A friendly dog named Major spent over a year at the Naperville Area Humane Society, waiting for someone to notice him. Despite being a resident who absolutely loves people, he couldn't figure out why no one wanted to take him home. Staff at the shelter were similarly confused as to why the sweet pup kept getting ignored. "None of us could figure out why [he wasn't getting adopted], because he really is a great dog," Kristen Funk, Naperville Area Humane Society executive director, told The Dodo. "Unfortunately, I think that when [an animal] spends too long at a shelter, people tend to think there is something wrong with him or her. I think he fell into that stigma."
Major enjoyed going on walks with humane society staff and playing with dog friends at the shelter, but something was missing. He needed a real family. Staff at Naperville were heartbroken as the days ticked by, and their favorite pup, who at this point was spending most of his time with them in the office, still had no one to call his own. "It was really tough for all of his fans here," Funk said. "He was very much beloved by staff and volunteers, so every day that went by without him having any interest was hard to see."
But then, Major's luck changed one day when the humane society received a call from Jose, a semi-trailer truck driver who was grieving the loss of the last pup he’d adopted years ago. Jose wanted a new companion to join him in his life on the road. Funk immediately knew who to show him. "We knew that he had to meet Major," Funk said.
It wasn't long before Major was strutting out of the shelter with his new dad. As they climbed into the truck together, the pup, so thrilled to finally be adopted, couldn't help but smile. Humane society staff also couldn’t contain their excitement. "We were all smiles and happy tears over here — and still are!" Funk said.
These days, Major enjoys traveling all over the country with his dad and snuggling with him every night. "We are so thrilled to hear that Major is enjoying his exciting life on the road," Funk said. "For a dog who never liked to be alone, he has found the perfect situation and will forever be with his person."
According to Kristen Funk, dogs who are abandoned or surrendered to animal shelters usually experience a range of emotions that affect their behavior. These dogs often feel neglected and hopeless, making it difficult for them to connect with new families. The longer they stay in the shelter, the more they become attached to the shelter staff and routine, which makes it difficult for them to adjust to a new environment. It's important to understand that these dogs need time and patience, and above all, a loving home to call their own.
Kristen Funk also points out that when dogs stay in the shelter for too long, people tend to assume that something is wrong with them, which is a common misconception. Major is a perfect example of this. Even though he was a great dog, he had trouble getting adopted because he had been at the shelter for too long. Funk hopes that Major's story will encourage people to adopt animals from shelters instead of buying them from breeders or pet stores. "There are so many great animals waiting for homes," she said. "People just need to take a chance and see what amazing companions they can find at their local shelter."
Adopting a pet from a shelter has many advantages. For one thing, the cost is much lower than buying a pet from a breeder. In addition, shelter pets are usually already spayed or neutered and up-to-date on their vaccinations. Moreover, adopting a pet from a shelter means giving an animal a second chance