A FOCAS Rescue Story and Lesson in Patience

You may have seen the bumper sticker, “Give me patience…NOW!”

We have to remind ourselves of that at Rancho Coastal Humane Society when new cats, dogs, or rabbits arrive from our rescue partners through our FOCAS (Friends of County Animal Shelters) program. We want them to begin their new lives NOW!  But it can take time.

When Shelby arrived on a rescue flight from Mississippi in September of 2020, we knew the 1-year-old, 33-pound, Blue Heeler mix puppy would be adopted right away. She is so pretty and so smart. Shelby greeted the animal care attendants with play bows and barks for attention. Her file described her as “Friendly and playful.”

Shelby was adopted less than two weeks after her transfer but returned a few days later. A 1-year-old Blue Heeler has non-stop energy and curiosity.

For the next 10 months, our staff and volunteers spent every day making sure that Shelby got lots of social experiences, playtime, and love.

She was adopted again. A week later, the adopters brought her back. Shelby and the family’s other dog got along, but at mealtime, Shelby thought all the food should be hers.

We reminded ourselves to focus and be patient. Then we started over. The new notes in her file said, “Shelby is an active puppy who needs an active home that has the time and energy to tire her out both mentally and physically.”

Four months later we met Shelby’s knight in shining armor. Our hard work and patience paid off when Ian adopted Shelby! They were perfect together!

We contacted Ian to see how things were going. He sent back pictures of Shelby, who got a new life and a new name! She is now Daphne. Ian replied:

Daphne (Shelby) is doing Great and is adjusting well… she is already a lot calmer and listens to me well. …she seems to be happy here. I love her and think she knows it. I know the staff loved her. Thanks for doing what you do.

Right now, there are a lot of adoptable pets like Shelby at RCHS. They’ve been with us too long and just need a chance with someone like Ian, willing to give them the time and effort to let their personalities blossom.

The FOCAS program gives these animals a second chance, you could help give them a forever home. If you are interested in adding a new furry member to your family or know someone that is, please visit SDPets.org because Every Animal Deserves a Tomorrow®!