Kane hadn't received a single adoption request during his long shelter stay. But a Facebook post soon had people from all over the world asking about him.

An American bulldog mix who spent nearly a year in an Indiana shelter has finally found his forever home with a loving mom who needed him as much as he needed her.

Kane, an 8-year-old black and white pup, had spent more than 300 days in the South Bend Animal Resource Center (SBARC) without a single inquiry or adoption request. But a social media appeal did the trick, matching Kane with Stephanie Payne, who fell in love with him after experiencing a year of immense loss.

"He needed a person. I needed a dog. We rescued one another," she told Daily Paws in an interview.

black and white dog stands on beach
Credit: Courtesy of South Bend Animal Resource Center - SBARC

Kane had needed rescuing, both from Payne and SBARC. He'd lived a hard life before arriving at the shelter, spending lots of time chained in a yard. The past trauma made it harder for him to be rehomed, says Lindsey Cuellar, SBARC's shelter manager. He also had a high prey drive with cats, and the shelter worried he wouldn't do well with other dogs.

Those concerns could be worked out with time, but the shelter wanted Kane in a home that would "set him up for success" from the start, Cuellar says

But as the calendar kept turning, it was "coming up on that point where we weren't really sure what we were going to do," Cuellar says. The shelter's volunteer coordinator put out a plea via Facebook on Feb. 8, Kane's 310th day in the shelter.

"Boy did it work," Cuellar says.

They were inundated with comments, messages, emails, and phone calls. It was "non-stop that entire week," she says. They were even getting interest from the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. "It was just pure insanity."

In the vast ocean of interest, SBARC's adoption coordinator found Payne. Over the past year, her husband and all three of her dogs had died.

She actually wasn't even looking for a new dog yet, opting to wait until the spring. But her cousin sent her the shelter's Facebook post.

"I read Kane's story and it just broke my heart that he'd been sitting there for so long," she says.

Payne went to the shelter to meet Kane after her application was approved and fell in love with him, she says. She was nervous about adopting a big dog. She's owned beagles previously, and Kane weighs 85 pounds.

But "he's so sweet and he likes cuddles. He's a good boy," she says.

She fostered Kane for less than a week before finalizing his adoption.

So, far, Kane seems to be enjoying his relaxed new life. Payne keeps an eye on him with indoor cameras while she's at work. He's free to wander throughout the house, but instead "he lays on the couch all day long," she says.

He certainly deserves that rest after kicking off a bit of an adoption explosion. Cuellar says many of SBARC's February adoptions started with interest in Kane. As of Monday, 21 animals had been adopted this month—a pace of one adoption each day, which Cuellar describes as "astounding."

Normally there are between seven and 10 dogs in the adoptable area of the shelter. On Monday, there were just three.  

If Kane's story inspires you to look into adopting a pet, look at the shelters close to you, Cuellar says.

"I guarantee you that there is a dog out there that has Kane's same story that is 20 yards from your house. Go save him. Make this another success story in your own backyard."