An Ohio-based animal shelter celebrated the long-awaited good news after a dog they housed for more than 1,000 days finally got adopted.

Meet 9-year-old Billy Bob. He, along with 12 dogs and 20 cats, was brought to the League for Animal Welfare in Batavia following two court seizure cases in April 2021. For the first year following his rescue, Billy Bob stayed with a foster family, but day in and day out, he waited for his forever family to step forward.

Devon Smith, executive director for the League for Animal Welfare, told Newsweek that potential adopters had no interest in Billy Bob during his nearly three years with them. People inquired, she said, but he was never close to adoption.

“His issue is that he’s VERY timid with new people,” Smith said. “It took a long time to gain his trust, and meeting new people was incredibly hard.”

That is until a little St. Patrick’s Day luck hit and Billy Bob was adopted on March 17 by a dad who has experience with anxious dogs. Smith said Billy Bob’s initial reaction on the way out was very nervous, but he has since been doing great in his new home.

Shelter dog Billy Bob adopted
Photos of Billy Bob. The rescue was adopted after living at a shelter for over 1,000 days and is now settling in at his new home and having fun with his doggy sibling.

League for Animal Welfare

Billy Bob has really taken to his new doggy sibling Oakley. They are even playing together and that’s not even a week of living together. There’s no doubt Billy Bob will only continue to grow with his new family.

Smith said the team couldn’t be more thrilled for Billy Bob. As much love and care they give these animals, she knows there is no substitute for a loving home.

The League of Animal Welfare shared the news via Facebook and viewers were overjoyed. The post had over 858 likes, 122 comments, and 80 shares.

“Yay! I hope he has the happiest life!” said one Facebook user.

Another added: “I’m not crying…you’re crying. We are all shedding tears of joy for this promising outcome!!”

Unfortunately, there is another dog from the same neglect case still living in the shelter. Zumi was brought in with Billy Bob.

“Billy Bob and Zumi are symptoms of a much larger shelter dog crisis,” Smith said. “Dog adoptions are down in shelters all over the U.S., hitting a crisis point in 2023 and into 2024—it’s led to overcrowded shelters; increased euthanasia for space; and the length of stay for dogs going up dramatically.”

Dogs like Billy Bob and Zumi are at a higher risk of being euthanized simply because it is hard to find a family who is willing to work with their special needs.

Each year, 6.3 million pets enter U.S. shelters at an average of 17,260 a day, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The number of dogs and cats taken in by pet shelters hit 46,807 last January, an increase of 1,744 compared to January 2022, 24Petwatch’s Shelter Watch Report found.

Around 920,000 surrendered animals are euthanized every year. Shelters are striving to minimize euthanasia rates by promoting adoption campaigns, spaying and neutering programs, and behavior rehabilitation.

“We hope Billy Bob’s story encourages more people to go to THEIR local shelter and ask which dogs need a home the most, but may be getting overlooked,” Smith said.

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