UPDATE: Ginger the dog has been adopted! Read our update about her here.
OSAGE BEACH, Mo. — A shelter dog who has been waiting 7 years to be adopted has received an outpouring of support after her story was seen by hundreds of thousands of people this week.
On Tuesday, a photo was posted showing Ginger the Labrador retriever mix sitting in her kennel at Dogwood Animal Shelter.
“Hi! I’m Ginger!” a sign clipped to the kennel read. “I’ve been here waiting 7 years, 9 months, 2 weeks, 2 days. I’m a good girl! I promise! I just need a 2nd chance.”
The post quickly gained traction, with people far and wide expressing support for Ginger as the Facebook post was shared more than 32,000 times. Then, PawsUp, an Instagram account launched by Ellen Degeneres to publicize adoptable dogs, shared the post.
In less than a day, it got more than 120,000 likes.
Ginger, 9 years old, is a lovable and playful dog, the Dogwood Animal Shelter said. She came into the shelter as a young adult after being rescued from an abusive situation.
Her experiences left her with "medical, emotional and behavioral issues which left her unadoptable for quite some time," the shelter said.
After completing her training, she's been waiting for someone to take her home. But the shelter said being adopted is more difficult for Ginger because she needs to be the only pet in a home with no small children.
“Thank you for the outpouring of concern about Ginger,” Dogwood Animal Shelter said in a Facebook post Wednesday. “Long term residency for animals in a true no-kill shelter is a problem not unique to Dogwood Animal Shelter ... The fact that she would be best placed in a home with no other animals or small children has narrowed the possibilities, but we never give up trying."
They shouldn't have to try for much longer. Since Tuesday, Ginger has received about 30 adoption applications, from New York to Canada to Texas.
"We're so grateful for the support," said Dogwood Animal Shelter Manager Ellen Keen. "It's overwhelming sometimes."
The viral posts were made by Mission Driven, a clothing brand created by Scott Poore and dedicated to bringing awareness to shelter pets and the importance of adoption. He saw a post the shelter made about Ginger and asked the shelter if he could help get her story out there.
"He took the information and posted it, and the rest is history," Keen said.
The shelter also wanted Ginger's supporters to know she’s being well cared for while she waits for her forever home.
“Come visit Dogwood and tour the facility, where you’ll find that our kennel floors are heated and there’s a Kuranda Bed for every dog,” the shelter said, sharing a video of Ginger happily lounging while chewing on a stuffed toy. “Meet the dedicated volunteers and staff who walk and care for the animals daily. See first hand the high level of care our animals receive.”
Keen hopes Ginger's story will draw attention to plenty of other animals the shelter has up for adoption. Applications can be filled out on its website, and anyone is welcome to visit the shelter at 1075 Runabout Dr. in Osage Beach.
Donations to the shelter can be made here.
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