A shelter dog got his happy ending over the weekend after spending 1,129 days at a shelter waiting for his forever home.
According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), 3.1 million dogs are surrendered to animal shelters in the United States each year, but only 2 million are adopted over the same period.
Kane, an American Pit Bull Terrier mix, spent more than three years at the Humane Society for Boone County in central Indiana before finding his forever home with one of the shelter’s volunteers. The shelter’s staff and volunteers were so thrilled with Kane’s happy ending that they even showered him with gifts at a going-away party.
Shelter volunteer Betsy Smith and her husband Jeremy McFadden adopted Kane and took him home on Friday.
Kane received a joyous send-off at the shelter Friday evening where volunteers gifted him new toys, dog-friendly doughnuts, gummies and cake. Some volunteers even held signs to honor his exit. The signs shared messages that included, “You can’t buy love, but you can adopt it,” “I’m going home!” and “It wasn’t my fault.”
Kane arrived at the shelter as a stray in 2020. A January post on Facebook advertising Kane as one of the shelter’s adoptable dogs shared that he knew basic obedience, enjoyed hikes and cuddling, and that he needed to be the only pet in the home.
Humane Society for Boone County Executive Director Susan Austin told Newsweek that Kane was the shelter’s longest resident.
“I couldn’t have handpicked a better couple to take him,” she said of Smith and McFadden.
Kane’s exit was bittersweet though, as many of the shelter’s staff and volunteers had helped care for him for years. “You could see the relief and sadness all at once,” Austin said. “There were tears from everybody.”
“We’re not quite ready to see another dog in that run yet,” Austin added, speaking through tears. “I came in early today, and it was really odd not seeing him in his run.”
Kane’s personality has changed since he left the shelter. His relief is obvious, Smith told Newsweek.
“Since he’s come home, already he has shown some changes,” Smith said, who worked with Kane for two years when she volunteered at the shelter. “You can feel his release of anxiety and stress. He’s started making a sound I’ve never heard him make before. He has happy grunts almost like a little piggie. It’s precious. He just seems to be living his best life.”
Earlier this month, Smith shared a Facebook update alerting her followers that it was Kane’s 1,117th day at the shelter. She then updated the post over the weekend to share the news that she and McFadden had decided to adopt Kane.
“On day 1,129 he is coming home to us, his family. A family that already loves him and accepts him exactly as he is, and will build their lives and home around his needs and hopefully his happiest dreams!” Smith wrote.
A GoFundMe page has since been established for Kane to help Smith and McFadden acquire all the necessary items to make the dog’s transition an easy one.
As of Monday afternoon, the GoFundMe had raised $3,000.
“I think we all knew that Betsy has been Kane’s person for some time now,” the GoFundMe post said. “Who better than to have his most trusted and loving human be the one to give him a ‘new leash on life.'”