Love is worth the wait—even if it's 1,176 days long.
tan dog looking up
Credit: Courtesy of Heaven Can Wait Animal Society

Shelter dogs come with a special kind of love. Some of them come from difficult or abusive circumstances, while others are unpopular breeds or colors. But no matter what the circumstances, they're all grateful when they're brought into a loving home.

In a perfect world, every animal that a shelter takes in would get adopted quickly by a family that's a perfect fit. But the world isn't perfect and not every animal gets to enjoy that level of luck. Shelters do the important work of taking care of animals without forever homes, but even the best shelter can be a stressful, difficult place for animals to live for extended periods. The workers and volunteers do their best to care for all their pets, but they'll be the first to tell you a forever home is much more preferable.

Finding that perfect home can take a while for some kitties and doggos. That's exactly the case down in Las Vegas this week, where little Australian shepherd mix Sheba had been looking for the right family for a little over three years.

According to KLAS, Sheba had been placed with several fosters over her 1,176 days at the Heaven Can Wait Animal Society, but none of them turned into permanent situations for her. Sheba has some anxiety issues that made her a more difficult pup to find the right situation for, but volunteers at the shelter refused to stop trying.

"Sheba is a wonderful dog. She needs someone who can set boundaries with her, keep her active, and shower her with love and affection, and I think we found exactly the right home for her," Kiley Esprecion, dog coordinator for Heaven Can Wait's Pups on Parole program told KLAS. "I knew I couldn't give up on her, even after three years of waiting."

Through Pups on Parole, residents at the Florence McClure Women's Correctional Facility train and rehabilitate "last day dogs" who've lost their trust in humans or endured trauma or abuse.

After months (and months and months…) of training and socialization classes, Sheba was finally matched with her perfect family thanks in part to being featured on the popular We Rate Dogs social media account in February. The post created a swell of interest in Sheba from around the country, but ultimately her forever family was right in her own backyard.

The Las Vegas couple took Sheba in as a foster to see how they would live together, and it's safe to say that everything worked out, because Sheba's adoption was finalized on April 3! Now named Momo, the little cattle dog mix is happy to have a family who loves her and everyone at Heaven Can Wait is glad to see their hard work pay off.