Shelter Longest Resident Finally Found His Loving House After 1000 Days

Shelters are like safe havens for stray animals, where dedicated vets and caregivers work tirelessly to shower these pets with love and care. While many animals find happiness in these shelters, deep down, they yearn for something more—a loving family to call their own. A forever home where they can enjoy all of the love and care—something that’s not always possible in shelters bustling with furry companions.

You see, shelters have their limitations. They can’t provide a lifetime of care to every dog in need, and that’s where adoption comes into play. It opens up space for more rescues while giving a pup a chance at a loving family. But, as life often happens unexpectedly, there’s a little dog at Humane Animal Partners who has been waiting so long for that perfect family to come and bring him home. And you know what? She finally waited until she found the place where she belonged.

Tessy is a Black Labrador Retriever mix who arrived at Humane Animal Partners, a shelter in Delaware, in January 2021 after being transferred from an overcrowded shelter in Texas.

No one has any idea about her past, and this lovely pup first ended up at the shelter with some nervous habits. However, as time went on, she received abundant love and care from the shelter, and that was when her fantastic transformation began.

With patience and lots of affection, Tessy’s true personality started to show. Though she was a bit wary of strangers at first, she couldn’t resist all the kindness she received.

“With lots of love and a little patience, Tessy let her amazing personality shine through, and she quickly became a staff favorite,” Humane Animal Partners wrote on Facebook. “She can still be a little unsure of strangers at first, but once she realizes nobody wants to hurt her, she melts into an affectionate ball of love!”

Even though she had a lot of love to give, Tessy’s persistent nervousness made it hard for her to find a forever home. She was adopted twice but ended up back at the shelter because of her anxiety.

Seeing the challenges she faced, the shelter decided to help her overcome her fears. They used positive training methods to change her from being fearful to feeling safe and happy.

“Tessy exhibited fear-reactive behaviors in the form of lunging, barking, and growling towards unfamiliar stimuli,” Leigh McKinley, a director at Humane Animal Partners said. “Our goal was to help her overcome those fears and learn to trust humans and her surrounding environment, essentially changing her emotional response from a negative to a positive.”

Over time, Tessy’s nervousness faded, and Humane Animal Partners knew it was time to find her a loving family. At this point, she had spent over 1,000 days at the shelter, making her the dog who had been there the longest. Just when it seemed like she might wait forever, her happy ending came into sight.

Jeanine Walker-Porter and Jeff Bush from Millsboro, Delaware, discovered Tessy’s story and instantly fell in love with her charming smile. They knew she was the one for them.

“Her story broke my heart. The first day I saw her and her smile, her pictures, I was just like, ‘She’s the one for me,’” Jeanine shared. “When I saw Tessy, everything that I wanted everything and everything [Jeff] wanted went out the window. We knew, ‘This is our girl.’ We knew that she was the one for us and we knew that she was completing our family.”

On October 20, Tessy finally found her forever family as Jeanine and Jeff officially brought her into their home, ending her 1,007-day stay at the shelter. It was an emotional yet heartwarming goodbye for Tessy’s friends at Humane Animal Partners, who saw her incredible transformation and the happiness she found in her forever home.

“It’s such an emotional adoption because she was essentially our dog for [nearly] three years,” said McKinley. “And to see that transformation over the course of these years, and now to see her so happy in a loving home like every dog should be, it’s just wonderful.”

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