May 23, 2024

Bowlingual Dog

Animal Planet Directory

Hope Fading for Shelter Dog Adopted After 900 Days but Returned Hours Later

A dog who went viral after suffering the heartbreak of being adopted after 900 days in a shelter only to be returned within 24 hours is losing hope of ever finding her forever home.

Sora’s story first made headlines back in February. At that point she had been at the Valley Animal Center in Fresno, California, for just over two and a half years, having been surrendered by her original owner.

The Valley Animal Center is the largest no-kill animal center in the Central Valley and while Sora struggled to attract much in the way of attention from visitors, staff had been confident she would eventually catch the eye of that special someone.

“Sora is a high-energy dog who loves to play and gets super excited anytime she gets to go on walks,” Sim Kaur from the Valley Animal Center told Newsweek.

“She is great on walks and hikes, making her a good traveling companion. She also loves playing with tennis balls. She is lovable with humans and has tested well with children over the age of 5.”

Sora is still stuck at the shelter.
Sora is coming up to 1,000 days at the shelter. She spends her days watching other dogs get adopted.


It had looked like Sora’s luck was about to change after she recently caught the eye of a prospective owner who eventually decided to adopt her. Sora had the happy ending everyone had wanted her so desperately to have—but it would not last. A day after being taken home from the shelter, her new owners called them to say Sora was being returned.

Sora was heartbroken, with a video posted to TikTok by @jjack.iie capturing the shelter dog looking devastated to be back in too familiar surroundings.

Explaining the reasons behind Sora’s return, Juan Guitron from the Valley Animal Center told Newsweek: “Sora has struggled to find a home because she is dog-selective and has a tough time getting along with other pets. Meaning that she will have to be the only pet in the household.”

He added: “She also has very high energy and will need a home that can keep up with her and provide the enrichment she craves.”

Even so, it seemed it might be second time lucky for Sora after the heartbreaking video of her returning to the shelter, coupled with Newsweek‘s coverage of her plight, sparked a flurry of interest in adopting her.

“After Sora went viral, we received hundreds of inquiries, which has led to donations to help her get adopted,” Guitron said. “There were many people around the globe interested in adopting Sora but unfortunately, none seemed to be a great fit for her in the long run. The cost of transporting her over long distances and the toll that it would take on Sora was also a factor.”

As a result, Sora has now been at the Valley Animal Center for more than 980 days and counting, with that 1,000-day milestone looming large, less than a month away.

A little love can go a long way with a shelter dog. A 2018 study published in the journal Applied Animal Behavior Science found just 15 minutes of petting provided shelter dogs with a measurable boost to their overall sense of wellbeing.

But Sora has been at the shelter so long now that staff are struggling to help her find the motivation to keep going. “A common concern with long-term adoptables is they can develop anxious behaviors due to their prolonged stays in a shelter environment,” Guitron said.

“This is the case with Sora, despite our best efforts, she does not get the level of enrichment she needs. Nothing compares to the love and attention that home can provide. Given time, we believe Sora would thrive in a home with plenty of space for her to play and just be a dog.”

These days, Sora spends much of her day watching the dogs around her interact with visitors, and suffering the heartbreak of seeing others get adopted ahead of her.

There is a small glimmer of hope left though. Guitron said: “We are confident we found her a home in Texas.” But getting Sora all the way over there is not without its challenges.

“We are trying to raise funds to provide Sora safe transport to her possibly new ‘furever’ home,” Guitron said. “People can donate on our website with funds going to help Sora and other long-term dogs acquire safe transportation.”

However, Sora and the staff at the Valley Animal Center know better than most that nothing is guaranteed. Having suffered enough heartache for an entire lifetime, Sora is still waiting for the happy ending her story so desperately deserves.

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