Carlie arrived at the Humane Society of Broward County when she was just a puppy. She’d been living as a street dog on the Cayman Islands and was incredibly scared when she first arrived at the shelter. Whatever she’d been through had really affected her, and she had a hard time coming out of her shell.
Carlie was curious about her new surroundings, but the longer she was in the shelter, the more she started to shut down. The busy environment was too much for her. What she needed more than anything was a loving home.
“Carlie did not do well in the shelter environment, and she became increasingly shy and withdrawn,” Susan Leonti, digital marketing specialist at the Humane Society of Broward County, told The Dodo. “Her fearfulness caused her to hide at the back of her kennel, where she was not visible to people walking by. She was so well hidden that she became known as the invisible dog.”
Carlie’s friends at the shelter desperately wanted to get her out of the shelter and into a forever home where she could finally thrive, and so they came up with a plan to try and make that happen.
“When we realized she was avoiding people and getting overlooked by adopters, we immediately moved her to our most public kennel and began working with her every day on getting socialized,” Leonti said. “Carlie began to associate people with things that she enjoys, like getting treats and receiving affection. We noticed an improvement in her confidence rather quickly, and she began spending more time at the front of her kennel instead of hiding.”
Despite her progress, Carlie still hadn’t gotten adopted, so the shelter decided to post a sign on her kennel to tell people the story of the invisible dog.
“We put the sign on Carlie’s kennel so potential adopters that were walking by would stop and notice her,” Leonti said. “Even though we were seeing progress in Carlie’s behavior, she was still incredibly shy and very hidden compared to the other dogs in our shelter.”
As soon as the sign went up and the shelter posted about it on social media, everything changed.
“The video of Carlie and her sign are what helped Carlie get adopted,” Leonti said. “Her new mom saw her heartbreaking video on Facebook and knew she was meant to be Carlie’s forever family.”
Carlie’s new family drove over two hours to come and adopt her. Now, Carlie has the best forever home and is absolutely thriving. It took a while, but with a little help from her friends, Carlie managed to end up exactly where she belongs.