VAN WERT – As 2019 comes to a close, the Van Wert County Humane Society (VWCHS) hopes that 2020 will bring forever homes to their long-term residents. Two dogs, in particular, have now ended another year waiting to be adopted.

Pico, a six-and-a-half-year-old female mixed-breed dog, originally came to the shelter in 2015. Pico had been adopted a couple of times, but she did not work out with other family dogs.

“She’s a ‘no other animal in the house’ dog,” said volunteer and board member Franki Eggleston. Eggleston noted that Pico would need to go to a home without dogs or cats, and would be better in a home with bigger kids.

Eggleston explained that the right person for Pico needs to have an active lifestyle and be patient with her.

“They would have to be an active person,” said Eggleston. “They would have to be able to spend time with her, be able to discipline but have patience.”

Pico enjoys swimming and walking long distances. She loves to run and would make a great jogging partner, according to Eggleston.

“The only thing with Pico is, she will keep doing it (activities); you will have to stop her and calm her down,” said Eggleston.

Pico also rides well in a car and enjoys relaxing on the couch at times.

Nelly, a nearly three-year-old Dutch Shepherd mix, came to the Van Wert County Humane Society in January 2018. She had been adopted once but was brought back because she barked at strangers who came into her home.

As a shepherd, Nelly tends to try to herd children but gets along with them very well. She does, however, take time to warm up to men.

“She’s a sweet dog,” said Eggleston. “She likes to go on walks. She can be excited at first, but she calms down within the first three to four minutes, and she just walks.”

Eggleston noted that the right family for Nelly would also be active and take her for walks. Nelly is also happy relaxing and taking a nap near her owner. Nelly would be good for an introverted person who has a quiet home.

“The perfect family will be a family with patience and love,” said volunteer Jess Ritchey. “A family with a lot of consideration for her and where she is at in her life would be good – someone who doesn’t have a lot of visitors.”

Eggleston noted that the VWCHS shelter is a no-kill shelter and that they do not give up on dogs, no matter how long they have been at the shelter.

“We don’t put animals down for space; we don’t put them down for time,” said Eggleston. “They stay here until they get a home. I’ve seen where an animal has been at a shelter for nine years – if that animal can get a home for the last year and a half, that’s what that animal remembers.”

Eggleston noted several cases where VWCHS animals have found successful forever homes after years of waiting. She explained that animals do not think about the time they spent in the shelter.

“They don’t think about the hard times that they had or the fact that they sat in a kennel,” she noted of animals who get adopted after long waits. “They are just happy. They eat their food, they play, they go to sleep in their bed and live their life.”

Eggleston urges anyone who wants to adopt Pico, Nelly, or another animal to meet the dogs several times.

“Come see them, come hang out with them, take them for a short walk,” said Eggleston. “You and your best friend don’t just meet one time and say, ‘Hey, we’re best friends now.’ You take time; you get to know them.”

She advises those who adopt to give new animals several weeks to adjust to the new environment.

In 2019, the VWCHS reunited 148 animals back with their owners, including one pig. As of Saturday, 277 animals have been adopted from the shelter this year.

Eggleston noted that dog tags are a vital part of getting animals back to their owners quickly. 2020 dog licenses are currently on sale for $17 until Jan. 31, 2020. All dog owners must buy a dog license. Wearing the dog tag on their collars can help the VWCHS get dogs back home faster.