Dogs
‘Unadoptable’ dog spends 800 days in shelter waiting for someone to take chance on him
Rusty only wanted to be loved.
Patricia Lynn
07.28.22

Rusty is a very sweet pup. This German Shepherd/Catahoula mix is looking for love, and he likes a lot of attention.

But unfortunately, Rusty ran into some hiccups on his way to finding his family.

For over 800 days, Rusty sat in the shelter, waiting for someone to take a chance on him.

Rusty was surrendered as a puppy in February 2020 because his owners found him too “hyper” to care for.

YouTube - KCENNews
Source:
YouTube - KCENNews

And that’s fair – it’s better to give a dog a chance at a better life if you can’t reasonably train and care for them.

Rusty had the benefit of being fostered for two months before being sent to a rescue in Idaho to have a better chance of adoption.

But that rescue eventually sent him back to the shelter in Waco, Texas, because he couldn’t get along with other dogs and they didn’t think they would be able to find him the right home.

Rusty grew depressed with his situation and the lack of constant affection he needed. And like any creature in a bad situation, that led him to lash out.

YouTube - KCENNews
Source:
YouTube - KCENNews

Unfortunately, that didn’t make his situation any better as families continued to pass him by for adoption.

But the staff at the Waco Animal Shelter refused to give up on him and helped him work through his behavioral problems.

The Humane Society of Central Texas allowed Rusty to join the Dogs Playing for Life program, which allows shelter animals to participate in playgroups regardless of their breed, age, behavior, or history.

It teaches them to socialize with other dogs.

Facebook - Humane Society of Central Texas
Source:
Facebook - Humane Society of Central Texas

Rusty also got some more behavioral training. He’s much-loved at the shelter and volunteers were determined to get him adopted into a good home.

“Rusty was by far one of the superstars in the group, learning every command and paying close attention to his handler,” the shelter reportedly said, according to People.

In March 2021, Rusty finally found a family to love him after spending 419 days in a shelter.

He was, perhaps, a little too excited. While it often takes some time for a dog to get used to new people and new surroundings, Rusty bit his new owners and acted out in a way that caused them to turn back around and return him after just one day.

He arrived back at the Waco facility on March 31, 2021, for his 420th day without a family.

Humane Society of Central Texas/Facebook
Source:
Humane Society of Central Texas/Facebook

Won’t someone love him?

The shelter posted a video on April 1st with an update – Rusty was still in need of a home, but they didn’t blame the family at all for returning 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. 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.”

YouTube - KCENNews
Source:
YouTube - KCENNews

And in the end, Rusty being returned to the shelter was a good thing. Because it led to him finding his forever home.

It took many more months, but after 800 days in the shelter, Rusty finally was adopted by the right family for him. The family renamed him Zuko.

YouTube Screenshot
Source:
YouTube Screenshot

Rusty is still learning ‘how to be a dog,’ but now, he has a wonderful family by his side to support him. We’re so happy Rusty finally found his forever home.

Check out a video about Rusty below!

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

By Patricia Lynn
hi@sbly.com
Patricia Lynn is a senior writer at Shareably. Patricia is based out of San Francisco and can be reached at hi@shareably.net.
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