Rusty the dog, a German shepherd and Catahoula mix from Central Texas, has gone on an emotional rollercoaster ride in his efforts to find a forever home.
In February 2020, when Rusty was just a puppy, he was surrendered to the Humane Society of Central Texas in Waco by his original owner because he was “hyper.”
From there, he was placed in a foster home for two months and then sent to a rescue in Idaho, according to multiple local news outlets.
After two months at the Idaho rescue, Rusty was reportedly sent back to Humane Society of Central Texas because he “was not dog-friendly” and was unable to be placed in a home
“Over the next few months, Rusty became depressed and frustrated, causing him to act out in his kennel and be highly reactive toward other dogs,” the Humane Society of Central Texas said in a statement, according to multiple outlets.
In November 2020, Rusty was adopted, and the shelter’s staff believed he had finally found his forever home. But just a month later, he was sent back to the Waco shelter, this time for being “destructive,” NBC 26 and KCENNews reported.
Determined to find Rusty a home, the Humane Society of Central Texas started the Dogs Playing for Life program, which allows all shelter animals, Rusty included, to participate in playgroups regardless of their breed, age, behavior, or history. Along with learning to socialize well with other dogs through playgroups, Rusty also started group behavior training.
“Rusty was by far one of the superstars in the group, learning every command and paying close attention to his handler,” the shelter reportedly said.
After exhibiting positive behavioral changes, Rusty was introduced to a couple in March. They fell in love with the canine and decided to take him home with them, according to KWTX.
However, after just one day at what Rusty and the shelter believed was his forever home, the owners returned the dog to the Humane Society of Central Texas because he was, reportedly, “too much work” for the new owners.
The Humane Society of Central Texas posted a video to Facebook on April 1 showcasing all the adorable dogs the shelter has available for adoption and offered viewers an update on Rusty’s story in the clip
“We are not at all upset with his adopters. They did the right thing bringing him back because he is a lot of work, and he did nip at them,” a shelter employee shares in the clip while the camera is on Rusty in his kennel. “Not every dog is right for every family. We know there’s a lot of judgment going on about the family that returned him. But, you know what, they didn’t let him go in the street, they didn’t let anything happen to him, they acknowledged he wasn’t the right dog for them, and they brought him back.”
The shelter worker adds in the video that energetic Rusty needs a home where he has room to run outside because he does not enjoy being on a leash. He is looking for a family that has another dog for him to befriend and no small children. Rusty also does not do well with cats and little dogs.
“When animals get returned, this is not necessarily a bad thing. It gives us another opportunity to find them the right home,” the shelter employee continues in the video. “We want to thank everyone who has reached out to us about Rusty. People have reached out from all over the country.”