By Dan Coles
This dog has finally been adopted by a couple after being recorded as the longest staying resident the RSPCA has ever seen, spending nearly two years without a family.
Three-year-old lurcher, Gary, has spent two YEARS at the kennels after being left there by his previous owner when he was 12 months old.
The nervous pooch had seen 195 kennel mates come and go with new families, but he was never picked to join a forever family.
But now, after 578 days in RSPCA kennels, Gary has finally found a family to call his own.
Last month, 40-year-old Jo, and partner Andrew, 45, a maintenance engineer, from Castleford, West Yorks, were tagged by friends in an adoption appeal and called the RSPCA instantly to meet the lonely dog.
Now, two weeks after first meeting Gary he has slotted into his new home perfectly. He spends his days lounging in the garden, hovering around the fridge for treats and is working on getting his new owners let him snooze on his favourite sofa, which he sneakily jumps on after they’ve gone to bed.
Joanne said: “He’s such a lovely dog, we don’t know much about his past but he’s a one-dog family and gets nervous around other dogs.
“We love dogs, I grew up with them and we’ve had them before, we were already thinking of adopting a dog, so it seemed like a perfect match
“We called the RSPCA as soon as we knew we were sure about it, when we got there, we knew right away that we were taking him home and once the RSPCA permitted us to adopt him we picked him up.
“Gary jumped up at Andrew straight away, his tail was wagging and he seemed so happy, so we came away that day already knowing we were committed, and we couldn’t be happier with him.
“He certainly seems to love his new home, and the fridge in particular. My partner tries to stop him getting on the sofa but sometimes when he’s out I’ll try and sneak him on there for a little while.
“He loves to snooze too but every day he’ll have one or two what we call “mad moments” where he gets hyper and darts around the house with a toy in his mouth. His walks are one of his favourite parts of the day.
“You expect that when you adopt a dog, they might take a while to settle but he’s slotted in really nicely, he knows the house rules and sticks to them.
“The sofa is off limits so two or three times a day we used to have to tell him to get down, he begrudgingly hopped off and went back over to his own bed but he’s since learnt the rules and stays off.
Gary had spent nearly two years in kennels, 78 days longer than Hector, the RSPCA’s last longest standing dog.
Totalling at 578 days, he had watched hundreds of dogs walk by with new owners but was usually overlooked by other families because he had trouble living with other dogs.
Joanne said: “We know he struggles with other dogs, but we will only have him so for us it couldn’t be a better match.
“I think he’s starting to understand where the food is kept so he likes to hover around us whenever we’re walking about near the kitchen.”
Since adopting Gary, he now has his own front and back garden to call his territory and trots around the area with his owners on walks each day, finally living his best life with a loving family to take care of him.
Andrew added: “When we first met him it was almost instant, when he jumped up at me I looked over and Joanne and I think in our heads we both said the same thing “We’re taking him home.”
“We were worried that because we were quite a long way away from the kennels we would be at the bottom of adoptee list for him but because he has a couple of different requirements that may not fit other families, we got the call we were waiting for and picked him up.”
After spending two of his three years alive in a kennel with no family, Gary gets up early and runs into his new owners room to wake them up, always excited to see what the day has on offer for him, but unfortunately getting to sit on the sofa isn’t usually one of the offerings.
Joanne said: “Sometimes, when my partner heads off to bed I’ll sneak him on, but because he knows it’s against the rules he’ll question it and not bother.
“I think when we’re out he probably makes the most of not needing permission.
“We’re so happy to have Gary with us, and to know that we have freed him from such a long time in a kennel just makes it even more special.”