Dog Who Lived At Shelter For 10 Years Couldn’t Contain Excitement When He Met His Forever Family

Lately, we’ve been hearing a lot of sad stories about dogs that were not pampered by life. Whether it’s abandonment, neglect, or abuse, it is always heartbreaking to see these innocent beings suffer. 

A similar fate befell Cleto, a dog whose life was difficult from the very beginning. Although Cleto quickly found a home when he was still a puppy, his owner was everything but a good parent. 

When people from West Coast Paws Dog Rescue came to save Cleto from his abusive owner, he was in a very bad physical and mental state. In the shelter, they provided him with everything and made sure that he felt at home.

Unfortunately, he was missing the most important thing – a forever home for which he had to wait 10 long years.

Love Kept Him “Alive”

dog with clothes on standing in cage
Source: West Coast Paws Dog Rescue

For this dog, leaving his abusive owner meant the beginning of a new, happier life. A shelter is not the best place for dogs, but this change was life-saving for Cleto.

“For Cleto, the only home he knew beforehand was abusive, so the shelter was a step up for him. It helped with his socialization skills with other dogs, but it was heartbreaking to think that he never had a true home,” Zoë Yoxall, cofounder of West Coast Paws Dog Rescue, told The Dodo.

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Even though Cleto never had a real home or a loving family, during his stay in the shelter, he did not take the smile off his face. Whenever he came in contact with a potential adopter, he repeatedly showed how much he loved people no matter what he had been through.

happy dog with tongue out
Source: West Coast Paws Dog Rescue and West Coast Paws Dog Rescue

Just because of that, it is difficult to understand why no one wanted to adopt him for such a long time. However, there are some reasons, and some of them are unfortunately related to the consequences that the abuse by his former owner left on him.

“He was often overlooked as he’s a larger dog (almost 50 [pounds]) and those are deemed less ‘desirable’ to own,” Yoxall said. “He also [has] a chunk out of his ear and a scar across his face, which gives him a tough-guy persona. He is extremely approachable, but sometimes looks can deceive people at first greeting. When he was living in a shelter with over 100 dogs, it was hard for him to stand out.”

After so many years, his rescuers began to lose hope that Cleto would ever leave the shelter. But, after he turned 11, things finally got better for this poor dog and he soon had the moment he’d been dreaming of all his life.

It Was All Worth The Wait

On December 3, 2023, WCPDR posted a heartbreaking story about Cleto on their Facebook page. It didn’t take long for this post to attract many good souls touched by the plight of this dog. 

After only a few days, an update appeared on that same post. It was the happiest news one dog could receive. Of course, Cleto was adopted that day! 

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“They found out about Cleto on Facebook thanks to a strong network of people sharing, liking and commenting,” Yoxall said. “All it takes is one person to see the right post and the dog has found [his] forever!”

It was a moment of pure joy for both Cleto and his new family. His new mom couldn’t hold back the tears when she saw how excited and happy this dog was to finally have a warm home and loved ones around him. 

woman playing with dog that has clothes on
Source: West Coast Paws Dog Rescue

“He seemed quite happy to meet us and really did seem like he’d been waiting for this for a while,” Dan and Heda, Cleto’s new parents, told The Dodo.

Although he spent so many years waiting in the four walls of his kennel for this moment to come, it seems that it was all worth the wait in the end. 

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