This Dog Has Lived Most His Life In Shelter; One Woman Hopes That’ll Change Soon

Written by: Ellyn Kail

March 10, 2016

***Update 1/4/2016***

Mason has been adopted into a loving home! To help dogs like him, please consider adopting, volunteering, or donating to the Hempstead Town Animal Shelter.

***Original Post***

Mason has never had a home outside his small kennel at the Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter, where he has lived since he was a puppy of eleven months. He has spent two-and-a-half years – more than 900 days – peering out from the inside, leaping to his feet every time people walk by, hoping they’ll stop by to say hello.


Mason was discovered as a stray digging through the garbage, searching for scraps of food. A passerby noticed him, gave him a bath, and brought him to the shelter. He was a fearful bundle of white fur, so frightened of his new surroundings that staff member Melissa Fogarty had to take him into her arms and carry him in and out of his cage.


Over time, Mason has learned how to trust. Melissa has become the closest person he’s ever had to a family, and when he hears her walking down the hallway to see him, he lifts his paws and gives her kisses before she can even open his kennel door.


The main reason Mason has been overlooked time and again is because of his kennel anxiety; he is nervous and agitated inside the cage. But the real Mason comes out when he is set free. He recently completed a training course in Manhattan, where his instructors were continually impressed and delighted by his intelligence and will to please.



At the shelter, Mason loves being taken out to play with Melissa in the water, in the snow, or on an agility course. They juggle tennis balls together, and Mason even jumps through hoops at her request. His favorite thing is romping around in the kiddie pool.


Despite all the kindness Melissa and her co-workers have shown Mason, this sweet dog has never known what it’s like to be part of a real family. He has lived his entire life afraid and confused, and although he has Melissa and other buddies in the shelter, he spends the vast majority of his days alone.


Due to the stress of living in the shelter for such a long period of time and going unnoticed by potential adopters, Mason had quite a hard time putting on weight. Melissa brings him food during her lunch break and hand feeds him when he won’t accept it (recently, they shared chicken and mashed potatoes). Mason is grateful for every bit of attention and companionship he receives.


Mason is one of the most loving and gentle dogs Melissa has encountered. Mason has endured a life few dogs can survive, and still it hasn’t dampened his playful spirit. “We have been best friends for two-and-a-half years,” she says, but she longs for the day Mason can leap into someone else’s arms and stay there for good.


Mason is one of the longest shelter residents at Hempstead, and he’s yearning to go home. He would prefer to be an only pet, at least for now, with adults and older teens. If you think you might be the person this special dog has waited countless hours to find, please contact the Town of Hempstead Animal shelter at (516) 785-5220 or via email at [email protected] You can also follow Mason’s journey on Facebook.


Featured Image via Help Mason Find His Forever Home

Written by: Ellyn Kail

March 10, 2016

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