Animal Shelter Gives Longest Resident Standing Ovation As He Finds Forever Home
An animal shelter in Tennessee bid farewell to its longest-standing resident this month after he finally found his forever home.
Big Mac the dog arrived at McKamey Animal Center in Chattanooga in December 2020 after his owner decided to move and felt they ‘didn’t have time for him’.
It’s unclear exactly what Big Mac’s home life had been like before he arrived at the shelter, but staff found he was nervous to be in such an environment and was uneasy around new people.
Lauren Mann, advancement manager at the shelter, told The Dodo: ‘We’re not really sure what his living environment was like prior to coming to us, but it was very apparent that he didn’t trust everyone right away’.
Staff didn’t give up on Big Mac though, and they continued to care for the pup until he started to become a bit more comfortable, with Mann explaining: ‘He did warm up with treats and when he was out of the kennel and in the play yard.’
Despite his improvements, weeks went by without sign of a new family for Big Mac and eventually he became the longest-standing resident at McKamey Animal Center. In the meantime, one of the centre’s volunteers agreed to foster Big Mac, and on the first night she found he slept for 12 hours straight.
Mann explained: ‘[He] just really opened up and wanted to play with her other dog and even wanted to play with the cats. [He] really made a 180 and was a great dog overall. Her resident dog took him under his wing, and when they were out for a walk and he’d get a little scared, her dog would be like, ‘No, it’s OK. And he’d show him that it was OK and people could be trusted.’
The pooch managed to win over his foster parent to the point where she could no longer imagine life without him, so the volunteer decided to adopt Big Mac for good.
Earlier this month, the centre shared footage of Mac walking out of McKamey Animal Center after 260 long days, with staff giving him a standing ovation as he made his way to his forever home. Big Mac looked as if he could barely wait to settle in and seemed confident in striding past the workers.
Mann commented: ‘His new mom was surprised that he handled it so well, which shows that he’s doing a lot better with stranger danger. He was just ready to go… he didn’t really care about treats or pets or anything. He was just ready to go home.’
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