After over 200 days spent living at the Humane Rescue Alliance, Betsy was finally walking out the front door with a new family who was so excited to have her.
Betsy didn’t have to feel nervous because as she took one last glance at the shelter, she saw an excited crowd of rescue staff members supporting her, cheering her on.
“I had chills,” Ashley Valm, the director of adoptions at the Humane Rescue Alliance, told The Dodo. “I saw a few of my colleagues crying. Everyone was really excited to see her go home.”
The rescue recorded the emotional moment in a video here:
Betsy was found living by herself in the Anacostia neighborhood in Southeast D.C. When she arrived at the rescue, staff members were struck by her unabashed love for people.
“[Betsy] will gaze at you and lean gently into you while you pet her,” Valm said. “She’s never met a person she didn’t like.”
But Betsy didn’t get along quite as well with the other dogs, and she found the shelter to be a stressful environment.
Rescue staff knew it might take a little more time for nervous Betsy to find the right home. As they waited, they did everything they could to make Betsy comfortable. They even began welcoming her into their spaces so that she could get away from the noise.
“She spent a lot of time in our directors’ offices, which she loved because there were no other dogs,” Valm said. “She would snooze on the couch in the office and cuddle with our staff all day. She was a doll and a dream to have in the office.”
When Betsy was finally adopted, the shelter was celebrating Clear the Shelters day, a nationwide pet adoption drive. A buzz of excitement hung in the air.
“There was already a party atmosphere happening,” Valm said.
As news began to spread that Betsy would be going home, shelter staff radioed each other on walkie-talkies, urging everyone to come send her off.
They clapped and cheered and yelled words of encouragement as they watched the sweet dog they’d gotten to know so well depart for her next chapter, knowing that by showing empathy and compassion, they had played a role in changing her life.
To support other dogs like Betsy, make a donation to Humane Rescue Alliance here.