Every shelter dog dreams of the day they will finally be adopted, but it can take some longer than others to find their forever home.
It can be especially difficult for older dogs, who are often passed over by adopters. Some of these dogs become their shelter’s longest resident, and have to wait for that special person to take a chance on them.
That was the case for one dog, who waited over 200 days in the shelter to find a home. But thankfully, his patience paid off and this sweet rescue dog now has a perfect new home.
Cano, a 9-year-old dog, arrived at Orange County Animal Services in April. He was found tied up outside a veterinary clinic.
“Cano has had a difficult time adjusting to shelter life, mostly because of his fear and distrust of other dogs,” the shelter wrote.
Despite all the difficulties he’s faced, the shelter described Cano as an “exceptionally friendly” and “mellow” dog. He was neutered and vaccinated and put up for adoption.
However, it seemed like no one was interested in adopting him — likely because of his age. At 9 years old, Cano is a senior in dog years, putting him at a disadvantage when it came attracting adopters. And because of his fear of other dogs, the shelter asked for a one-pet household.
Orange County Animal Services knew it would take some extra effort to find Cano a home, but remained determined. “We’re basically looking for a unicorn adopter here; someone willing to take in a senior dog who doesn’t currently have any pets of their own,” they wrote on Facebook.
“That person is a rare find, but we know they are out there.”
As months passed with no luck, Cano became the shelter’s longest resident. They resorted to some unusual methods to help get the word out.
Earlier this month, OCAS purchased billboard space to promote their dogs. As their longest resident, Cano was one of the featured pets:
The billboards were a success — just not for Cano. Heartbreakingly, the shelter announced that while fellow shelter dogs Davey and Miller had gotten adopted thanks to the ads, no one was interested in Cano.
“Why isn’t it working for Cano?” OCAS asked. “He wants to know, as do we.”
Making things even more discouraging, Cano was quickly approaching 200 days in the shelter.
But then, they finally got the miracle they were waiting for. On October 23, the shelter announced that, after months of waiting, Cano had finally found his forever home!
“We are so incredibly happy to announce that Cano has been adopted by the Rodriguez family,” OCAS wrote. “They told us they had seen his billboard many times, and had seen some of the posts. But it was Friday’s news story that really decided it for them. They saw he was a sweet senior dog, eager to be loved. They couldn’t bear the thought of Cano spending another day without a home. So they opened up theirs to him.”
For the shelter that had worked so hard to find Cano the perfect forever home, it was a beautiful moment to see him finally at peace.
“It was as if he knew,” they wrote. From the moment he was taken out, there was a sigh of relief and a weight lifted. “Cano was placed gently inside his new family’s vehicle, and he just leaned into their love. Closed his eyes and relaxed.”
“He was finally on his way to happiness. He was finally on his way home.”