234 days later, PAWS dog finally finds forever home
FORT WALTON BEACH — Sahara, the longest dog resident at the Panhandle Animal Welfare Society, has finally left the building after 234 days.
Pit bulls and black dogs often are overlooked at the shelter. Sahara is both, which made her even more of an “underdog.”
Staff and volunteers pulled out all the stops for months, incessantly sharing Facebook pictures of their “little hippo” splashing in baby pools or in her frog leg “sploot,” promoting her on Q92’s “Furry Friend Friday,” and escorting her to the recent “PAWS at Subaru” adoption event.
PAWS volunteer Dana Chamberlin’s heart broke when “nobody showed interest in her.
“I just couldn’t understand it. I cried and cried.”
Then Pierce Dolan showed up to do a “doggie date.”
“I fell in love with her instantly, and I knew she was going to be my dog,” said the 20-year-old airman from Freeport. “She was the one.”
While he grew up with dogs, Sahara “is my first dog. It’s my own,” Dolan said.
“She’s very obedient, very smart. She’s a great dog and very grateful to be out of the shelter.”
The people of PAWS are grateful she’s out too, though they can’t help but miss her.
“She would always look up at you with that big, beautiful smile,” said longtime volunteer Debbie Buongiorne Gent. “And you couldn’t have a bad day.”