It’s every shelter dog’s dream to find their forever home, but it can take some pets longer than others to get adopted.
These pets often form a special connection with the shelter staff, who get to know them over the months and years. And when the day comes when they finally do find a home, it can be an emotional moment saying goodbye.
When one dog finally left the shelter after 500 days, his carers gave him a very special farewell.
Joey, a pittie mix, arrived at the Niagara County SPCA in 2019, and it took him a while to find just the right home.
He needed to be in a household with no small children or other pets, but the SPCA still held out hope there was a home out there for this “handsome and calm and loving” dog.
But the months went by, and soon Joey became the shelter’s longest resident.
But videos of Joey’s sad story moved the hearts of many people online, including Daryl Koczaja and Melissa Leuer.
“I remember watching his videos over and over while crying and thinking to myself, ‘Someone needs to help this poor baby,’” Melissa Leuer told The Dodo. “Little did I know, it would be us.”
The couple expressed their interest in adopting Joey, and after meeting the dog in person, they felt an instant connection and knew it was meant to be.
Joey’s happy ending was finally in sight, which meant it was time to say goodbye to his old friends at the shelter.
But when the day came for Joey to go to his new home, the employees knew they had to give him a special send-off.
“The staff always wanted to make sure the shelter dogs knew how loved they were, so a special send-off was started by us so the dogs knew how much they meant to us and to make them feel happy about going to their new home,” Kimberly LaRussa, founder Sweet Buffalo to the Rescue, told The Dodo.
So, all the employees said goodbye to Joey in a special way: they all placed a lei around his neck.
The flowery garlands around his neck served as a symbol for the love so many people had for this beautiful dog.
“It was really beautiful to see him with all the leis he accumulated towards the end of the send-off,” LaRussa said.
It must’ve been a bittersweet moment for these shelter employees, but thankfully they’ve kept in contact with Joey.
His new owners have shared updates about Joey, saying that he has settled in well to his new home.
“We absolutely love Joey so much and trust me he’s really spoiled,” the owner wrote. “He’s really an amazing dog that has so much love to give…words don’t describe how amazing he is He’s been adapting really quick in his new home and we’re just loving every minute we get to spend with him. He also listens really good and he’s definitely a very well behaved puppers.”
“It still brings a tear to our eyes on how long he was there, but you could tell that he was loved by so many people.”
We’re so glad this dog finally found a home, and got such a sweet send-off. Please share this heartwarming story ❤️