As a puppy, Cleto endured a life filled with abuse and neglect in his former home. Thankfully, he was rescued at an early age and brought to a shelter in Mexico City by West Coast Paws Dog Rescue. The rescuers anticipated he would soon find a loving forever home, but unfortunately, that wasn’t the reality.
Despite their efforts, Cleto spent a decade at the shelter, continuously overlooked by potential adopters. His rescuers held onto hope, but as time passed, they grew increasingly uncertain about how much longer Cleto could endure the wait.
“For a lot of dogs, it’s all they’ve ever known” Zoë Yoxall, cofounder of West Coast Paws Dog Rescue, explained to The Dodo, “For Cleto, the only home he knew beforehand was abusive, so the shelter was a step up for him. It helped with his socialization skills with other dogs, but it was heartbreaking to think that he never had a true home.”
Despite never experiencing familial love, Cleto displayed affection towards every person he encountered, leaving one to wonder why his chance at a forever home hadn’t arrived yet.
“He was often overlooked as he’s a larger dog (almost 50 [pounds]) and those are deemed less ‘desirable’ to own,” Yoxall said. “He also [has] a chunk out of his ear and a scar across his face, which gives him a tough-guy persona. He is extremely approachable, but sometimes looks can deceive people at first greeting. When he was living in a shelter with over 100 dogs, it was hard for him to stand out”
With numerous dogs at West Coast Paws Dog Rescue sharing similar backgrounds and limited resources for finding them homes, Cleto’s plight was not unique. However, the organization was determined to assist him. After a decade-long wait, Cleto finally found his perfect forever family.
“They found out about Cleto on Facebook thanks to a strong network of people sharing, liking and commenting,” Yoxall explained. “All it takes is one person to see the right post and the dog has found [his] forever!”
The day Cleto left the shelter to embark on his journey to a forever home, his excitement knew no bounds. He dashed ahead eagerly, chasing his happily-ever-after, and when he finally found himself in the arms of those who promised to love him forever, his joy was palpable.
“He seemed quite happy to meet us and really did seem like he’d been waiting for this for a while,” shared Dan and Heda, Cleto’s newly adopted parents, with The Dodo.
Having waited a decade to discover his permanent family, Cleto’s patience has now proven to be immensely rewarding, as the bond with his new parents reflects the fulfillment of a long-awaited dream.