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Chance Lunch Delivery Leads to Dog Adoption at Virginia Shelter: ‘Love at First Sight’

Alan Moncayo quickly fell for Jihoo, a 65-lb. pit bull mix who had spent 240 days at the shelter

<p>Fairfax County Animal Shelter</p> Alan Moncayo, his daughter and dog Jihoo

Fairfax County Animal Shelter

Alan Moncayo, his daughter and dog Jihoo

An animal shelter employee’s lunch order led to an incredibly happy ending for one patient rescue dog.

On Saturday, Feb. 10, Grubhub driver Alan Moncayo delivered lunch to a manager at the Fairfax County Animal Shelter‘s Lorton, Virginia, campus.

When he walked in Moncayo saw a dog in the front window staring right at him.

“It was love at first sight,” Moncayo, 51, tells PEOPLE. “He looked at me, and I looked back at him.”

Because it was a weekend, the single dad had his 5-year-old daughter, Sabrina, with him.

“My daughter’s been asking me for a puppy for the longest time,” Moncayo says. “She wanted a dog so bad.”

He asked if he could meet Jihoo, the 65-lb. black-and-white pit bull mix he saw in the window.

He and his daughter played catch with the dog. “It was amazing,” Moncayo says. “We hit it off with him right from the very beginning.”

Related: 10-Year-Old Transforms ‘Sick and Skinny’ Rescue Dog into a Loving ’80-Lb. Potato on Legs’ (Exclusive)

<p>Courtesy Alan Moncayo</p> Alan Moncayo and Jihoo

Courtesy Alan Moncayo

Alan Moncayo and Jihoo

The average length of stay for dogs at the Fairfax County Animal Shelter is 24 days. Jihoo had been at the shelter for 240 days since his owners surrendered him.

“He was super beloved by our staff,” says Rebecca Cavedon, communications manager at the Fairfax County Department of Animal Sheltering “He would go on hikes, he’d go visit different parks, he loved playing with any and all squeaky toys. He even spent the day at our front desk greeting visitors — and that was the best day ever, because he was so wonderful with everyone who walked in. He would jump up on the counter and wag his tail. He was just perfect.”

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Celebrating Super Bowl weekend, the shelter happened to be having an Adoption Bowl” event for large dogs, waiving all adoption fees for pups over 45 lbs.

Thanks to the lunch delivery leading to this chance encounter, Jihoo was one of 20 dogs adopted over that weekend.

“His adoption is just so special. Bringing people and pets together is really the core of our mission — there’s so much love and joy in adopting a pet,” Cavedon says. “To see a pet that was so loved by our entire community thriving with his new family means everything to us.”

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Moncayo was thrilled that the shelter not only waived the adoption fee, but also sent him home with a brand new dog crate, leash, toys and food.

“He’s so gentle, loving,” Moncayo says of his new pet. “He fits so perfectly in our family. We love him so much, it’s such a blessing to our hearts.”

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