Rocky, the lone rescue dog, broke the hearts of millions of social media users in March when the Humane Society for Hamilton County posted a video of him at his Indiana shelter.
The terrier/pitbull mix had been living there for a year but, as viral footage captured from his enclosure shows, he had been repeatedly overlooked by would-be adopters. The video showed many visitors walking past his kennel, barely glancing.
The clip, which was posted by the no-kill haven on March 20, gained more than 6.2 million likes on TikTok, but that didn’t immediately lead to a change in fortunes for Rocky. Now, two months later, he finally has a forever home.
Rocky was released to the shelter around the start of 2021 when his owners moved out and could no longer care for him. Although he was an affectionate and easy-going dog, no one wanted to adopt him, leaving the shelter staff perplexed.
That’s where social media came in. The Humane Society started sharing videos to draw attention to Rocky. Staff performed game shows to ‘decide’ on their ideal family and shared clips singing the 6-year-old’s praises.
According to those posts, “his favorite thing in the whole world is probably snuggling next to you on the couch” and he has “lots of love to give.”
The video that really took off online, however, was the harrowing footage of Rocky alone in his kennel as visitors walked past his window, paying no attention to the dog trying to get their attention.
Dog lovers around the world were moved and donations poured into the shelter, but no one seemed to want to adopt Rocky.
The dog was looking for a family with no other pets and no children, according to shelter staff, because he is “afraid” of them.
On March 22, as the video went viral, the shelter posted that Rocky was still out of luck, writing, “So far Rocky hasn’t even had a single person come over to visit him. He has people filling out applications but not a single person came to the shelter to see it again and honestly we don’t know why.
“He’s such a good boy. Honestly, all he needs is someone to love and cuddle him.”
The news that many were waiting for finally arrived on Friday. The shelter shared a celebratory post on Facebook, revealing that a number of dogs and cats “found their forever families yesterday”. The first name on the list: Rocky.
Newsweek contacted the Humane Society of Hamilton County for comment.