Moe the dog returned to Calgary Humane Society, still waiting on pawfect adoption match

A long-term resident of the Calgary Humane Society, a nine-year-old shepherd cross named Moe, was recently adopted, then given back to the shelter in the same week.

'Sometimes it doesn't work out — and that's OK'

Moe the dog visits the CBC Calgary newsroom with Phil Fulton from the Calgary Humane Society. (Elizabeth Withey/CBC)

A long-term resident of the Calgary Humane Society  — a nine-year-old shepherd cross named Moe — was recently adopted, then given back to the shelter in the same week.

Moe had spent more than 100 days at the shelter when staff finally found him the home he'd been waiting for.

The shelter had a big celebration in honour of the dog's adoption, and a video of the moment was widely shared on social media. 

Phil Fulton with the humane society told the Calgary Eyeopener on Thursday that they like to do what is called a "clap out" for the animals, usually dogs, who have been at the shelter for a really long time and have had a big impact on staff. 

"Staff that have had involvement with Moe and his care will gather outside and will cheer him on as he walks out," he said. "Kind of sending them off, and we celebrate him finding his home."

'We're not dejected'

But with Moe back with the staff at the humane society so soon, Fulton says staff are feeling disappointed and disheartened.

"However, it's also something that happens and it's something that working in animal welfare, especially in an animal shelter where we adopt out animals, we know that there's always that potential that it might not work out," he said.

"We have a pretty good batting average. We have a very good vetting process. But despite our best efforts, despite the adopter's best efforts and despite Moe's best efforts, sometimes it doesn't work out — and that's OK."

Fulton stressed that even with the challenges Moe has faced in the adoption process, they know there is an adopter out there for him. 

"Even though we're a little bit saddened, we're not dejected and we're optimistic that somebody else out there is going to adopt him," he said.

Fulton says Moe wasn't returned to the shelter for anything he did, either. 

"The reason that the owners brought him back was just because of owner health issues," he said.

"I won't get into any specifics, but just the physical ability to handle Moe. And that's totally understandable and it's something that wasn't apparent until Moe was in the home."

'Fantastic foster home'

While still under the charge of the humane society, Moe is currently being fostered. 

"He's got a really fantastic foster home," said Fulton, adding the foster parent working with Moe has dealt with lots of dogs before. 

"One of the things that was cited when Moe came back was that he's a big dog. He's a German shepherd. He's about 90 pounds … he's a big beefy dog."

Fulton says Moe has been working really hard on his leash skills.

"And his foster parent has been working awesomely on this to the point where he responds really well to verbal cues," he said. "The foster parent has done an amazing job in helping."

Fulton says Moe is doing well but has experienced some kennel stress from being moved from the shelter to a home and then back.

Things to know about Moe

He says Moe's future adopters need to know a few things about him. 

"He doesn't get along well with other dogs in a home setting. He has a prey drive so the same thing that we see with a tennis ball, he would exhibit the same thing with small fuzzy things," he said. "We're saying no other animals in the home."

Fulton says that at nine years old, Moe is senior dog, so the expectation is that while he is healthy now, the owners would be dealing with an aging dog.

He says the ideal home for Moe would likely be a retired couple. 

"With a lot of time on their hands [they] can devote attention to Moe," he said.

With files from the Calgary Eyeopener.

With files from the Calgary Eyeopener