Waylon has been waiting for a home for over 600 days, but he is hoping that will change soon.
The rescue dog with “a zest for life” and patience for “ridiculous costumes” first arrived at Indiana’s Humane Society for Hamilton County (HSHC) in April 2021. He was surrendered by his previous owners, who could no longer care for him. Since then, Waylon has been patiently waiting to be adopted.
“Waylon has such a big heart and knows how to make just about anyone feel loved. Many staff and volunteers say that the highlight of their day is spending time with Waylon,” Suzanne Yoder, the HSHC’s senior director of marketing, tells PEOPLE.
“Waylon’s absolute favorite thing in the world is spending time with his people. He would give anything to cuddle up on the couch, hop in the car and take a walk around the park with his humans,” she adds.
With a personality as lively and loving as Waylon’s, it’s hard to believe the canine has been searching for a home for over 600 days. Unfortunately, many rescue animals are facing lengthy waits, according to Yoder.
“Shelters everywhere are constantly overflowing with animals, and so many are overlooked each and every day; Waylon is no different,” the HSHC employee says.
She also notes that the dog’s physical appearance may factor into the delay Waylon is experiencing in his adopter search.
“Breed stereotypes typically play a role in how quickly an animal is adopted. Waylon represents a large number of animals in shelters across the United States that look like a Pit Bill mix when they are actually twelve different breeds,” Yoder says, adding, “No matter the combination of breeds they are, these dogs typically wait longer for a home due to breed discrimination and misperception.”
Eager to finally find Waylon an appreciative and caring home, the HSHC recently started the “Where’s Waylon” project. The community-wide effort is designed to spread the word about the dog’s exceptional qualities, so more animal lovers know the canine needs a home.
“Despite our usual efforts of photoshoots, compelling stories, and social media posts, Waylon has continued to be overlooked for far too long. We knew somewhere out there Waylon has a family, but like Waldo, he was getting lost in the crowd,” Yoder says of the inspiration for the project.
“Every week, a larger-than-life cutout of Waylon travels to a local business in hopes that his perfect family will come along and see him. Patrons are encouraged to snap a selfie and #whereswaylon to spread awareness for this awesome boy,” she adds.
Thanks to the “incredible” work of the Humane Society for Hamilton County, the donated cutout of Waylon from Strategic Wealth Designers, and the kindness of businesses letting Waylon’s cutout “live” in their establishments, Waylon has received several promising adoption applications.
“We want to ensure that this time he is going home forever, so we are being vigilant in searching for his perfect people,” Yoder says.
Waylon is looking for a home with adults only and no cats or small dogs. Waylon would likely benefit from a large dog playmate, but the other dog would need to meet Waylon ahead of his adoption. The HSHC knows Waylon adores being with people, so the shelter thinks the dog would thrive with an owner who works from home.
To learn more about Waylon, visit his website, where you can also apply to adopt the dog. If you are unable to adopt but would like to help Waylon and his friends at the Humane Society for Hamilton County, consider donating to the shelter.