Five reasons to adopt a long-term stay dog

Well, little Lou officially found his forever home this past weekend. As promised, tears were shed and it was sad to say goodbye. However, it’s been so nice to be back to our normal routine of two (ridiculous) cats and (an even more ridiculous) dog. Plus, with kitten season seeming to never end, I’m excited to have a spot to host kittens again. After I give myself a teeny tiny break.

Last week, I also got to meet Bree, a dog I have heard so much about for the last few months. Bree is a special girl who has been in foster for almost two years. She’s been in a few foster homes and I can’t believe she hasn’t been adopted yet. 

It’s a common thought I’ve had since volunteering at Chicago Animal Care & Control, “why hasn’t animal dog gotten adopted yet?!” At our city shelter, we consider a dog long term if they’ve been there for more than two months. Our current longest term dog at CACC is Huggie and she’s the cutest thing. She’s been at our city shelter for almost three months.  

People often assume that the longer a pet stays at a shelter (or in a foster home) the less desirable these animals are. While each dog has its quirks, they’re certainly no less perfect than ones that get adopted in just a few days. 

In fact, as a volunteer, we often try to steer people towards animals that have been with us longer. Here are five reasons to adopt a long term animal. 

1. We know more about them

If an animal stays at a shelter or in a foster home long enough, we get to know a lot about them. Therefore, we know what kind of home would work best for them. Whether it’s a dog who would thrive in a home with children to play with or a cat that needs to be adopted into a home with another cat, we usually have a good idea what will work best. For dogs, we know their play style, how they do with other types of dogs, and what sort of companions they’d do well with. 

All in all, we can make really good recommendations for the longer term pets. We know a good amount about them because we interact with them every day. While we can’t predict behavior outside of the shelter 100% of the time, we can make suggestions and help transition to their forever easier. 

2. They’ve shown resiliency 

After I spend 3 hours at CACC, I need to come home and decompress immediately. The noise, the smells, all the people walking through, it’s a lot to take in. I would for sure go insane if I had to sleep there overnight, let alone for months.

So, any animal that has been at a shelter for a long time actually demonstrates how adaptable and resilient they are. Dogs who can manage the stress of shelter living for months show they are some tough cookies. If they can manage in a shelter, they usually do even better in a home environment. 

3. Stigma is stupid

Maybe this is more of me venting vs a reason to adopt, but people get weary when an animal has been there so long without any interest. People think that if nobody else wants this pet, why would they? 

I’ve seen plenty of dogs overlooked for no apparent reason. Dogs that have great manners, do well with other dogs, and are nothing but love, get overlooked constantly. Don’t let someone else’s mistake be yours too, long term pets are some of my favorites!

4. They come with support and fans

If you adopt an animal that has been looking for a forever home for a while, chances are high they’ve met lots of people who love them. When that animal finds its home, you can bet you’ll have a lot of people wanting to make sure they have everything you need. 

Adopting a long term pet will instantly make your animal a little local celeb. People will politely demand you start an Instagram account for them so we can all keep up with the forever home happiness.

5. You get to be their (and our) hero

Sure, your ego shouldn’t be the reason you adopt an animal, but you will absolutely be a hero in your new companion’s eyes. Taking a long term animal into your home will make you everyone’s favorite. We will all celebrate your new family member and cherish the official adoption photo. You’ll have a new bff who won’t soon forget you gave him a chance at forever. 

Long term animals are some of the best ones I’ve met. Next time you are in the space of adopting a pet, consider asking your local rescue or shelter about the ones that get looked over. I guarantee you’ll find they are lovely too.


Bree – This sweet girl has been in different foster homes for the past two years. She’s was nothing but sweet and polite when we were together. She didn’t react at all when another dog walked by and she gets along well with other male dogs. Bree is crate trained and house trained and does well with older children. She’s available through CPR Fund K9 Rescue and ready for her forever!


I rarely find a jumpsuit that actually looks halfway decent on me so when I found this LC one, I was stoked. The green was perfect for fall too! 

I’ve been wearing these Bhava shoes on repeat. They’re pretty much perfect for every and any outfit I wear. Cruelty-free shoes are my favorite shoes!

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