Helping a Long-Term Dog Find Her Forever Home: Nellie

According to the ASPCA, approximately 3.2 million shelter animals are adopted each year from animal shelters across the United States. Last year alone, TAPS helped more than 1,700 dogs and cats find lasting, loving families to share with the rest of their lives. While I know from personal experience, that every animal that makes its way to TAPS is treated with the utmost love and respect and is given the best care possible, volunteers and staff align to make sure their stay at the shelter is temporary and as short as possible. Fortunately, many animals are adopted within days or couple weeks, once they are vaccinated, spayed/neutered, and have been given a clean bill of health by our partnering veterinarian clinics. Unfortunately for some, while they sit pretty at the front of their kennel, longingly waiting for their forever family to walk by, they are passed over day by day, week by week, and become what we affectionately refer to as our “long-termers”.

Nellie, commonly referred to at the shelter as Nellie-Belle, is an example of one of TAPS long-term dogs. She is a 7.5 year old hound mix and is the matriarch of the shelter. Nellie once lived in a loving home and had a family, but tragically they experienced a devastating house fire and were forced to move and couldn’t take her with them. She originally came to TAPS in 2015 when she was just three years old and has been adopted and returned to the shelter because her quirks were not well understood. She has now been with TAPS for roughly two full years. To say she is a staff and volunteer favorite is an understatement. She is a joy on a leash even at 80 pounds and loves to go on long walks. Nellie loves to sniff and her nose is her guide, but she easily redirects with a gentle nudge. Nellie especially loves her special grain-free bones and will sit, shake, and lay down like a complete angel on command for a treat. Her favorite snack is a plain hamburger (no bun, no extras) from McDonald’s.

Nellie is however not without her quirks and this is what has likely influenced her longer stay at TAPS. She is a dog that thrives on structure and TAPS provides that for her. She is looking for a forever home where she can be the queen, so no other pets for her (no cats, no dogs, no exceptions). She would also thrive in a quiet home where there are not a lot of people coming in and out all the time (Nellie cannot be adopted into a home with small children, unfortunately). She needs slow introductions to new people, but when she trusts you, you are in her circle for life. Due to some allergies, she also requires hypoallergenic food and treats, but this should not be a cost-prohibitive factor, just something to be aware of.

There HAS to be a home for our Nellie-Belle out there. She is becoming a senior status dog at TAPS. While we all love her dearly, it’s time for her to regain a family and to spend her senior years in a home. Please visit for more information on Nellie and to view our other dogs and cats. And please share Nellie’s story far and wide so we can find that perfect home for her!

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