Gloucester-Mathews Humane Society in Virginia sees countless dogs come and go every year. They are an animal shelter that is dedicated to giving every dog the best chance at a happy life. Sometimes that happy life comes after only a few days, but for other rescue dogs, the wait is much longer. Out of all the animals currently at the shelter, no dog or cat has waited as long as a Beagle mix named Banjo. It's been three and a half years since Banjo was first rescued, and the shelter refuses to give up on his perfect home.
Banjo was found living alone in the woods when he was only a few months old. That was November 2016, and shelter staff have been helping him come out of his shell ever since. After living for so long with no human contact, he is timid and often afraid. While some dogs eagerly greet people at their kennel doors, Banjo hides in the corner. He has been passed over countless times, but his friends at the shelter know his perfect family is out there. And they're determined to find them.
Knowing Banjo's fearful history, the shelter has invested time and money into his training. He has graduated from a behavioral program aimed to help dogs feel more comfortable around people, and staff members and volunteers work with him on a daily basis.
The executive director at the shelter, April Martinez, told WTKR,
"As a feral dog, he was incredibly shy, fearful, and understandably scared of folks, so we have worked with him diligently since early November 2016 to get him not just used to people, but get him used to the company of people."
Banjo is still nervous when new people enter the shelter, but all that changes when he's outside. In the play yard, Banjo runs, plays, and splashes in the kiddie pool. He loves to go on walks, and he's always up for a play session with other dogs.
But as soon as that kennel door closes, Banjo lets his fear take over. He will never feel safe or comfortable in a shelter environment, and his life will be drastically improved if he could only find a home.
The problem is getting the right person's attention. This rescue dog will never be one to greet a new family with a wagging tail. But that doesn't mean he's incapable of love. He needs a family that will be kind and patient as he learns what it means to live in a home. Everyone at the shelter has seen Banjo's bright personality, and now they're spreading his story to help find the perfect people to take him home.
The shelter says Banjo would thrive with an active family that enjoys the outdoors. He would do best with a fenced-in yard where he can be free to run and play safely. He would also enjoy having a canine sibling for support. Having a confident dog in the family will help Banjo feel more at home and show him what it's like to be part of a family.
Every staff member and volunteer at the shelter is rooting for Banjo to find the right family. But at the same time, this sweet rescue dog is in no danger at the shelter.
"We are determined to work with Banjo and wait to find his family as long as it takes. If it takes us three more years or two more weeks, we have made a great investment in Banjo because we believe in him and we believe in the value of his life."
If you're interested in learning more about Banjo, visit the Gloucester-Mathews Humane Society's website.