Shelter animals have often been through ordeals that we can’t even imagine, so it’s understandable for them to feel scared, defensive, or depressed when arriving at the shelter. Many animals have experienced mistreatment from humans, so building up their trust again is something that takes lots of time and patience.
So when one nervous pit bull mix arrived at Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter, volunteers expected that they would have to work hard to get the scared dog to come out of his shell. But remarkably, within no time at all, the sweet little guy had settled into shelter life, and he wanted to show his love for the humans who treated him so nicely – by giving out hugs.
The loving pup now hugs anybody who comes in to pay him a visit, and it’s remarkable how he is still yet to be adopted! He really is one of the sweetest dogs we’ve come across.
Toro the pit bull mix was first discovered chained to a fence at an abandoned house last October. Rescuers at Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter suspected that he had lived outside his whole life, therefore were prepared to help Toro become accustomed to life at the shelter.
“When he first came in, he was very nervous and shut down,” Melissa Fogarty, kennel and placement supervisor at Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter, told The Dodo. “He’s become more comfortable with people he’s used to, but is still a bit nervous in the shelter setting.”
Although he was nervous, Toro soon began to show the shelter that he was in fact a dog who was full of love. One morning when out for a walk, the sweet dog decided that he was going to give Melissa a big hug – and that was just the beginning of many hugs to come.
“I was probably one of the first people to take him out for an actual socialized walk when he came in,” Melissa said. “The hugging happened probably within 15 minutes of having him out loose in our side play yard. He just kind of crawled up to me, climbed on my lap, and pressed himself against my chest … from there it grew and now he hugs all his friends here.”
Soon, it wasn’t just Melissa who was lucky enough to receive a hug from Toro. The loving pup had plenty more love to go around and began to hug anybody who he came into contact with.
“Every time he comes out of the kennel, his first reaction is to hug the person walking him, and anyone, really, he comes in contact with,” Melissa said.
Surprisingly, despite being one of the most loving dogs you could ever encounter, Toro is still waiting for his forever home. He was adopted back in January but was returned after a week and a half after not being a good fit. But Toro hasn’t let these moments set him back, and the sweet dog still gives out his hugs like there’s no tomorrow!
“I honestly think he hasn’t been adopted because he’s a middle-aged pit mix living in a high-intake municipal shelter,” Melissa said. “He gets lost in this sea of dogs that don’t show well in their kennels.”
Who could say no to a pup like Toro? We know we certainly couldn’t!
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