Dog Shelter's Longest Resident Walks Out To Standing Ovation On Way To New Home

For centuries it's been said that a dog is man's best friend. Lately, however, that friendship appears to be heavily one-sided — as there are thousands of dogs across the country currently without love or a home to call their own.

It's what motivates the good people at McKamey Animal Center to do what they do. Recently, the staff was able to celebrate a huge win as their longest-standing resident (Big Mac) walked out of the building and into his fur-ever home!

McKamey Animal Center is a shelter based in Chattanooga, TN.

The mission at MAC is simple — save animals and help people. The shelter strives to create a community of animal lovers built upon a foundation of compassion and care. They provide programs and outlets to aide fosters and pet owners alike.

The staff at McKamey Animal Shelter also believe that education is the key when it comes to pet ownership. Currently, MAC is housing over 300 dogs and 288 cats at last count.

Among those 300-plus pooches is a dog known as Big Mac.

Big Mac came to McKamey Animal Shelter in December of last year, thus making him the shelter's longest resident. Mac's previous family abandoned him, claiming that they didn't have time for such a needy and attentive dog.

From day one, the staff anticipated that Mac might have problems finding a forever home. “We’re not really sure what his living environment was like prior to coming to us," shelter manager Lauren Mann explained to The DoDo. "But it was very apparent that he didn’t trust everyone right away.”

It took a lot of time and patience but soon Mac started to come around.

“He did warm up with treats and when he was out of the kennel and in the play yard,” Lauren went on to say.

Mac continued to make progress and work on his people skills but had yet to receive a single inquiry into his adoption. For a while, it seemed that Big Mac was destined to become a permanent fixture at McKamey Animal Shelter.

Out of nowhere, something incredible happened.

One of the staff members who had been sheltering Mac in her home fell head-over-heels in love with the adorable mutt. In no time at all, she decided to make Big Mac the newest member of her family.

Shelter manager Lauren Mann said that after spending just one night with her coworker, away from the shelter, that Mac was able to make a complete behavioral 180. He literally became a new dog overnight.

After spending more than 260 days at the shelter, it appeared that Big Mac had *finally* found his home!

“When my coworker took him in to foster, she said the first night he slept, like, 12 hours straight," Mann explained. "And just really opened up and wanted to play with her other dog and even wanted to play with the cats.”

A big part of Mac's behavioral 180 had to do with the shelter worker's own dog. According to Lauren, it helped Mac to learn how to trust humans again.

“Her resident dog took him under his wing, and when they were out for a walk and he’d get a little scared, her dog would be like, ‘No, it’s OK,’” Mann said.

With the love of his adoptive mother and the companionship of his newfound best friend, Mac became reinvigorated — almost as if he'd gotten a new lease on life.

When the day came for him to say his final goodbyes to the fine folks at McKamey Animal Shelter, the staff decided to gather and give Mac the special send-off that he so deserved.

Outside of the front doors, all of the workers formed a processional to say goodbye to their longest-standing resident.

Mac was greeted by a standing ovation and a fury of cheers and celebrations. He wagged his tail excited and happily barked along with the rest of the chorus.

If you live in the Tennessee area and are interested in fostering or adopting a dog just like Big Mac, then head on over to the McKamey Animal Shelter Facebook page for more information.