“Why don’t you just put him to sleep?”
A question that Leslie Renner, the executive director of The Humane Society of Preble County, Ohio, heard a million times. When it came to Higgins, the sanctuary’s longest resident, people weren’t always very kind. The senior German shepherd has spend a considerable amount of time inside his kennel bars.
Even after years at the shelter, he is yet to find a forever home.
Higgins first arrived at the shelter when he was a small puppy. As expected, he was immediately adopted. But life hasn’t been easy for this little doggie and he returned back to the shelter in 2012.
“We heard he was nothing more than a dog chained up to a dog house,” Renner said. “About a year later, someone walked in with a stray dog — and it was him.”
“Nobody ever came looking for him,” she added, “nobody ever cared.”
The doggie was comfortable with being alone. Because of this, he had to be the only pet in the house, limiting his adoption potential. While Renner knew this, she always thought that Higgins would eventually find a home. But he just kept getting passed over and over again.
“People are looking for puppies or dogs that are 6 months old,” Renner said. “When he came back he was a year old, and then two and then three.”
But after a year, adopters stopped looking at Higgins altogether. They thought there was something probably wrong with him if he hadn’t been taken in after so much time.
“His face always had such a worried look on it that he was a little intimidating when he was in his kennel,” Renner said. “People just walked past him.”
It was Higgin’s 2,381 day in Renner’s shelter. It was also the day Brendon Reed walked into the shelter. The moment he entered, he said, “I’m here to take Higgins home.”
Of course, Renner was surprised with this sudden declaration.
Reed has seen an online picture of Higgins. The 22 year old man had just bought his new home and he knew that he didn’t want anyone other than Higgins living with him in that home. “He was just a beautiful dog,” Reed said. “He just seemed so cute … I don’t know how he didn’t get adopted.”
It took him six and a half years, but Higgins finally found a home. Right now, he’s adjusting into his new life, finally learning how to sleep on a couch watching TV and running around his own backyard full of grass.
But the newest addition in his life has been his father. Someone who loves him who makes him feel wanted and safe from the stresses of his long shelter life.
“He is just so happy, it’s kind of crazy,” Reed said. “He just likes to chillax.”