The Humane Society of Preble County in Ohio finds “fur-ever” homes for about 30 dogs a month. One of those dogs defied the numbers, but not in a good way. Higgins, a German shepherd mix, had been in their shelter for more than 6 years.
It’s not easy for any dog to spend most of their life behind bars, but Higgins never lost hope. After 2,381 days, one man with a big heart finally brought Higgins home for the most heartwarming reason.
Higgins Was Just A Puppy When He First Arrived At The Shelter
Higgins first became a resident of the Preble County shelter when he was just a puppy. He was quickly adopted out and the shelter was happy that yet another dog had found a forever home.
Sadly, his first home was less than ideal. The shelter staff was told he was chained up to a dog house for 24 hours a day. Higgins returned to the shelter a year later as a stray and no one ever came looking for him.
“People Just Walked Past Him”
When Higgins returned to the Preble County shelter, he was about 2 or 3 years old. Unfortunately, many people prefer to adopt dogs that are less than 6 months old so elderly dogs don’t go as quickly.
Like many traumatized shelter dogs, adopting Higgins meant some sacrifices. He doesn’t like cats and gets anxious when he’s around other dogs. Being a German shepherd mix also left Higgins with quite the serious look on his face that many people find intimidating at first.
On Day 2,381 Higgins Finally Found A Home
After more than six years in the Preble County shelter, the staff was shocked when 22-year-old Brendon Reed walked in and said, “I’m here to take Higgins home.” Reed had seen photos of Higgins on the shelter’s web page and immediately fell in love.
He said that after hearing the dog’s story, “he just seems so cute, I don’t know how he didn’t get adopted.” Reed had just purchased his first home and knew it would be the perfect place for Higgins.
Reed Grew Up Appreciating Older Dogs
Reed’s mother Michelle has adopted hard-to-place dogs from the Preble County shelter in the past. Growing up around older shelter dogs taught Reed just how much they have to offer. He said that “People don’t realize how much character an older dog has. They just want the cutest puppy possible.”
The executive director of the shelter agreed. Leslie Renner said that many people suggested just putting Higgins to sleep but that the shelter doesn’t give up on dogs.
Higgins Is Finally Happy In His Fur-Ever Home
After 2,381 days in a shelter, Higgins finally got to experience his first night sleeping on a bed. In Reed’s house, Higgins favorite thing to do is lay on the couch and watch TV. He also loves to run around in his own backyard and roll in the grass without a chain tying him up.
Reed says the biggest difference is that Higgins rarely has that worried look on his face. He says Higgins “Is just so happy, it’s kind of crazy.”