GLOUCESTER COUNTY, Va. – There is good news to report about that 3 1/2 year-old beagle-mix that been at the Gloucester-Mathews Humane Society shelter for nearly his entire life.
Banjo the pup was captured in the woods when he was only a few months old and been at the rural shelter since he arrived in November 2016
After news of Banjo's story spread, Gloucester-Mathews Humane Society Executive Director April Martinez said the shelter has received "many, many applications."
"[Banjo] is meeting with the first approved applicant for an introduction to their dog tomorrow," Martinez said. "Assuming that goes well, we will be helping them transition him into their family."
Martinez said the community support has been "wonderful."
"We are certain we have the interest now to place him in a stable, loving home," she said.
Shelter director: 'When Banjo is outside, he comes alive '
While most dogs greet visitors to the shelter with a bark or wagging tail, inside his kennel, Banjo stays in the corner, looking worried.
Over the years, shelter staff has worked to help get Banjo used to people. He has even graduated from their behavioral program aimed to help dogs get more comfortable with people and eventually adopted.
“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 company of people,” Martinez explained. “He has such a sweet little spirit, but unfortunately because of his fearful past, he doesn’t show as well as other dogs might.”
Despite their efforts, Banjo isn’t at home in the shelter and it shows. When he goes outside though, that all changes. In the shelter’s yard, he runs after toys, splashes in the kiddie pool and eagerly walks through the woods.
“When Banjo is outside, he comes alive and he is truly living his best life,” Martinez said. “He is really himself when he is on the hiking trails. His ideal person would be someone that leads an active lifestyle, enjoys hiking, running, and enjoys the outdoors.”
The shelter stressed Banjo is not at risk of being put down and will be cared for as long as it takes for him to find a forever home.
“We are determined to work with Banjo and wait to find his family as long as it takes," Martinez said. "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.”
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