Happily Ever After: Lonely Shelter Dog Gio Finds Forever Home

PECONIC, NY — Sometimes, there are happy endings so beautiful they bring tears of joy: Gio, a stray dog who was lonely and bereft at the North Fork Animal Welfare League, has found his forever home — and his new family heard about his plight because of a Patch article, said Gabrielle Stroup of the NFAWL.

“A compassionate community comes together for Gio,” the North Fork Animal Welfare League said Monday. “Gio, a special boy who has been championed by many, has found his forever family.”

According to a post on social media, Gio was “a longtimer” at the Brookhaven Shelter, picked up as a stray and then adopted out and returned.

“He was a volunteer favorite there,” the NFAWL said. The dog’s plight came to the attention of a League volunteer, who thought he would do better at the NFAWL, the post said.

NFAWL Executive Director Gillian Pultz said he could be admitted but would first need to get the behavioral green light from the lead dog trainer — and training progressed.

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“But Gio’s journey was hardly over. The wonderful white dog doesn’t do well in any shelter environment. He loves people and being separated is painful for him,” the post said.

Still, a team of League angel volunteers took him out in the mornings, on car rides in the afternoons where he frequented Michelangelo’s for pizza, visited fruit stands, and even wineries, the post said.

“While he was quite the man-about-town, he was still failing in the shelter. Losing weight probably because he was unable to calm down in his kennel, his health was at risk. Gabby, shelter manager, posted his heartfelt story on Facebook and inspired Patch to do an article that went viral,” the NFAWL said.

“Gabby’s post also sparked the interest of Elizabeth and Kevin, a young couple from Montauk with plenty of space in their home and their hearts for a sweet dog in need. They came by the shelter with their dog to see if they would get along. They hit it off and it was Gio’s best day ever. Thank you to Elizabeth and Kevin for making Gio’s — and countless of his fans’ — dreams come true. Collaboration saves lives!” the NFAWL said.

According to Stroup, Gio was in a desperate way for weeks at the shelter. “He’s failing here,” she told Patch recently. “Gio does horribly in a shelter situation. It’s just too much for him to handle. Sadly, he is so anxious here it’s just no life for him.”

A previous adoption to his forever human fell apart after a man who was looking to give Gio a home realized he had not checked his apartment complex for breed restrictions and was told he could not take Gio, Stroup said. “He just wants a person.”

After reading about Gio’s plight in Patch, the public opened their hearts — and now, it’s happily ever after for a dog that touched the community near and far.

“We are just all so super happy that he finally has found a home and will be able to decompress and settle in,” Stroup said.


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