All shelter animals are just waiting for the day they’ll finally be adopted, but it takes some a long time to find a home — like one sweet 9-year-old cat, who spent his entire life in the shelter being passed over.
But now, Barney’s story finally has a happy ending.
Barney has been in the care of Emmet County Animal Shelter since he was a kitten. According to People, Barney’s mother was pregnant and found in a feral cat colony; an animal rescuer took her in where she gave birth to her kittens, including Barney.
The kittens were brought to ECAS and placed up for adoption, but for whatever reason Barney was always passed over.
“He just didn’t get picked,” shelter director Kristy Henning told People, saying that while Barney was “super outgoing and affectionate” there were just more cats then adopters at the busy shelter.
“Although Barney is handsome, healthy, friendly and outgoing, so are 100+ others in our care,” Henning told Newsweek. “It’s really a supply and demand issue in most Midwest and southern states. Our supply is often astronomical, and the demand for adopting a cat or kitten is quite low.”
For the next 9 years, ECAS tried to find Barney a home, but no one would take him. The poor cat spent his whole life at the shelter waiting to be adopted.
But Barney’s fortunes changed last month after a Reddit post about him went viral. “Meet Barney, he’s been at his shelter since he was born,” the post reads. “He’s 9 years old and the happiest looking cat you’ll see today.”
The post got over 53,000 “upvotes” and over a thousand comments, with many expressing their love for the sweet cat and wondering why he hasn’t been adopted yet.
“HOW HAS THIS BOY NOT BEEN ADOPTED?” one comment reads. “Barney is beautiful! He’s never had a home! I wish I could adopt this majestic babe and give him the best life,” another wrote.
Thankfully, several people even expressed interest in adopting him: “I put in an application, he’s adorable and I love him! I hope someone gets him soon if I don’t!” one comment reads.
After 9 years of no success, the shelter received 15 applications to adopt Barney, including one from Amanda Scherer.
“I was scrolling through Reddit and he popped up … I saw him and thought he was super cute,” Scherer told the Des Moines Register. “They said he’d been there for nine years, I really wanted to give him a home.”
Though the Scherer family lived six hours away from the shelter, they were happy to make the trip and give Barney the home he deserves. While he was nervous in his first few days, Barney has been warming up to his new family.
A follow-up to the viral Reddit post shows Barney enjoying his new home: “Barney’s new family is showing him so much love and wanted to share him getting comfortable with all of his new [toys],” the post reads.
No cat should have to spend that long in a shelter, but we’re glad Barney’s long wait is finally over and he has a sweet forever home!
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