Rusty the German shepherd/Catahoula mix just wants to be loved.
He’s a sweet dog that needs to be an only pet – and he likes lots of attention.
But it’s been over 400 days and this little guy is still living at a shelter. Luckily, it’s one that cares for him deeply.
Rusty is only 2 years old, but he’s already spent more than half of his life in a shelter.
He was surrendered as a puppy in February of 2020 because his owners found him too “hyper” to care for.
And that’s fair – it’s better to give a dog a chance at a better life if you can’t reasonably train and care for them.
Rusty had the benefit of being fostered for two months before being sent to a rescue in Idaho to have a better chance of adoption.
But that rescue eventually sent him back to the shelter in Waco, Texas because he couldn’t get along with other dogs and they didn’t think they would be able to find him the right home.
A good boy with bad habits.
Growing depressed with his situation and the lack of constant affection he needed, Rusty grew depressed.
And like any creature in a bad situation, that led him to lash out.
Unfortunately, that didn’t make his situation any better as families continued to pass him by for adoption.
But the staff at the Waco Animal Shelter refused to give up on him and helped him work through his behavioral problems.
Never give up
The Humane Society of Central Texas allowed Rusty to join the Dogs Playing for Life program, which allows shelter animals to participate in playgroups regardless of their breed, age, behavior, or history.
It teaches them to socialize with other dogs.
Rusty is also getting some more behavioral training. He’s much-loved at the shelter and volunteers were determined to get him adopted into a good home.
“Rusty was by far one of the superstars in the group, learning every command and paying close attention to his handler,” the shelter reportedly said, according to People.
A new life?
In March of 2021, Rusty finally found a family to love him after spending 419 days in a shelter.
He was, perhaps, a little too excited. While it often takes some time for a dog to get used to new people and new surroundings, Rusty bit his new owners and acted out in a way that caused them to turn back around and return him after just 1 day.
He arrived back at the Waco facility on March 31, 2021, for his 420th day without a family.
Won’t someone love him?
The shelter posted a video on April 1st with an update – Rusty was still in need of a home, but they didn’t blame the family at all for returning him.
“We are not at all upset with his adopters. They did the right thing bringing him back because he is a lot of work, and he did nip at them. Not every dog is right for every family. We know there’s a lot of judgment going on about the family that returned him. But, you know what, they didn’t let him go in the street, they didn’t let anything happen to him, they acknowledged he wasn’t the right dog for them, and they brought him back.”
We’re glad Rusty is in good hands, but everyone is still hoping he gets his chance.
He’ll need a home with a yard for him to run because he has trouble being leashed and the shelter would prefer he find a family that has a dog (or even cat) for him to befriend.
But homes with small children will not be appropriate for him.
If you’re interested in adopting or fostering Rusty, you contact the City of Waco Animal Services.
You can scroll down below to see Rusty in action.
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