Joey is so special that everyone he meets instantly falls in love with him. There’s no logical reason the 5-year-old pit bull mix spent more than 500 days in a shelter, but — through no fault of hers — that’s exactly what happened.
The sweet pup quickly became such a staff favorite that when Joey’s forever family seemed to be taking him into the life of his dreams, they knew they had to send him off in the most gorgeous way possible.
“The staff always wanted to make sure the dogs at the shelter knew how much they were loved, so we started a special mailing to let the dogs know how much they meant to us and to make them feel happy to be there. go to their new home,” Kimberly LaRussa, founder of Sweet Buffalo to the Rescue, told The Dodo.
When it came to one of their oldest residents, the farewell party had to be extra special.
“We wanted to give Joey a relaxing and calm goodbye, so we thought we could put some leis on him as a sign of friendship and give him some treats,” LaRussa said. “It was really beautiful to see him with all the leisure he accumulated towards the end of the farewell.”
You can watch Joey’s sweet start here:
When Joey arrived at the shelter as a former stray, no one expected the friendly dog to still be there over a year later. But he was overlooked with no potential adoption interest, and the endless wait finally reached Joey.
“[He] adjusted as best he could,” LaRussa said. “He was much loved by former staff and volunteers. But over time, we could tell he yearned for something more than we could give him…a nice warm bed, cuddles at night, his own to love him.
When LaRussa saw the sad pup crying in his kennel and looking desperate, she decided to take matters into her own hands by recording a short video of Joey, which she posted on social media. Suddenly, interest surged. But one couple in particular, Daryl Koczaja and Melissa Leuer, emerged victorious.
“I remember watching his videos over and over while crying and thinking to myself, ‘Someone has to help this poor baby,'” Leuer said. “I didn’t know it would be us.”
LaRussa arranged a meeting with Joey and the potential adopters, and there was an instant connection.
“The moment we all met, we were in love – he was so adorable!” said Leuer. “He ran straight up to Daryl and gave him tons of kisses. We just felt like he was meant to be with us, like he was waiting there all the time until we were ready for him. .”
Although Joey took a few days to get ready for his new life, he is now the biggest hug, greeting them with a smile every day.
“Joey is still as wonderful as the day we adopted him,” Leuer said. “[He’s] brought so much laughter and happiness to our home. We look forward to making many more memories with him and giving him the perfect life he always deserved. We really couldn’t ask for a better dog!”