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It seems like it would be an emotional rollercoaster ride for a German Shepherd/Catahoula mix named Rusty before he finds himself in the walls of a loving home.

His original owner had to surrender him at the Humane Society of Central Texas in February 2020 because he had been too hyper as a puppy. Eventually, he found his way to a foster home, where he spent two months. But according to multiple local news outlets, he was sent to a facility in Idaho, where he spent another two months before being sent back to the Humane Society of Central Texas for being dog unfriendly and for the difficulty in landing him a home.

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According to a Humane Society of Central Texas statement, Rusty became depressed and frustrated over a few months. This caused him to act out inside his kennel and become highly reactive toward other canines. He did find a home in November 2020 but got sent back after a month because of his destructive behavior.

The setbacks did not prevent the Humane Society of Central Texas in their determination to find Rusty a home. This prompted them to start the Dogs Playing for Life program, which allowed shelter animals to participate in playgrounds despite their breed, age, behavior, or history. Aside from socialization with other dogs through playgroups, Rusty began with group behavior training. And according to the shelter, Rusty, by far, was one of the superstars in their group, who quickly learned every command and paid attention to his handler.

All seemed bright for Rusty after he exhibited some positive behavioral changes, where he was then introduced to a potential adopter later on. They were instantly smitten with him and decided to open their home to him. And just when everyone thought Rusty found a sense of permanence, the couple took him back to the shelter after 24 hours because he was apparently too much work for them.

The poor darling is now back at the Humane Society of Central Texas and has marked his 420th day with them on March 31. The facility posted a clip through their Facebook account on April 1, featuring their adoptable dogs, as well as an update regarding Rusty’s story.

The shelter employee who took the video said that they were not upset with Rusty’s adopters. She emphasized that they did the right thing by bringing him back, as he was a lot of work—and he did nip at his owners, after all. She proceeded to say that not every dog is suitable for every family and that there was a lot of judgment for the family who returned him. However, she said that they are glad they didn’t leave Rusty in the street to fend for himself.

The shelter employee further added that rambunctious Rusty requires a home with enough room where he can run, as he does not do well on a leash. Aside from this, his future family must have another canine whom he can befriend but would prefer if they didn’t have small children. Sadly, he doesn’t get along well with cats or little dogs.

According to the shelter employee, it’s not necessarily a bad thing when animals get returned. Instead, this gives them another chance to find the right home. They also took that opportunity to express their gratitude to everyone all over the country who has reached out to them regarding Rusty.

Anyone interested in fostering or possibly adopting Rusty can personally visit him at the Humane Society of Central Texas at 2032 Circle Road in Waco, Texas, or reach out to them via the City of Waco Animal Services at (254) 754-1454.

Source: Humane Society of Central Texas / Facebook

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