I Support Pet Adoption

Friday, March 12, 2010

The Happy Ending Project: Eli's coming...

Another in a series of stories written by volunteers about dogs they helped save. These stories illustrate the wonderful outcomes that are produced through our volunteers' commitment to saving these animals. I hope you will find them inspiring!


Eli’s Allies

Eli was the typical big black dog, stuck at the shelter because he just didn’t have the looks that people were after, maybe a little too scary. Other than his being big and black (statistically the hardest dogs to re-home), he also looked like a Pit bull. What other reason could explain why he languished for so long at the West LA Shelter?

It all started at the old West LA shelter when Eli first arrived. When one of the volunteers took him out for the first time, they noted that “he seems like a great family dog!” Hey, that’s a good start for a shelter dog!

But somehow he went unnoticed by all the families who came to adopt from the shelter. After a few MONTHS of sitting around, Eli started getting what we call “kennel crazy” which means a dog is becoming more anxious, neurotic and sometimes aggressive. Eli was even charged with “unnecessary roughness” one day playing with a volunteer (even though he really meant no harm).

Once a dog is labeled as unpredictable at the shelter, it can be extremely difficult to get him adopted, especially a big black Pit Bull looking dog. That said, the shelter was patient and the volunteers kept campaigning for him in hopes that he would suddenly connect with the right person.

Nevertheless, time marched on without mercy. Eli was headed towards the red list.

Once Eli was on the red-list, things started looking pretty grim for our boy. He was more nervous than ever and he seemed miserable being confined to his kennel. This is about the time we start to wonder if it is too cruel to keep a dog in captivity for that long. He was so unhappy and was not getting the attention that he so desperately needed. Yet, we kept networking and hoping that Eli’s ship would come in…

Finally, good news! One of the shelter employees found someone who was willing to take Eli. He would be living on a big property with lots of freedom to roam around outside. With high hopes, we bid Eli good-by and good luck…fingers crossed!

We kept getting updates about Eli and although it didn’t sound like the perfect situation for Eli, it was certainly better than the alternative! A few weeks later, he was back. It turned out he had some issues with chickens…

Sadder than ever, poor Eli sat alone staring out of his kennel.

sad Eli at the shelter

Weeks went by and Eli did not get adopted. This second round was more brutal than the first. Sure, a few people looked at him but he just wasn’t the right fit and at this point he just seemed like a square peg. We all worried about what would become of him?

Scheduled for death, we all held our breath. Would all the networking help? Did he have a chance?

At the eleventh hour, Fresno Bully Rescue came to his rescue and swept him off to his new temporary home. The greatest thing was that he was going into a foster home and apparently that’s what this boy really needed!

Human companionship was the key to Eli finding a home. He LOVED being a house dog, being with his person and sleeping on soft beds. He quickly calmed down and became himself again; just like the Eli we first met at the shelter so many months before.

Eli at his foster home

Eli did great in his loving foster home. It didn't take very long before he had a permanent home and loving family. Eli, the big black Pit Bullish dog, was now someone’s pet, companion and the love of their life!

Eli chillaxing at his new home!

Thinking about Eli always gives me hope for our long termers at the shelter… There is a home for EVERY dog, we just have to find it!

*beautiful picture of Eli by photographer Seth Casteel


Adopt don't shop!!!

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