Dog Finds Furever Family After Nearly Seven Years in a Shelter

Higgins came to the Humane Society of Preble County as a puppy on September 23, 2012. The shelter workers watched Higgins grow through puppyhood and into his teenage-like years. The sweet boy was actually adopted once as a puppy but he came back to the shelter as a stray about a year later. Nobody came looking for him.

As Higgins approached six years old, the shelter began to accept that he was becoming a senior dog and would, therefore, be much harder to adopt. The shelter adopted out about 30 dogs per month, or 2,340 dogs, during the six and a half years that Higgins was there. Unsure why he was being passed up day after day, Higgins took to a lonely corner in his kennel. His once playful puppy demeanor now became glum and sad. He had been in the shelter longer than any other dog in the shelter’s history.

Betters Days On the Horizon

Higgins’ life turnaround when he met 22-year-old Brandon Reed. Reed had just bought his own house nearby and wanted to complete his family with a fur baby of his own. On April 30, 2019, Higgins finally went home.

“I wanted him to get out of there and have a home for himself. I wanted to give him a chance to live out the rest of his life in his own home,” Reed told

The executive director of the Humane Society of Preble County said that Higgins has a serious expression on his face that can be kind of intimidating, and perhaps that was hindering him from finding his family. Higgins was all smiles though as he proudly walked out of the shelter.

Reed’s mom, Michelle Freshour Reed, knows the importance of giving older dogs a chance- a trait she instilled in her son from a young age. Michelle Reed manages Halee’s Promise Dog Sanctuary. The sanctuary focuses its efforts on senior dogs and dogs who are in need of hospice care. It was started as a tribute to Halee, described as a beautiful dog who died of lymphoma in 2014.

The Second Part of Higgins’ Life Begins

The family has shared updates about sweet Higgins who appears to be adjusting to his new life just fine. He’s enjoying his own toys, especially his Kong. He even has some other fuzzy family members that he gets to play with in his very own backyard! It’s nothing short of a fairytale ending for Higgins.

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