The dog couldn’t know how long he had waited for, but it must have felt like forever. All around him, the other dogs he could hear barking would be taken away, and never heard from again. And then, one day, his cage door opened and someone stepped into his room.
The aforementioned dog was a pit bull called Benny, and his time was running out. It’s not clear exactly what happened in poor Benny’s past, but it probably wasn’t good. As a result of these unforeseen circumstances, he ended up in an animal shelter.
To be more precise, Benny was taken to the Carson Animal Care Center in Gardena, California. The shelter is labelled as high kill, which means it euthanizes residents to prevent overcrowding, as well as those who aren’t young or healthy enough to be adopted. These shelters are controversial amongst animal lovers.
Whatever happened to Benny made him shy and timid, which may have put off potential new owners. Many people prefer the dogs that run up to welcome them, meaning Benny might have been overlooked. Regardless of the reason, his time was limited.
On December 22, 2015, Benny was featured in a social media video chronicling his last moments in the shelter. “[The] sweet but shy dog … had no idea what the future had in store for him,” it reported. Poor Benny looked terrified.
Apparently, Benny had been staying at the shelter for weeks, waiting for a human to call his own. The video also revealed that the dog’s time was quickly drawing to a close. If he wasn’t rescued soon, he would likely be euthanized.
“All [Benny] could do was sit and wait for someone to come along and save him,” the video said. “Which he did week after week, with no success.” However, one day someone walked into Benny’s room; from that day on, his life was going to change.
We’ll never know whether Benny realized what was about to happen, but he looked both scared and excited. He kept low at the person’s approach, but his tail was wagging up a storm. It was as if he was afraid to hope for something better.
In fact, Benny initially backed away from the human, and retreated further into his room. He also seemed apprehensive about putting his head through the red leash that was offered to him. But then he realized it was walk time, and he couldn’t wait to get out!
Once Benny’s leash was on, the door to his room opened, and he nudged through it with his nose. On the other side, Benny met his new humans. As a result, he realized his patience had paid off. He had found a home.
Suddenly, Benny changed; he was no longer the shy dog that was crouching fearfully in his shelter room. For what may have been the first time in his life, he was happy. Indeed, he was so happy that he couldn’t hold back his delight!
Benny’s reaction was heart-melting; he was literally leaping for joy at his rescue. As he walked down the corridor to his new life, he was bouncing or dashing all the way. The pit bull didn’t forget his friends from the shelter, either.
As Benny passed their cages, he went up to the bars for a heart-breaking goodbye. Once he was out of the shelter’s door, though, nothing could stop the delighted mutt. His excitement was such that he even tangled up the person holding his leash.
Benny was racing around trying to get pets from everyone at once, and his life would only get better. He was adopted by his new loving family just in time for the holidays. It was the perfect happy ending for him.
Unsurprisingly, then, the popularity of Benny’s rescue video is sky high. It currently has over ten million views, and 77,000 likes on YouTube. The comments on the upload have also shown that Benny’s adoption hit people, as one user says, “right in the feels.”
“I still got teary eyed watching Benny go do the happy puppy dance,” one social media user said. “I’m so happy for Benny,” another wrote. “I’ve watched this before, but it was like watching it for the first time all over again.”
“My heart jumped for joy, just like Benny was doing,” they concluded. However, for many people Benny’s video rescue is bitter-sweet. His adoption was a wonderful thing, but there are so many dogs still waiting in the animal shelter for their furrever homes.
“[It’s] cool they adopted the dog,” one person wrote. “But all those other dogs [were] waiting for a home they may never get.” They weren’t the only poster who thought something similar, either; most of the comments were along similar lines.
Unfortunately, it remains a sobering reminder about how many animals that high-kill shelters euthanize. In the same year as Benny’s rescue, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) euthanized 72% of its shelter’s cats and dogs in the state of Virginia. And that’s just one organization’s figures.
We can only hope that Benny’s friends were also adopted into loving homes. It also reinforces why it’s better to adopt an animal from a shelter rather than buying one. If you want a best friend who will show you unconditional love, you need look no further than a rescue furbaby.