Rusty, the 1.5-year-old German Shepherd/Catahoula mix has spent most of his life in a shelter. In February 2020, at just 6 months old, Rusty was deemed “hyper” by his first owners who were unable to manage the puppy’s energy, and was consequently surrendered to the Humane Society of Central Texas in Waco.
After being surrendered to the Humane Society in February 2020, Rusty was matched with a foster home. He lived with his foster family for two months before being sent on to a rescue in Idaho.
Sadly Rusty did not prove a good fit in the Idaho shelter and was returned to the Human Society of Central Texas. According to the Idaho shelter holding Rusty, he “was not dog-friendly”, and so they were unable to place him in a home, due to his supposedly difficult personality.
A statement released to multiple news outlets by the Humane Society of Central Texas explains “Over the next few months, Rusty became frustrated and depressed, causing him to act out in his kennel and become highly reactive toward other dogs.”
His episodes of bad behavior are an understandable response to being abandoned, followed by being upheaved several times within a matter of a few months. Though, unfortunately, this makes him a difficult dog to home, as mild-mannered, easy-to-manage puppies are the ideal for new dog owners.
Rusty then spent most of 2020 in the Waco shelter, with adoption being delayed or altogether halted during the Covid-19 pandemic. Though in November 2020 he was adopted by a couple that had fallen in love with him after he had shown positive behavioral changes, but was sadly returned to the shelter a month later.
His new adoptive family was unable to handle his personality, saying he was “destructive”, and so Rusty was placed back into the shelter’s care to await his forever home, KCENNews reported.
In the hopes of helping Rusty to control his negative urges, the shelter the “Dogs Playing for Life” program. This program was designed to encourage dogs to interact with one another through the use of playgroup mixing dogs of all breeds, sizes, and ages regardless of their history and behavioral reputation.
The “Dogs Playing for Life” playgroup was run under careful supervision, helping the shelter dogs to learn to socialize with others. Rusty was reportedly “by far one of the superstars in the group, learning every command and paying close attention to his handler.”
Following his resounding success with the new playgroup, the shelter had a renewed confidence in his ability to be happily homed.
According to KWTX, in March 2021, a couple had come to visit the Humane Society dog shelter and fell in love with the boisterous canine and immediately wanted to take him home. Unfortunately, however, once again Rusty was bought back to the shelter, this time only one day later.
Reportedly Rusty’s second adopted family had decided to return him to the Waco shelter before he was “too much work” and they didn’t know how to handle him.
The Humane Society of Central Texas went live on Instagram, and is showing the viewers around their kennels, took a moment to discuss Rusty’s situation.
“I just want to make a public clarification that when he came back– we are not at all upset with his adopters, they did the right thing by bringing him back because he IS a lot of work and he did nip at them.”
The Waco shelter worker hosting the video went on to explain how the adopters had done the right thing by bringing him back to them, “not every dog is right for every family. We know there’s a lot of judgment going on about the family that returned him. But, you know what, they didn’t let him go in the street, they didn’t let anything happen to him, they acknowledged he wasn’t the right dog for them, and they brought him back.”
March 31st, 2021 marked Rusty’s 420th day with the Humane Society of Central Texas.
The shelter working continues to explain to all those watching the stream the type of home that Rusty needs for anyone who may be interested in investing the time and energy into caring for him and giving him a true forever home.
He is apparently a highly energetic dog that does not do well on a leash, and so any adopter needs to have an area that will give him plenty of space to run around. He is also apparently best suited to a home with another large dog for him to play with and adults to keep him company, so no houses with small dogs or cats.
Additionally, and most importantly, Rusty needs to be in a home where he can bond with his new owners after being moved around so often, an owner with patience and confidence when it comes to caring for and training him.
Following a seemingly endless string of bad luck, Rusty was unable to find a home with the Human Society of Central Texas, and so on Monday 1st April 2021, a rescue in Temple, named Pearl’s Place, announced that they are now caring for this most unlucky pup.
Pearl’s Place is a shelter specifically dedicated to finding forever homes for dogs with reputations for being difficult to rehome, and are very excited to be giving Rusty this new opportunity to be adopted by someone new, hopefully for the last time!
“As if we didn’t have enough news this morning, the secret you’ve all been waiting for…drum roll please….Rusty the CNN super star is in the house!!” reads their announcement Facebook post.
Pearl’s Place uploaded a post on Facebook containing a happy group photograph of Rusty alongside 5 smiling Pearl’s Place shelter staff, to announce Rusty’s arrival and express their honor in getting to take care of the new pooch.
“Rusty has spent over 400 days in the Humane Society of Central Texas in Waco, and we can’t commend them enough for their dedication and hard work in the quest to find him a forever home,” it reads. “We are very honored and privileged to have him in the dog house, and we will be working with him to decompress, and he will be looking for his forever home.”
Pearl’s Palace will give Rusty a fresh start, socializing with new dogs and having the opportunity to settle down before being put back up for adoption. Now they just have to find him a home once and for all, so that he can finally be loved and looked after the way he deserves to be.