 days for your dog to relax and be themselves, 3 weeks for them to settle in, and 3 months to build trust with their family. So, no matter how overwhelmed you feel at first, it’s important to give your new dog as much time as they need.
Rusty is still on the lookout for the perfect family, but things are finally starting to look up. The Humane Society of Central Texas posted a video update on Facebook sharing that the pup has received a lot of interest. They are also grateful that his adopters made the tough decision to return him.
“We are not at all upset with his adopters. They did the right thing bringing him back because he is a lot of work, and he did nip at them,” a shelter employee explained. “Not every dog is right for every family. We know there’s a lot of judgment going on about the family that returned him. But, you know what, they didn’t let him go in the street, they didn’t let anything happen to him, they acknowledged he wasn’t the right dog for them, and they brought him back.”
A few days after that video was shared, a new rescue announced that they had taken Rusty in. The Humane Society of Central Texas did an incredible job caring for Rusty, but they agreed that he needs a new environment where he can decompress. So, he’s now staying at Pearl’s Place in Temple, Texas. Hopefully, this adjustment is what he needs to find his happily ever after.
If you’d like to adopt Rusty, please contact Pearl’s Place for more information!
Update 12/16/2021: Rusty is finally home! Pearl’s Place worked hard to help Rusty and found that all he needed was a chance to be himself.
“Well Folks, Rusty aka Zuko (now) found his forever family by the Grace of God. The Baca family was here looking for a puppy to adopt. Mr. Baca didn’t appear to really be into puppies and asked to see what other dogs we had. Rusty caught his eye and we told him everything we knew about Rusty. I took him out to the play area and explained that he was going to want to follow me. They gave him time brought him back in. They then asked if they could take him out again. The second time Rusty decided that he could trust a little more and the ball started to roll. The Baca family decided to take Rusty home on a Foster to Adopt trial.
“Foster to Adopt turned into Foster fail and our Rescue story has a blessed and happy ending.
“Rusty has left the building NEVER to see the inside of a Rescue facility again.”