How a Timelapse Video Helped This Shelter Dog Find Her Forever Home After Nearly 1 Year in a Shelter


How a Timelapse Video Helped This Shelter Dog Find Her Forever Home After Nearly 1 Year in a Shelter

Sophie was approaching one year in the shelter when the staff tried something different. By Austin Cannon April 07, 2023 Advertisement Pin FB More Tweet Email Send Text Message Print large gray and white dog stands outside
large gray and white dog stands outside Credit: Seminole County Animal Services

Sophie, a 7-year-old American Stafforshire terrier mix, was about to reach one year at the Seminole County Animal Services shelter when the county's social media staff had an idea. 

According to Adoption Coordinator Bree Burkett, a member of the social team suggested a timelapse video of Sophie in her kennel. They rigged the camera, posted the video on Facebook, and the sweet dog had a new home on March 31—the day before her one-year anniversary.

"It didn't take long at all," Burkett tells Daily Paws. 

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Sophie arrived at the Sanford, Fla., shelter as an owner surrender. She'd had some kind of an altercation with another dog on a walk, so her owner didn't feel comfortable caring for her anymore, Burkett says. 

She was down during her early days at the shelter—even the best shelters can't compare to living in a home—but she soon let her bright personality shine through. Even at 7, she still acted young and "lit up" every time she saw someone. 

"She didn't lose her spirit at least," Burkett says. 

But time still dragged on, and Burkett and her coworkers noticed the calendar. Their social media team had seen a similar timelapse video online, so why not give it a try?     

The footage evokes sympathy. A sped-up, alone Sophie—over the course of hours in real time—continuously looks out her kennel as several people walk by. No one lets her out. It's big-time anthropomorphization to say she's forlornly looking for an adopter who never comes, but that's sure what it looks like. 

That perception has some truth to it, though. Because Sophie is an older, calmer dog, Burkett says she didn't attract as much attention as younger, excitable dogs. AmStaffs also fall under the oft-stereotyped "bully breeds" umbrella, so that might've discouraged people as well.

But the widely shared video ended all that. Inquiries started to come in, and the next morning, Sophie's adopter showed up and decided she was the dog for him. She went home with him to meet her new doggy siblings on Day 364.    

The lesson for other potential dog adopters out there? 

"Maybe look at the ones that aren't typically going to jump out at you," Burkett says.

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