Why doesn’t anybody want me? Dog has been homeless for a decade

Senior dog, homeless since 2005
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Why doesn’t anybody want me? A question a dog, homeless for a decade, must surely wonder. The dog, named “Dodger,” has been at the North Fork Animal Welfare League, in Peconic, New York, through his adolescence, the prime of his life, and now, his twilight years (according to the shelter, Dodger arrived after Hurricane Katrina and has been there ever since).

The following information was posted to Facebook about the long-time shelter resident:

He is an older guy now. The good: He walks great on a leash is very clean in his kennel. Loves walks and car rides. Dodger needs to be the only pet in a home, He also cannot be with young children as he is not a fan of tail pulling or pinching. His perfect person would be willing to come meet him a couple times feed him cookies and build a friendship (which really only take a few cookies).

Dodger’s biography on the shelter website states, “Dodger quickly became a staff favorite not only from his personality, but also because he walks excellent on a leash, and knows basic commands.”

Dodger needs to be in a home – enjoy what remains of his life with a person who is his very own. Please share Dodger’s information and help him find a home. Facebook thread here.


Adoptable shelter dogs at this shelter here.

165 Peconic Lane
Peconic, New York 11958


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    • There’s a good reason they charge. They need to keep shelters open, pay for the other dogs in their care, ensure the home he is going to is a real and serious one, and if you won’t pay for his shots now that doesn’t bode well for the future, does it. Let me guess, you want them to drop him off to you, too, without ever having visited him. Responsibly it can never work like that. Please don’t get a dog until you realise this.

    • That’s sad because the adoption fee that you don’t want to pay funds towards his shots and many others as well. Also, you might already know this but shots just don’t end here.. you’ll have to pay to keep up.

    • Can’t you pay for his Bills??
      How you gonna feed him, when you cannot even afford the shot Bills?
      Here in Germany we pay 300€ for a dog, that is 350 US $…
      So why you are complayning????

    • Really Kellie ??? Free ??? Plus you want him to come to you ??? Why dont you just have them supply you with food and medical care for life while you’re asking for so much ??
      Do you have any idea how much it costs a rescue /shelter to take in just one animal ??? Lord have mercy … get a stuffed dog … that’s about all you can handle or deserve !!!

    • FREE the shelter has put 10 years into this wonderful dog.
      I wouldn’t even consider expecting them to give you this boy for Free.

      Ontario, Canada

      • Exactly. Who the hell does she think she is, pretty much demanding that Dodger be sent to her in Canada for free with all his shots provided and paid for?! What a weird woman. Dodger is better off where he is, even though he’s still in need of a nice home, but he’d be far worse off going to a person like her.

    • Over the course of his stay at the shelter they have fed him, vetted when needed, paid their employees and it it all cost money. Running a shelter does not come cheaply so that has to be factored in and of course all the other animals in their care. Therefore there is an adoption fee and if you cannot pay that I expect you will be unable to pay for his ongoing vetting etc. It’s great to want a dog, however one has to be able to care for the needs of the animal and since it appears that you may not be able to do so, it is best he remains just where he is where he is safe and cared for properly.

    • No dog for you in any way, shape or form. if you aren’t willing to pay for an adoption fee and basic needs you have no business caring for a sentient being of any type.

      • Exactly. I can’t believe how moronic some people are. She sounds like the kind of potential ‘adopter’ that would be any animal’s worst nightmare.

    • Kellie: You can’t demand that an animal be sent to you in Canada free of charge! Shelters have running costs, of course, and an adoption fee is only fair for that reason and also to protect shelter animals from people who are not genuine adopters but who want them for other reasons, such as to use in dog fighting, etc. Also, if a potential adopter, who is genuine in wanting to give an animal a good home, can’t afford (or doesn’t want to pay for) an adoption fee, or for shots, etc, then they’re far from an ideal person to adopt any shelter animal. Those are basic costs/ Also, presumably if you’re in Canada but want an animal from a NY shelter, say, you would have to go through a 501c rescue group (presumably in the NY area if the animal is in an NY shelter) and fill out relevant forms, presumably have checks done to ensure you’re genuine, etc. From your comment you seem to be far from an ideal potential adopter for any animal.

    • Kellie, I just saw your page on FB. You seem to endlessly post recipes and exercise posts on there! Interesting – would you spend as much time and money caring for an animal, feeding it good food, etc, as you seem to do on yourself?? From your arrogant, demanding comment above I doubt it very much.

    • Your a little Delusional, No animals dog or cat or and other animals are FREE, Please never get a pet as they cost money, Vet bills shots every couple years because they need boosters, And Rabies every three, Wow some people’s Children!! Lol

    • Do you READ MUCH???
      Clearly the article said ….ANY INTERESTED ADOPTER should go VISIT HIM several times and build a relationship with him PRIOR to take him home. Don’t get a dog if you can’t afford them….that simple!!

    • Then you don’t want him badly enough, and probably don’t deserve him. Real pet owners would do anything, and spend anything, on their companion animals if they truly love them. They don’t love with “buts” and “I wants” and with conditions.

    • Some no-kill rescues will not let you take the dog as a foster even though you’re a volunteer when they are still young. Today at his age, if a volunteer offered their home to him, as a foster, for the rest of his days and the shelter refused, that would be horrible.

    • I am a Volunteer at the shelter where Dodger lives. We are able to adopt and foster animals. We all love Dodger but he needs to be the only pet and feels anxious with young children. The staff and volunteers all have multiple animals that we adopt and foster from the shelter. It is our mission to help make their lives better while at the shelter and help them to find forever homes. It makes us all sad to see everyone just walk by this handsome guy without giving him a 2nd look. Anyone who is serious about adopting Dodger needs to be willing to visit him on Long Island, NY. Anyone who is approved to adopt Dodger, I will pledge to pay the adoption fee.

      • Sherri,
        I hope that Dodger (amd your other long-termers) is the first dog introduced to ALL prospective adopters walking through your door and that his many attributes and bad luck are shared will all.
        As a founder of a cat charity in the UK with many challenging cats that have been found adoptive homes over the past 8 years, I find it hard to comprehend why any pet with a minor issue -like Dodger- would spend 10 years in a shelter environment.
        At the risk of sounding critical, please review your approach to Your long-termers and try to find ways to give them a home. Volunteers are not all full of pets, especially new ones. Adopters are not all families with other pets am certainly not all homes have kids. Surely targeting the demographic that would consider Dodger isn’t such an impossible task.
        Best of Luck to Dodger and those who are still looking, years after they were “rescued”.

      • I will split the cost with you for the adoption fee if someone will adopt him. I wish I could, but I have a timid pitbull who was the runt of the liter that is very skittish. This precious dog, Dodger needs to be in a good home where someone can love him.
        I hope it happens soon. Poor baby feels unwanted! Ugh!
        Thanks to the wonderful people at the shelter who have kept this dog loved and cared for. I am certain they are overwhelmed.

      • Please don’t pledge to pay the adoption fee. The person that really wants Dodger and is willing to make a commitment to him will happily pay the adoption fee themselves.

      • Sherri, are you circulating Dodger’s details on Facebook? If so, PLEASE post those details on my page on there and I’ll share them. I’m also sharing his details from this page as well. As for you kindly offering to pay the adoption fee, that’s really generous BUT what kind of checks does the shelter make to ensure an animal is going to a good home where they will be cared for properly? I just wonder if people offering to pay the adoption fee for someone who might be interested in a shelter animal might potentially place that animal at risk of not being cared for properly when someone does take them? I just feel that if a person is genuine and decent, and capable of looking after a pet properly, they should be able to stump up for a shelter adoption fee. If someone can’t afford to pay a relatively low fee then how can they afford to care for an animal properly, especially a senior one that may have health issues, or possibly very imminent health issues??

      • Please be very careful with that pledge. When no costs are involved many bad things can happen. If I didn’t have 4 dogs already i would be there tomorrow to pick him up regardless the cost.

  1. He needs a senior pet owner that would like to give him a home. I don’t think my 4 dogs would work with him, but someday when I’m too old to deal with a puppy, he would be what I would be looking for. I hope he finds a loving home for the remaining years of his life.

      • I do a little cross-posting everyday. Everyday there are dogs I would take. This handsome guy really got me, unfortunately I have 2 dogs. I wish I could, but I hope more than anything Dodger finds someone to love him maybe even this week. Good Luck Dodger, I’ll be posting for you.

    • This is for a shelter, please look for yourself and contact them, that’s how these things work, they don’t chase you.it says you’ll need to meet him a couple of times before adoption. Transporting him to you would be a wholly unnecessary and painful expense to the shelter and other desperately in need dogs there. I’m sure it could be arranged if you were very serious and considered appropriate for him. Contact the shelter for details regarding this. It’s a dogs ife, not a used mattress.

      • Actually shelters run transports across the country all the time Volunteers drive up to 2 hours one way and meet up with other volunteers. I have done it.
        This person was offering an option, your response was a tad rude, sorry

      • I agree. I volunteer at a high intake shelter in California and people want out of state transfers all the time. The adopter needs to meet the animal to be sure it is a right fit for all animal and adopter. Paperwork needs to be done in person as well. Sending a senior on a transport is not the best thing for the animal but a drive back to the new home with the adopter would be nice get acquainted time

  2. I would take him. I have 5 acres of fenced pasture he would love in Arizona. Dodger would love living on the farm but I have other dogs. Good luck dodger I hope you find a home soon ????

  3. What a precious and handsome baby boy, it beggars belief that this sweet soul hasn’t been adopted years ago. It hardly sounds like he’s high maintenance, things like this strain credulity.. Hoping and praying that this beautiful one can have a happy home before too long. Bless your heart, Dodger ❤️ ????

  4. My God this poor angel. I live in California with 7 little fosters but this guy has had me in tears ever since I read the story. Is there no one with a heart and a home there? Please.

  5. How sad that this poor dog has had to live in a shelter for 10 years!!!!! Unbelievable!! People should be ashamed of themselves. How many people have gone into that shelter and did not even consider him? Truly selfish.

    • People adopted other dogs. How should they be ashamed of themselves? Other dogs shouldn’t have a chance, too? Some people can’t afford the added maintenance of an older dog. It’s not selfish. It’s selfish to take him and take him back to the shelter not long after. Your attitude doesn’t help here. I understand the anger and upset but to call people selfish for adopting other dogs is ridiculous. To have this attitude and direct it at others is what is truly selfish here. Please think before you throw stones.

  6. I think everyone has lost sight of the fact that we are trying to give this dog a loving safe happy home for the remainder of his days. I have pledge $25 to help defray costs. Please share him so that someone out there with a home will cherish him for the rest of his life. No more bashing and drama, just a home for Dodger.

    • Excellent point. I will pledge 25. as well to get him into a good home. Please be considerate of one another, people. The objective is to find a home, not to insult and cause drama.

    • To all who are pledging, click on the link towards the end of this article that says “Facebook page” and pledge there so rescues will see. Pledges go directly to rescues. If someone from out of state wants to adopt him, they need to have no other animals or small children, and need to contact shelter where Dodger is, and a rescue where they live to arrange transportation, etc. The post states an adopter needs to COME TO THE SHELTER to spend some time with him to make sure it’s a good fit because he is slow to warm up.

    • Dodger shouldn’t be portrayed as a discount dog. Honestly, the person that adopts him should do so because they can provide the type of home he needs and can AFFORD to do so, including paying the adoption fee without a discount, and without complaint. Offering to cover the adoption fee does nothing except attract people that can’t afford the adoption fee. That is NOT in Dodger’s best interests!

      • Cat lady, just because you don’t pay a fee doesn’t mean you aren’t able to take good care of an animal. Our first dog was a free puppy give away. We gave her everything and when she broke her back we paid for her medical care and sat by her side day and night. She lived to be 17 and the last two years of her life she had to use a wheelchair. We never stopped fighting for her or loving her.

        What’s in Doger’s best interest is to find a home. I’m sure the shelter will do a very thorough background check on whoever wants to adopt him. They haven’t kept him this long to just let him fall into the hands of just anyone.

        It’s wonderful that people want to be generous.

  7. I would be willing to pay for his adoption fee to the shelter, if someone would adopt him. I live in California, just say the word and I will deal with the shelter from here . Let me know.

  8. I would adopt this boy in a heartbeat, it’s heartbreaking that he’s been there so long. I live in MN though and have no way of getting out to NY. I will pray for this boy that he finds a loving home. I will share his story as I do have friends out that way.

  9. Dont tell me that in all those years with you …you could not find a home…REALLY????? you should be ashamed…..a staff favorite for sure right???? needs the best right???? i see ego problem here.from you……..not the dogs fault…! we see this much to often…..so sad for THE DOG…!!!

    • I agree something doesn’t add up. This is heartbreaking. He’s at a shelter and not used to other dogs? No one spent time and trained him a little? It seems like a lot of labels have been placed on this dog to make it the way it is.. no this, no that, no out of state unless you come here several times etc etc. this shelter is making him unadoptable. I’m sorry but please for the sake of this fur baby get cracking and work with the dog and would be adopters.

    • Actually this post is about finding the dog who is 17 years old an appropriate placement whether long term foster or adoption. Murielle your comment is rude and would indicate that you have no clue about how these things unfold. This shelter is a very good shelter and it’s not their fault that no one appropriate has chosen Dodger. It’s like finding one’s true love. You date a bunch and then the one comes along that you want to live with forever. It’s not their fault and it’s not his fault. It’s no one’s fault, it just hasn’t been the right place or the right time. Someone will come for him but I was told that he is perfectly happy where he is with good caregivers and friends, so please no more drama.

      I have done rescue for 20+ Years and I have taken the ones that were not able to make that match and most of them have been the best little dogs ever, but once again, they were not what folks were looking for. So enough drama already.

      This thread is about cross posting this dog; no name calling, no blame, nothing but sending him out to those we believe who may desire such an outstanding gentleman. He’s 17 and a fairly large boy, time is not on his side. So if the absolute soul mate does not come along he is with friends who love him and that is the best possible thing in this case.

      • I agree but both Margot and Murielle’s comments were rude and uncalled for. They apparently aren’t advocates who network and see dogs in shelters for years and years, nor have they apparently been volunteers at this shelter. Before one starts blasting the shelter, research needs to be done. But they apparently they want their five minutes of fame.

  10. I agree, they need the adoption fees to help care for other animals etc, they rely on donations. Never have a pet unless you can afford one, they cost money for food, vets etc.
    This is why so many homeless pets are abandoned, Idiots get them, realize they need work and money to take care them. Idiot owners then just pass them on to some other people or put them in shelters, Animals are a commitment not a whim.

  11. If this baby has lived at the shelter for almost 10 solid years, might it be possible that in his heart the shelter and its workers and volunteers are his HOME? It seems transitioning him into a home might be worse than him comfortably staying at the shelter.

    • You might be onto something, then they shouldn’t be trying to find him a home in that case. Besides, it would make more since if he did stay with the people he grow up and accustom too all those years… well staff how could you want to get rid of you precious fur baby now after all he loves you and you love him.

  12. After ten years he hasn’t been socialized enough to get along with other dogs? That seems odd to me. My first dog hated other dogs when I first got him. His hair would stand up on his back and he would go crazy wanting to rip out the other dog’s throat. It took me all of about half an hour to get him used to my 2nd dog and now they are BFFs. They love each other. It’s not hard. just takes a little patience.

  13. Why is it that he needs to be an only pet? I would love to give him a home where he will be spoiled. But I have a 16 year old bichon frisé, a five year old miniature poodle and a sweet cat. They get along with everyone but respect boundaries.

  14. This would be a great companion for a Veteran…so why not let a Veteran present their discharge papers and take him to a good home FREE! You people need to start thinking outside the BOX, especially since so many Veterans need a companion animal for their mental health well being. In this particular case let Dodger go to a good person, (Veteran) FREE of charge. There is someone out there that needs Dodger, just as much as he needs them. It is in-excusable to think that this dog has been in a shelter that long. Why don’t you contact the local radio stations and do a promotion that would involve special weekends for adoptions to Veterans that want to adopt dogs? This sweetie deserves better!

    • Jen, God Bless You for trying to help him. This is just a nightmare. so many people have something to say but no one is saving the dog. If I can help you in any way please let me know. I just can’t get over the heartbreak for this poor angel. How did this happen.

    • My name is Marianne Hyson but I don’t understand why you can’t just click on the share on facebook link and have it download to your page. Regardless, I will send it to you if you friend me. I am helpless here in California to find him a home.

  15. If I didn’t have an 11 month old crazy girl. German shepherd I’d take him in a second. I already have a small 15lb mutt that is 17 years old. We’ve had him since he was 3. But crazy girl who loves our little dog is just a little too much for him to handle so they have short supervised play times. I hope someone can open their hearts to this older dog. They are so full of love.

  16. I ‘ve seen all the comments but I want to see him find a home…. Please someone work something out for this angel so he spends the life he has left loved and cherished in a good home. I have already pledged to help…

  17. Wish I could take him 🙁 I have other dogs , and all tho being a dog trainer and my dogs being very well balanced , it might be to much for him . What a sweet baby <3 Lets all cross post and get this fella a good home for his golden years

  18. This is truly heartbreaking. To think this dog has never known a family – I’m sure the shelter does the best they can but this old guy needs a quiet home to spend his last years. I’ve adopted 2 senior dogs and they are the BEST companions ever.

  19. Are you certain he can’t be with other dogs? I adopted a single dog only into our pack and she is thriving. We just lost our 16 year old Katrina rescue but we still have three others. We would welcome him in Florida.

  20. Per the shelter Dodger must be the only pet in the home. I’m going to call them later to get an update on him since another thread indicated someone was seriously interested.

    • I just found out about Dodger last week. I live in California, thousands of miles away, I have 7 fosters and have pledged money to Dodger and shared him with everyone I know several times. All I can do now is cry…. Please give that angel a loving home for his last years.

    • Sounds like an excellent game plan, I’m praying that they’ll seriously will allow him to have his final forever family in his golden years. Thank you for looking into this great concern everyone has for Dodger.

  21. If the shelter like NYC is always claiming to be full and needs to make room for incoming dogs, why don’t they be realistic when it comes to the amount they want people to pledge getting them out. It seems to be double the amount of money, but if you go to your own local shelter to adopt a pet it’s a lot lower for the adoption fee. You would think NYC shelter would want to lower their adoption fee instead of having it so high so they have a better turn over rate.. please explain their reasoning why that is. Besides people just don’t have that kind of money at hand these days, yet their willing to save a life if they can.

    • Peconic is not like NYC that it without a doubt and no one is compelled to explain their reasoning to any of us. The dog is safe and cared for and due to his age they are making sure he does not fall into bad hands and I applaud hem for that.

  22. I am still looking for a wonderful home for this angel. Before he dies he should experience love, comfort and the wonders of a good life. Everyone is so busy bashing everyone else they have lost sight of the goal – Anyone able to give this wonderful senior a great home??? Please share. There are millions of people in local New York, someone has to have a heart and room for this angel.

  23. all these negative comments, not one has offered to foster or adopt this poor senior who had been overlooked by adopters or rescuers for 10 years.

  24. Poor dog, he looks so sad. Hope a good mind will take him for the rest of his life. I’m french, so I won’t be able, and I’ve already have 2 rescued dogs. Good luck to you, sweetie.

  25. I work with a rescue and Iv never seen a shelter keep a dog for that long, we network , we work with other rescuer’s and every thing possible to find home’s for dog’s and cat’s so why has this dog been over looked for so long ? it seem’s to be a serious failure on the shelter where he is , this is a sad case that never should happen 🙁

  26. I just can’t believe that we can’t find a home and love for this angel. He is going to die without ever having his person to hug and care for him in a loving home. I called and I can not get him to California but there must be someone in New York that has a heart and a home for this sweet angel. Please keep trying. Heartbroken for this baby.


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