After 950 days in shelter the Dog who never stopped smiling finds a forever home

Some dogs needing forever homes don’t spend as much time as Jessica the pit bull mix waiting for their families to come along.

Reeva spent exactly 950 days in the Hilton Head Humane Association’s shelter in South Carolina.

Reeva melted the hearts of the staff there. It was tough for them to see her leave this month, but they are happy for the sweet girl.

“She will squint so much that she starts smiling,” Nikki Wareham, a veterinary technician at the Hilton Head Humane Association says.

“I love how she smiles,” Sassa Enscoe, the shelter’s administration coordinator, gushes.

Reeva arrived at the shelter on January 5th, 2015. She had very little hair and bad skin. She also needed surgery on a bum knee. With her medical matters resolved, Reeva was quickly adopted. Her new people didn’t keep her for long. She stayed with them for just ten days before being returned.

Her adopters couldn’t afford to maintain the specialty diet she required. Once returned to the shelter, Reeva was treated like a queen. “She’s spoiled rotten,” Wareham says. “She’s loved.” The pooch is regularly walked; she receives training classes and special treats. She is mellow while on leash and adores belly rubs.

She gives out kisses like they’re going out of fashion, is good-natured, and loves children and cats. So if Reeva’s this awesome dog, why can’t she find a home? The shelter staff believes Reeva just got too comfortable with her life at the shelter.

When folks would drop in to see her and the other animals up for adoption, she wouldn’t jump up to greet them. She’d just lay on her bed and observe.


Wareham imagined Reeva was thinking, ”‘They’re not here for me,’” she says. “I believe she’s become so used to it here.”

“She has a big family here,” Enscoe adds.


The staff did everything they could to promote Reeva to their online audience, hoping someone would fall in love with her and wish to bring her home.

“I know that she is meant to be in a home,” Wareham says. “She is just the sweetest thing in the world.”


The staffs wish for Reeva finally came true when a family came in to officially adopt her. They saw the videos the shelter posted online and fell in love with her.

Their affection grew when they met her in person.

It’s a “perfect adoption,” Enscoe says. “Reeva’s story is a testament to never, ever give up on an animal.”

The shelter posted this on social media to celebrate the milestone occasion”


“Reeva spent 950 days with us here at HHHA….she will not see 951 as she went home today! She will be living with a 12-year-old soccer player….does it get any better than that?!!”

There were no tears from Reeva. She grinned the whole time her new family filled out her adoption papers. The kept on smiling while they took her to their car.


“She smiled the whole time,” Enscoe says. “She was smiling more than ever.”

What a fabulous story! Right on Reeva for finally finding her forever home after waiting so long.

Have you ever passed up on a dog in a shelter because there was something about the dog that made you think twice? If so, what was it? Do you regret your decision now?


What do you think ?