Shelter Dogs Become Best Friends After Failed Adoptions, End Up in Same Forever Home

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Moonstone-Moonstone, who we affectionately called “Moonie”, was a 1-year-old pit bull mix found as a stray locally in Dayton, Ohio and released to Humane Society of Greater Dayton from a local high-kill shelter on August 2, 2019. She must not have had a great life before coming to us as she was covered in old scars.

She spent some time at the shelter getting healthy and going through some basic training classes where she was learning so many skills. She was adopted on October 15, 2019, but she was returned two months later because of unrealistic expectations of how much work a dog requires; they were not able to give her the care, training, and attention she needed. She spent more time here at the shelter and unfortunately kept getting overlooked and passed by.

She was adopted again on December 21, 2019 at our “Home for the Holidays” event that we have every year to try to find dogs homes in time for Christmas. After only a weekend, she was returned because she hadn’t bonded with the person and had shown some anxious and destructive behaviors while left alone in the home. So yet again, Moonie was back at the shelter hoping and waiting for someone to choose her and finally get her forever home.

Banzai – Banzai was a 1-year-old Akita/pit bull mix found as a stray locally in Dayton and transferred to the Humane Society of Greater Dayton from a local high-kill shelter on November 18, 2019. He quickly got adopted on November 30th but less than a month later was returned. He had eaten part of a metal crate, which had to be surgically removed, and the adopter decided she wasn’t able to give him the care and attention he needed.

PHOTO: JENNIFER HURST

He stayed at the shelter for a while and then he was also adopted at our “Home for the Holidays” event right before Christmas. Less than a week later, our shelter manager received a devastating call from the local emergency vet. Banzai had been severely attacked by two dogs running loose in his neighborhood while he was tied up outside in his backyard.

Banzai was in terrible shape. When animal control came to the house he was laying on the ground, not moving, with bite wounds all over him. The owners couldn’t afford his care and opted to have him euthanized. Fortunately, we decided to take over his care and fight for Banzai’s life! We were told he had a 30% chance of survival but we wanted to give him that chance!! Banzai was a fighter!

Despite being covered in bites all over his neck, legs, and chest, and horribly swollen because of his wounds, he pushed through with a positive attitude and made it!! The amount of care he needed was extensive and he spent weeks at the shelter recovering physically. Luckily, he didn’t seem to be affected mentally from what had happened. His true happy, excited, (and a little mischievous) personality started to come through again!!

We were worried that he would be traumatized from what had happened and may not be as trusting with other dogs again but boy were we wrong! He actually bonded really closely with Moonie who was in the kennel right across from him.

Moonie and Banzai- Days, weeks, and months went by without either Moonie or Banzai having any interest from potential adopters, perhaps because of their breeds or looks, because of their energy levels, or for reasons we just don’t know. One day, a pair of volunteers asked if they could take them out together. We were hesitant at first because of what Banzai had been through as we didn’t know how he would react to another dog.

PHOTO: JENNIFER HURST

Each day, we had staff or volunteers take them outside together, and they quickly became best buddies! Always running, playing, chasing, and snuggling together in the dog park! If a volunteer only took one of them outside, the other was visibly upset and would cry and howl because they wanted to be with each other. Both dogs were high-energy, strong, smart, confident dogs that would take a lot of effort and training and individually were each A LOT of dog! We thought we would be lucky for them to just be adopted individually (and hopefully sooner rather than later).

Then on February 13th, 2020, right before Valentine’s Day, a potential adopter was interested in Moonie. Once he heard Moonie and Banzai’s stories and how closely they had bonded through all their adoption returns, traumatic experiences, and time spent at the shelter, and that they were able to find a best friend while waiting for their forever homes, he felt that he could NOT separate them and decided to adopt them BOTH!!!!

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It was a happy, excited, tear-filled goodbye as most of the staff and volunteers at the shelter that day lined up to say their goodbyes to our two longest resident dogs that had been through so much to get to that point. It was such a happy day that best friends Moonie and Banzai were able to go to their forever home, TOGETHER!

Story submitted by Jennifer Hurst.

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