Dog in Shelter for Years Now ‘Living the Spoiled Life’ After Adoption


A Michigan-based animal shelter is celebrating an updated success story about one of its long-term shelter dogs, which, for the last year, has been living its best life.

For nearly six years, Bear was sheltered at Detroit Animal Welfare Group. This dog in 2017 was found near Flint, Michigan, with another stray mixed breed, thought to be Bear’s mother.

The shelter welcomed them without hesitation, although it did come with a lot of tears and heartache.

The two canines were in such horrible shape: teeth knocked in, heartworm-positive and more facial trauma. It was going to take months for these poor dogs to heal, Director Kelley LaBonty told Newsweek.

Bear stray dog blurred wounds
Photos of Bear, a mixed breed that was brought to Detroit Animal Welfare Group as a stray. Bear and another dog were found in terrible shape, with their teeth knocked in and more facial trauma.
Detroit Animal Welfare Group/Facebook

The other dog brought in with Bear was adopted rather quickly, but for some reason, families were not interested in Bear. He was good with that dog and only that dog, LaBonty said. She believes that could be a reason why he waited day in and day out for an adopter.

He did find a home for a short while during the COVID-19 pandemic. Then, that owner was moving out of state and returned him to the shelter, breaking him down even more.

“He came back to our kennel very depressed,” said LaBonty. “He would not lift up his head, take treats, or get off his bed.”

The shelter put out multiple pleas for people to take a chance on Bear. He gained quite an audience, as people were rooting for him far and near.

Bear, which LaBonty believes to be 9 or 10 years old now, finally caught a break when a local woman stepped forward to adopt him in November 2022.

Bear has since been “living the spoiled life,” the shelter’s November 29 Facebook post stated.

LaBonty said that once Bear found his forever home, he has gotten along great with other dogs. His owner walks him every single day. He is spoiled with his own bed and stuffed toys. Bear even has a bed outside because he likes sunbathing.

“He’s loved, warm, he’s got a great home,” said LaBonty.

One Facebook user commented: “Huge transformation. So glad he found his forever home.”

“After everything this poor boy went thru in his life it’s a blessing to see him healed in a loving home. Thank you for saving him,” added another.

Bear’s success story goes to show how different a dog can be outside a shelter’s walls.

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Detroit adopted dog named Bear
Bear sleeps in his forever home. The pooch waited at Detroit Animal Welfare Group for more than six years until he got adopted.
Detroit Animal Welfare Group/Facebook