Longest resident at Gloucester shelter finds forever home

CHESAPEAKE, Va. - The Gloucester-Mathews Humane Society has finally found a home for their longest resident, Banjo.

The 3-year-old beagle mix had been looking for his forever home for nearly three years. News 3 first told you about Banjo in September when the shelter reached out to the station to help find his forever home.

While Banjo's life was never in danger, staff members were worried that the longer he stayed at the shelter, the harder it would be to find a home.

Banjo

News 3 aired Banjo's story on September 11. Within a few days, people from all over Virginia sent in applications to see if they would be his match.

One of those people who applied was Gina Rivera.

"We saw him on the news on Channel 3, and we just could not stop looking at the video. We just kept going online and looking at the video," Rivera explained. "He just has the saddest eyes and to hear that he had to be there for three years... I couldn’t. My heart hurt so we had to give him a try."

Rivera already has two dogs, so she didn't know if she would be the right fit for Banjo. That all changed when she went to the shelter for a visit.

"We took our beagle up with us and we saw their interaction and they were running around together and playing together. It was wonderful! When we saw that, that was it. That was pretty much it."

Since Banjo had never been a pet before, the process to make sure he would be comfortable in his new home was a lengthy one. For weeks, shelter staff brought Banjo to Rivera's home for visits. Rivera knew on Banjo's first visit that he belonged with them.

"The first day that he jumped on me and kissed me, I was done."

After many visits, Banjo went to his Chesapeake home on Friday, November 8 - exactly three years after he was first brought into the shelter. For Rivera and her family, it's just further proof that Banjo was meant to be with them.

"All the checks have been checked off, including that - what a coincidence! It was like it was meant to be."

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