‘Sweetheart’ Dog Who Spent 500 Days In Shelter Gets Send-off Fit For A King

The employees wanted him to know they loved him.

Every person Joey meets falls in love with him right away because he is so unique. The 5-year-old pit bull mix shouldn’t have had to spend more than 500 days at a shelter, but that is exactly what happened—and it was entirely out of his control.

The adorable dog quickly won over the entire crew, so when Joey’s forever family showed up to whisk him away to the life of his dreams, they knew they had to send him farewell in the grandest manner imaginable.


According to Kimberly LaRussa, founder of Sweet Buffalo to the Rescue, “the staff always wanted to make sure the shelter dogs understood how loved they were, so we started a special send-off so the dogs knew how much they meant to us and to help them feel pleased about heading to their new home.”

The departing celebration needs to be especially memorable for one of their longest residents.

“We thought that we could put some leis on him as a gesture of friendship and give him food,” LaRussa added. “We wanted to give Joey a peaceful and quiet send-off.” “It was absolutely lovely to see him at the end of the send-off with all the leis he accumulated.”

Joey’s touching farewell can be seen here:

Nobody anticipated that Joey, a former stray, would still be in the shelter more than a year later. But because no one was interested in adopting him, he was passed over, and Joey ultimately became impatient.

He “compensated” as best he could, according to LaRussa. “The former employees and volunteers adored him. But as time passed, it became clear that he yearned for things we were unable to provide, such as a warm bed, nighttime cuddles, and his own family.


When LaRussa noticed the dejected puppy whimpering in his kennel and appearing helpless, she made the decision to intervene on her own behalf by making a small video of Joey and posting it on social media. The interest exploded all at once. But Daryl Koczaja and Melissa Leuer, a distinctive couple, triumphed.

Leuer recalled, “I remember crying and watching his movies over and over and thinking, ‘Someone needs to assist this poor baby,'” I had no idea that it would be us.

There was an instant connection between Joey and the prospective adopters when LaRussa arranged a meet and greet.

“We all fell in love with him the instant we met; he was such a sweetheart!

Leuer said, ” He rushed over to Daryl and showered him with kisses. We simply had the impression that he was intended to be with us and had been waiting for us to be ready for him the entire time.


Although it took Joey a few days to adjust to his new life, he is now the biggest cuddlebug and always smiles when he sees them.

Joey has brought so much joy and fun into our home, and Leuer declared that he was still just as great as the day they had adopted him. “We look forward to sharing many more memories with him and providing him the amazing life he has always deserved. We genuinely couldn’t wish for a better puppy!”