When a sweet and good-natured dog named Gumby was brought to Charleston Animal Society (CAS) as a stray in September 2014. The staff had no idea the incredible bond they were going to form with him.
Gumby may look like a typical hound mix, but his Houdini-esque escape talents have made him quite famous in Charleston, South Carolina.
He was taken to the Charleston Animal Society (CAS), a proud no-kill shelter, in September 2014. Over the course of the next year, Gumby was returned to CAS a whopping 11 times!
Gumby was adopted out of CAS seven times, voluntarily surrendered to CAS eight times, and found as a stray three times. The shelter staff did everything they could to find Gumby a forever home, but nothing seemed to stick.
Hounds are actually known to be quite stubborn. Those who don’t quite cut the mustard as accomplished hunting dogs may run away or be abandoned by their owners.
Gumby’s first adoption only lasted three days. His subsequent adoption lasted only six months. The staff warned each family interested in Gumby of his Houdini-like escape skills.
His third adopter was adamant about making it work. Gumby, on the other hand, returned to CAS four more times. On one occasion, he was brought in by a Good Samaritan, another time by animal control, and twice by his adopter.
In March 2015, a fourth adopter brought Gumby home and the CAS staff didn’t hear a peep about him for four months. They were delighted! This was it! But that July, Gumby returned, branded a stray yet again.
In August, Gumby was adopted a fifth time, but a few weeks later, he ended up at a sister shelter to CAS. This shelter was nearly 30 miles from Charleston! That’s a long way for a pup to run!
So, back to CAS he went, only to be quickly returned by his sixth adopter. Who else is beginning to sense a pattern?
December 6, 2015, marked the last time the staff attempted to secure Gumby a forever home — but, of course, it didn’t last long.
The adopter said he escaped three times in less than one month, going so far as to burst through his screen door! The CAS staff had officially given up on placing Gumby for adoption, but they hadn’t given up on him.
His forever home was at the shelter.
The team realized he never tried to flee while he was in their care at the shelter. He adored the personnel and the undivided attention they gave him.
They also realized Gumby had an uncanny way of comforting anxious or fearful dogs at the shelter. The staff believed Gumby kept returning to CAS because “he knows he has work to do.”
Gumby became an important member of the shelter when he began assisting the behavior staff on a regular basis during behavioral demonstrations. He plays with dozens of dogs every day and is provided with all the love and care he could ever want and need.
The staff also discovered that Gumby’s blood serum had healing properties. He became a blood donor for kittens with eye infections! Now, Gumby has a forever home in the very shelter he always returned to.
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