A dog named Roofus has lived at the Bishop Animal Shelter in Bradenton, Florida, for six years. Though adored by staff and volunteers, the 10-year-old canine has been overlooked by potential adopters. Now, thanks to a shelter staff member, things are looking up for Roofus.
While cleaning out an old file cabinet, Samantha Dominis discovered a letter from 2010. The heart-wrenching letter, written from Roofus’ perspective, describes the unfortunate circumstances of his surrender six years prior:
My name is Roofus.
My family loves me very much but they have fallen on hard times. My daddy lost his job a year ago and can’t find a new one. My mommy tells me they have to downsize to a smaller apartment and can’t afford to keep me.
I will miss my two-legged siblings so much. They keep crying and hugging me, begging mommy and daddy not to take me back to the shelter. I remember being at the shelter before. Your staff is very kind but nothing compares to a family.
My family is very sad to give me back to Bishop but they know you’ll find me a new family that will love me just as much. They’re including my bed and favorite toys. Please find me a good home.
Dominis says, “I read that letter at least a dozen times and cried every time I read it.”
Referring to the letter as Roofus’ “golden ticket to being adopted,” the shelter contacted their local TV station to cover the story.
Karen Duffy and her husband saw the story. They recently lost their two rescue dogs to old age and Duffy says Roofus “tugged at my heart.” She “kept feeling the rightness.”
Duffy called the shelter to check whether Roofus was still available, then drove the hour and a half to meet him.
“I took a leash with me,” she says.
Dominis feels relieved Roofus is now happy with his new family.
“He’s so gentle and loving and we know he’s in good hands.” she says. “[Roofus is] going to know what it feels like to be loved unconditionally.”
Despite Roofus finding a new home, Bishop Animal Shelter still receives interest in his adoption status since the press covered his story.
The staff and volunteers hope other elderly dogs and long-timers will gain interest from potential adopters.
“All dogs deserve a second chance. It shouldn’t be held against them that it didn’t work out with their first owners. Their perfect match is out there,” Dominis says.
If you’re in the area, visit 11-year-old Mia, a spunky Pit Bull who loves to swim and play.
As for Roofus, Duffy says he’s settling in just fine. They go for long walks and Roofus is energetic but well-behaved. He can go out to a fenced backyard—once he figures out how to work the doggie door.
“We’ll keep practicing,” Duffy says. “I really don’t know why someone hasn’t taken him in before.”
Reach out to email@example.com if you know a special dog, or a great rescue story.