Doggy adoption is a time for happiness and celebration. New pet parents are presumably ready to provide their newest addition with a “forever home,” signaling the end of their life as an orphan.
But not every transition is seamless, and new adoptive pet owners should be aware that minor behavioral issues can arise while their pup adjusts. But a man who gave up his adopted Staffordshire Terrier in Atlanta, Georgia, just couldn’t take his dog’s attitude anymore.
Helena, a 4-year-old Staffordshire Terrier, was rescued from her life as an emaciated stray by the LifeLine Animal Project.
Helena was found wandering the streets. She was underweight, malnourished, and dirty.
Karen Hirsch, the LifeLine Animal Project spokesperson, puts it mildly when she says Helena was “not in the best shape.”
But despite her rough exterior, the affable and loving dog won the affection of all with her infectious personality. After being medically cleared for adoption, rescue workers thought they’d found her forever home in October 2017.
They were wrong. A few months later, Helena was returned to the shelter for what her adoptive owner viewed as an irreconcilable defect.
Helena was returned to the shelter because she was “too nice,” according to the man who adopted her.
“Yes, she really was returned for being too nice,” Hirsch told TODAY in an email. “It was obvious the gentleman was looking for a guard/protection dog. He also suggested she be adopted by a woman ‘because they are more into that petting stuff.'”
As it turns out, Helena was too sweet for her owner to handle. She loves to love, and is affectionately referred to as a “Velcro dog” because of the way she sticks to people who give her attention.
“She just wants attention. If you stop petting her, she will request you continue,” Hirsch said.
The shelter suspects the man adopted Helena with hopes of bringing home a guard dog.
Because of her stocky, muscular build, Helena can look intimidating to those who don’t know her. But within seconds of meeting her, she wags her tail and wants some love.
That’s not the way most guard dogs work, and if the man who adopted Helena thought she was going to strike fear in the hearts of strangers, it’s easy to see why he was so disappointed.
“People judge dogs based on their appearances way too often,” Hirsch said. “You cannot judge a book by its cover!”
Helena is back at the shelter and looking for someone who wants all the love she has to give. A forever home—only for real this time.
“Ideally, we want her to go to a home where she can be smothered in love. And where someone can be the soft side to her Velcro,” Hirsch said.