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Shelter’s oldest resident falls asleep smiling when he finds family

Petey the rescue dog was always a happy boy, despite the obstacles he faced. At just 1 year old, the sweet pup was already the oldest resident of his county shelter in North Carolina.

The small shelter was over capacity and had already extended Petey’s stay longer than usual. With no potential adopters in sight, the shelter contacted the Wake County SPCA to see if they could help give Petey more time to reunite with his loved ones.

The SPCA immediately agreed to take Petey in. While the situation was devastating, Petey didn’t seem sad at all. Instead, he was thrilled to meet his new friends.

“As soon as he got here he was tugging on the leash trying to get in the door,” Samantha Ranlet, spokeswoman for the Wake County SPCA, told The Dodo. “He jumped into the building.”

The pup’s dynamic personality initially amazed SPCA staff, especially when they considered the number of times he had been left behind at his former shelter.

“He was super nice from day one and very playful,” Ranlet said. “We couldn’t believe no one wanted him.”

Petey’s friends at the SPCA uploaded a photo of him to their website as soon as he arrived, but feared he would be ignored again.

“We unfortunately expected it to be overlooked for smaller dogs, like before,” Ranlet said. “But it only took a few weeks for someone to fall in love with him.”

According to Ranlet, Petey’s eternal family saw the photo of the sweet pup and immediately knew he belonged to them. A month into his stay at the SPCA, Petey’s new family picked him up, officially ending his long stay at the shelter for good.

It didn’t take long for Petey to settle into his new home, as he immersed himself in his new life with his little brother and loving human siblings. He already loves playing fetch in his garden and giving endless hugs and kisses to his people.

And at the end of each day, Petey, the once neglected shelter dog, curls up on his warm bed and falls asleep with a huge smile on his face.

“It’s the smile of a dog who knows he’s home,” the shelter wrote on Facebook.

Petey is just one of many shelter dogs who are neglected for long periods of time. At the Wake County SCPA alone, there are between 8 and 10 puppies who have been waiting to find their forever homes for almost a year.

But just as Petey’s story has a happy ending, Ranlet and the SPCA staff hope their other long-term residents will soon find their happily ever after.

“We’re rooting for them to find their people,” Ranlet said. “That’s what they deserve.”