The reason Opie, a 6-year-old chow chow mix who is calm and happy, spent so long at The Humane Society of St. Lucie County is a little mysterious. Opie was one of the softest dogs in the shelter, resting in his crate when people walked by as opposed to barking uncontrollably, according to Shannon Glendinning, the marketing director for the humane society. He even became a “playgroup rock star” because of how well he got along with the other puppies at the shelter.
Nevertheless, he remained in the shelter for 838 days, staying there until the very last day of August, when his new family came to pick him up following a community campaign to eventually place him in a temporary family. After residing at the Florida Humane Society for more than two years, Opie has the longest stay of any animal. However, he contributed greatly during those two years. While looking for a place of his own, he would attend humane society gatherings like “Bark at the Park,” acting as a spokesperson for shelter dogs.
Even more crucially, he would assist the society’s trainer in testing the reactivity of other puppies, according to Glendinning. He enjoys running around with people, which fits his free-spirited personality perfectly. It was puzzling that he couldn’t find an adopter despite having so much going for him and nearly no limitations on a potential home (he couldn’t live in a home with cats, though). He was constantly pushed by the humane society, but everyone seemed to have an excuse for refusing to take him.
The owner of Big Apple Pizza in Fort Pierce, Scott VanDuzer, decided to lend a hand. As part of his campaign to release Opie, he approached a local TV station to do a piece on Opie and promised the potential adopter a $500 gift card to his restaurant. A local real estate agent paid the dog’s adoption cost, while another person gave $500 for his food.
According to Glendinning, the news broadcast took place on August 26. After meeting Opie the following week, his new owner and his daughter took him home. The humane organization declared the long-awaited adoption on Facebook, writing, “There are no dry eyes tonight.” According to Glendinning, Opie’s new family just sent the staff a picture of him relaxing while his father barbecued. He establishes a crucial truth: Just because a dog spends a lot of time in a shelter, it doesn’t necessarily signify that something is wrong with him.