After 1,134 days, Capone has finally found his forever home.

The Labrador retriever mix entered Animal Friends rescue in Pittsburgh in November 2017. He saw lots of canine and feline neighbors come and go while he was overlooked by potential adopters. But the 10-year-old finally left for a home of his own.

“They say good things come to those who wait … and that couldn’t be more true for our sweet Capone who FINALLY found his new family yesterday,” the shelter announced on Facebook about their longest-term resident. “Happy Tails Capone! We’re so glad that you have a family of your own and a home for the holidays.”

Capone came into the shelter as a transfer from a partner rescue organization. He was an immediate hit with everyone who met him.

“Capone is a sweet, silly, outgoing, and loving dog who has so much passion for life,” Monique Serbu, Animal Friends community engagement coordinator tells Treehugger. “He’s very intelligent, learned quickly and is always eager to please. There were many staff and volunteers who developed a special bond with him.”

But when adopters came into the shelter looking for a pet, no one left with Capone.

“Unfortunately Capone seemed to have many traits and criteria not in his favor … the color of his fur, his age, he preferred to be the only pet in the household and no children,” Serbu says.

Some rescue groups and shelters say black pets are less likely to get adopted. Senior pets are also harder to adopt than puppies.

“Capone also had some very specific behavioral and medical challenges and our dedicated team of staff and volunteers worked with him each day to ensure he was receiving the best possible care while preparing to find a family he could call his own.”

But then a family came in and saw something special in Capone. They visited the shelter several Saturdays in a row to get to know him and decided to foster him for a few weeks, hoping that it would work out and they would eventually adopt him.

“I honestly have no words that adequately express how beautifully Capone has made his new house a home and of the love between him and his adopters. His patience has truly paid off,” says JT Mangan, the adoption counselor who made the match.

Capone with his new family
 Capone with his new family

His adopters have requested privacy as they settled in with their newest family member, but they told the rescue:

“Since we’ve welcomed Capone into our home, his transformation has been truly amazing. His anxiety has diminished quickly and continues to melt away. He is a good and loving boy who enjoys snuggling and family life. We attribute his success to the care and training he received from the devoted staff and volunteers at Animal Friends, and we thank them for their efforts.”

Capone’s story offers a message of hope for all animals in shelters and rescues.

“Don’t give up on them. Each and every dog (or cat or rabbit!) is unique and deserves a chance at a happy life in a home with a loving family,” Serbu says. ”And, even if the process of finding the perfect match takes days, weeks, or years we will be there for them every step of the way!”

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