After 70 days in a shelter, this bulldog mix cutie was the last dog remaining at the end of an “Empty the Shelters” event before being rescued.

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At one time or another, we all know what it feels like to be the last one picked. Maybe it was for a recess game or a work brainstorming session. It creates a hollow feeling. While you try to feel hopeful, it's hard.

Now imagine you're a friendly, playful pup named Gorilla Glue (sticking to people like, well, you know!) About 3 years old, no one knows your backstory, except that you seem to be an American bulldog mix. You're sweet and attentive. Found as a stray and taken to Louisville Metro Animal Services (LMAS) in Kentucky in May, you've spent many weeks there. The shelter staff is kind, and the treats are pretty tasty. But by July, you slip into the running for what the staff calls the 'Long Stay Champion.' This isn't a title you want.

Then, you hear about the 'Empty the Shelters' nationwide adoption event LMAS plans for early July. Made possible in part by the BISSELL Pet Foundation, it raises awareness about animals like you in need of good homes and reduces adoption fees. Your tail starts wagging, because as Teeya Barnes, public information supervisor, tells Daily Paws, "the last event LMAS participated in was in December 2019, when more than 70 pets found homes." 

Is it your time?

There's a lot of hubbub for the three-day event. Families coming and going, petting all the fur. Kennel barks change as one by one, your canine buddies move on to their new homes. Heck, even cats are finding new pet parents! In fact, you heard through the social grapevine that someone was interested in you, but instead took home a new feline friend. 

You send up a celebratory woof for your fellow shelter pals as they all trot and sashay by, but that hollow feeling grows. When the LMAS staff shuts off the lights on Sunday after the event, you're the only animal left. For the 70th time in the shelter, you put your head down to sleep. 

The night is long.

But Monday morning, the staff comes to get you. A gentleman who heard about the event but couldn't attend over the weekend asks if there's still a pet he can have. It's you! He wants to be your human! 

Dog and his new adoptive pet parent
Credit: Courtesy of Louisville Metro Animal Services

As the two of you prepare to leave, the LMAS staff takes a picture, as you've become what they call a #HappyTail.

"We encourage families looking to bring a new pet into their home to try adopting from their local shelter. Many cats and dogs end up there not because they won't make good pets, but because of irresponsible owners, or owners who can no longer care for them," Barnes says. She adds that 100 pets found new homes during the weekend event.

"They say shelter pets are more grateful, and the proof is in the happy adoption updates our shelter often receives."

Yes, that's exactly how you feel. Maybe a bit more.

gorilla glue's portrait
Credit: Courtesy of Louisville Metro Animal Services