Meet Capone, an old and gentle pit bull who had watched all his friends find forever homes while he remained behind at the shelter. Instead of being led out of his kennel to a loving home, Capone was often ignored or, at best, briefly acknowledged before being returned to his solitary confinement. One by one, his shelter-mates were adopted, leaving Capone as the only one left.
The staff at the Ionia County Animal Shelter were heartbroken. “For quite some time Capone was the only dog we had in the shelter,” Carly Quinn, the director, told The Dodo. “All the kennels were empty, except for sweet, quiet, kind Capone.”
Initially, Capone was adopted shortly after arriving at the shelter. However, due to conflicts with another dog in his new home, he was returned. The return sent Capone into a deep depression, so severe that he stopped eating. “He lost quite a bit of weight as he just didn’t have the appetite he did in his home,” Quinn noted. “We had to coax him daily with treats and various wet foods.”
Everyone could see that Capone was not just losing weight; he was losing a part of himself. “He was heartbroken,” Quinn said, “and anyone who has felt true heartache understands how proper diet takes the backseat.”
After his return to the shelter, Capone became a different dog. “The Capone we met in 2017 and the Capone we met in 2018 were two different dogs,” Quinn said. “After he was surrendered the second time, it seemed like he picked and chose his friends as if he felt truly betrayed. He became very attached to us shelter staff.”
Given Capone’s issue with the other dog in his previous home, the staff believed he would be best suited to a home where he would be the only pet. This proved to be more challenging than they thought.
Hoping to find the right home for Capone, the staff consistently posted his photos and story on their Facebook page. Even as the shelter emptied out and he remained, their resolve to find him a home only strengthened. Capone deserved a loving home, and finally, their social media efforts paid off!
Quinn found a message from a couple interested in adopting Capone. “They had fallen in love with his photos and his story,” Quinn said. “They came into our shelter later that day, they had already gone to the pet store and made him a custom name tag with his name and their information.”
Everyone was on edge, as Capone had become somewhat selective about his company since his return. What if he did not take to his prospective parents? To everyone’s relief, Capone ran straight
into the couple’s arms when he met them. “It was truly a tearjerker,” Quinn added.
When Capone finally left the shelter, the staff was a mix of joy and nervousness, worrying he might return. But as time went on, and they received updates on Capone, they realized he had truly found his happily ever after. The sight of Capone peacefully smiling and sleeping in his new home brought everyone a sigh of relief.