Shelter Dog Refuses To Be Adopted And Here’s Why


We’re told over and over again that it is important to “adopt” and not shop. We’re told that shelter dogs often grow up lonely and that we’d be doing them a big favor by changing their lives. But Gumby the Basset Hound has a very different story. His adoption journey did a complete 360 in the end, and for a reason, that will warm your heart!

Last March, Kay Hyman of the Charleston Animal Society posted a photo of a dog lying in the feathery remains of a pillow he’d reportedly wrecked. This was the world’s introduction to 7-year-old Gumby. But this charming white Basset Hound has a fair degree of infamy attached to him. You see, Gumby is a rather skilled escape artist. When Kay snapped the photo of him, it marked the occasion of the canine’s return to the shelter for the eleventh time!

When Gumby first came to the Charleston Animal Society, the staff immediately fell in love with his handsome looks and friendly disposition. They knew that it wouldn’t take too long for the cute white pup to be adopted. And they were right – Gumby was quickly taken home by a loving family.


However, the shelter staff had miscalculated just how long Gumby would stay with his adopted family. His very first adoption lasted a mere three days. His second adoption would last only a day short of a week. The staff members were distraught because they simply wanted Gumby to find a home he’d want to live in forever. They had the dog work with one of the best animal behavior experts in the area. They even tried pairing Gumby with a female Hound so he wouldn’t feel so lonely.

But Gumby continued to run away from his adoptive families. Over time, he had some rather formidable statistics to his name. In total, he had been adopted 7 times, surrendered back to CAS 8 times, and then picked up as a stray 3 times.

Finally, the team came to a realization that changed everything. Gumby was home all along!

The staff at CAS discovered that Gumby had a special skill. He was an empath with the ability to comfort rescued dogs who were experiencing fear and anxiety. Naturally, this made Gumby a special addition to the shelter team.

Donya Satriale, a behavior team leader for CAS, said that Gumby kept returning to the shelter because he knew he had work to do. Now that he’s officially a part of the CAS team, Gumby fulfills his duties by being the shelter’s ambassador for behavioral demonstrations and helping new dogs adapt to their new environment.

Check out Gumby’s story in pictures below!

This is Gumby. He was rescued by the Charleston Animal Society. He was a handsome, extremely friendly, and healthy pup, so the shelter knew that he’d be adopted early.



Gumby has all the characteristics of a hound dog – he’s tall, energetic, and very lovable. But in Kay Hyman’s 23 years at the shelter, never has she met a dog with escape skills like Gumby’s.

Every time a family tried to adopt him, they would be warned of his tendency to run away. Since being brought to the shelter in September 2014, Gumby has managed to escape a whopping 11 times!

shelter dog keeps running back to shelter



Gumby’s first adoption lasted a mere three days. The next family took him in for just six. Gumby was once again adopted for a third time but like before, he took off and was brought to the shelter as a stray.

gumby the shelter dog doesn't want a new home


The last attempt to find a permanent home for Gumby was on December 6, 2015. But that only lasted for a month. When the owner surrendered Gumby, he told the staff that the dog had already escaped 3 times in less than a month.

Finally, the staff over at Charleston Animal Shelter realized that Gumby didn’t need to find a home – he was home! He now serves as an Ambassa-dog in the shelter and donates blood every two weeks to help cats suffering from eye infections.

Animal behavior expert Donya Satriale even discovered Gumby’s special skill – he is an empath who works perfectly with anxious dogs. Looks like Gumby knew that he belonged in the shelter all along. And that would explain why he kept escaping!

Gumby’s story certainly took an unexpected twist but we’re glad everything worked out for the best. Don’t forget to share his incredible journey with your friends and family!