There are so many dogs in shelters just waiting for someone to come along and give them a forever home, but sadly some have to wait longer than others.
One mistreated dog waited three years in a shelter. It didn’t look like anyone would ever adopt him… but his shelter never gave up and worked hard to finally find him the home he deserved.
In October 2016, a dog named Bentley was rescued from a cruel and neglectful home. He was found tied up and abandoned, and brought to the Pennsylvania SPCA.
Growing up in a neglectful home, the 102-pound American Bulldog never got the proper socialization he needed, and was frightened by many things in his new surroundings.
Still, his new carers fell in love with the big gentle dog.
“He’s different than a lot of dogs I’ve spent time with that he’s almost human-like,” Bentley’s shelter mom Kayla Dorney told FOX 29.
“He knows when you’re upset and he knows when you’re having a hard day and he’s that dog who is gonna snuggle up right next to you.”
Despite a rough start, Bentley got the care and attention he needed at the SPCA. They taught him commands like “sit” and “paw,” and got him neutered and up to date on his vaccinations.
But it was still difficult to find him a home. While Bentley was a kindhearted dog, he was still very skittish, and required a low-key household with no cats or children.
“He becomes frightened by some new things,” the PSPCA wrote on Facebook. “New people and items like hoods, sunglasses and hats can make him uncomfortable.”
But they knew he would be ideal for “someone really looking for a dog who is gonna spend time on the couch with them and maybe go for walks here and there,” Kayla told FOX 29.
But time went on with no takers, and eventually Bentley became the shelter’s longest resident. But they didn’t give up on him: as he passed 1,000 days in the shelter, his carers made a huge effort to get him a home.
They began #ThursdaysWithBentley, posting about him every week, hoping that just the right person would give him a home.
But after 1,076 days in the shelter—nearly three years, and half his lifetime—Bentley finally got his miracle.
A couple came in and inquired about adopting Bentley. The shelter asked that a potential adopters meet with Bentley first to get him acclimated, and it was clear that this was the perfect family.
Their years of hard work finally paid off as they watched Bentley head out the doors.
“We will miss him, but more than that, we will celebrate that we didn’t give up – you never gave up,” the PSPCA wrote. “We found him his perfect family.”
The couple made Bentley his own Instagram and posted a photo of him on his “freedom ride.”
Bentley’s new owners were happy to take on the responsibility of adjusting him to his new life.
“We’re just taking every minute of every day to get him comfortable with what it’s like to not be tied to a tree, and not be in a shelter anymore,” Bentley’s new dad told The Dodo.
They said that Bentley is getting used to little household things like the oven beeping and the feeling of their rug under his feet. They also say he sits patiently on their furniture like a person.
We’re so happy Bentley found his forever home after three years of waiting! We can tell he’s finally found the perfect family.
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