Woman volunteers at shelter — makes a “drastic decision” on her first day after meeting rescue dog


Volunteering with an animal shelter is one of the most rewarding things you can do. And for one woman, it led to a life-changing decision — on just her first day!

Katherine Ellis recently decided to volunteer at her local Humane Society in Charlotte. Though she had no intention of getting a dog of her own, she heard that they had 46 dogs who needed homes immediately, and wanted to help out.

She toured the kennels and met the adoptable dogs, including many puppies. Some of them had homes lined up already. But it was an “older boy” that caught her eye: 1-year-old dog named Rookie.


“The older the dogs get the less likely they are to be adopted,” Katherine wrote in a TikTok video. “He was the cheapest dog in the shelter because he was 1 year old.”

Rookie had barely made it this far: just two days earlier, he was in a kill shelter, his life on the line. Katherine learned that he had been found as a stray.

Katherine wrote that Rookie “stole our heart,” and she decided to make a “drastic decision” and adopt Rookie herself!

It was completely unexpected: not only did she not intend to take home a dog that day, she says her dream dog was a “small blonde puppy that doesn’t shed and is a girl.”

“But I knew his home was with us,” she wrote.

“We wanted to go in to just meet everyone and see the facility, but when we saw Rookie, we just couldn’t leave without him,” Katherine told Newsweek. “He’s the absolute sweetest dog who just wants to be friends with every person and puppy that he sees.”

Video shows Katherine and her significant other adopting Rookie from the shelter, and the dog is overjoyed to be free. On the ride home, the couple stopped at a store to get some supplies for their unexpected new addition.


Since that day, Rookie has been living his best life. “He’s the absolute sweetest dog who just wants to be friends with every person and puppy that he sees. He’s already started making friends at the dog park too,” Katherine told Newsweek.

“He’s already had his first pup cup and he’s now gained a pound from his first week with us—probably because he’s had so many treats.”

She said the experience taught her to “adopt, not shop” and always consider the dogs whose lives may depend on finding loving homes.  

I can’t believe I even considered getting a dog from a breeder, especially knowing how sweet Rookie is and that he was potentially going to be put down at one point,” Katherine said.

We’re so glad this sweet shelter dog finally has a home! Thank you to this kindhearted volunteer for giving him the chance no one else would ❤️

Please share this heartwarming story!



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