Jill Layton
Updated Apr 06, 2015 @ 11:57 am
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If you live for happy-ending dog stories like we do, this one’s for you. Chester the pit bull was living as a stray puppy on the streets of New York, until he was found and taken in by an animal shelter. He lived in two different animal shelters for five whole years, waiting patiently for a family to adopt him. Then, North Awl Animal Welfare League manager Gabby Stroup made a decision that changed Chester’s life forever. She posted this photo of Chester to the shelter’s Facebook page, and it went viral within hours.

In the picture, Chester holds a pretty heartbreaking sign: “Why doesn’t anybody want me? I’ve been waiting 5 years. Everyone at the shelter tells me what a good boy I am. So why has no one adopted me? I promise to be good and love my new family. Please, maybe you are my new family . . . I sit and wait for you to come. – Chester” Like we said, heartbreaking.

With this image live, social media then did what social media does best — it instantly spread the word that Chester desperately needed to find his forever-home. Stroup told the publicationSouthold Local that she started getting calls from all over the world inquiring about adopting Chester. Many people urged her to create a Facebook page for Chester — so she did. And that’s when things really changed for the sweet dog.

“I posted the original photo on the League’s Facebook page and by later that day there were over 6,000 shares,” Stroup said. “Someone suggested I make him his own page and I did, at about 3:30 p.m., and that evening there were close to 2,000 likes.” The page currently has over 6,500 likes.

Stroup said she received over 300 emails and endless phone calls. “The phone just never stopped. People called from Illinois, North Carolina, South Carolina, Mississippi, Michigan, Oregon, New Jersey Wisconsin, Nova Scotia, Australia and more — people tearing up as they called.”

Dana Dor was one of those calls. Dana and her family then paid Chester a visit, and they didn’t leave without him. “They came and met him and it is just a perfect match,” Stroup said. Dana’s husband Adi added, “We saw him and we felt connected. It was meant to be.” Awwwwwwww!

(BTW, here’s the Dor family meeting Chester for the first time:)

Dana told Southold Local that her family lost two Yorkies five years ago — the same amount of time Chester has been waiting to find his happily ever after. Happy tears-city over here!

Despite not having a permanent family Chester is still a wonderful dog. Dana said she thought Chester’s warm and loving nature to be a testament to how much he was loved and taken care of at the shelter. “They raised him,” she said. “He’s been so loved.”

Here’s Chester loving his new toys, and his new home:

Due to the popularity of Chester’s Facebook page, other rescue organizations have been posting on the page in the hopes of finding homes for more dogs. It’s a beautiful thing when a dog finds a family and a family finds their dog. We are so happy for Chester and his new family, and hope this story helps people recognize the importance of adopting shelter animals.

Featured image via, via