6 min read

Couple Sees Photo Of Saddest Shelter Dog And Drives 6 Hours To Get Him

"I had never seen a sadder dog and knew we couldn't leave him there.”

When Jessica Williams and her boyfriend Jared finally moved into an apartment recently that allowed dogs, Williams couldn’t wait to fulfill her dream of adopting one. Her boyfriend told her they would adopt a dog around her birthday in November, but she was so excited, she started browsing through different shelter dogs online right away — and came across a dog who needed them more than anything

Benji had been picked up as a stray as a stray in Los Angeles and taken to a big public shelter. He was incredibly wary of people, and also had a bad flea allergy that had caused him to lose most of his fur. To most people, Benji was probably not the first dog they would choose, but Williams couldn’t get him out of her head. 

sad shelter dog
Jessica Williams

“He was at the shelter for 10 days and wasn't handling it well,” Williams told The Dodo. “He would snarl and snap at people as they walked by. I had never seen a sadder dog and knew we couldn't leave him there.” 

Williams and her boyfriend live in Sacramento and Benji was all the way in Los Angeles — so the couple proceeded to drive six hours to get him. Somehow, they knew that Benji would be worth the drive. 

sad shelter dog
Jessica Williams

When the couple finally arrived at the shelter, they went in and expressed their interest in Benji. The staff there didn’t seem to have a lot of faith in Benji, though, and tried to dissuade the couple from adopting him. 

“The shelter also told us he wasn't friendly and refused to take us into a calm waiting area to get to know him because 'he wouldn't be a dog that would come over to us to be cuddly,’” Williams said. “We knew that he had a high possibility of being euthanized and didn't want him to die.” 

sad shelter dog
Jessica Williams

Despite Benji’s standoffish nature and the shelter’s words of warning, the couple had already made up their minds to take a chance on Benji, and officially adopted him into their family. The six-hour car ride back to Sacramento was rough, as Benji was still incredibly wary of his new parents and very confused about what was happening to him. When they all arrived home, Benji tried to keep his distance from his parents for a little while — but as the days passed, something amazing started to happen. 

sad shelter dog
Jessica Williams

As soon as Benji realized he was safe and in a loving home, he started to come out of his shell, and transformed into the sweet, playful dog his parents always knew he had the ability to be. 

sad shelter dog
Jessica Williams

“He loves to come up and lick our faces and play with his toys,” Williams said. “He is such a goofball now! He has crazy zoomies after he gets bathed. He will also start barking the second we get in the car as if to say, ‘We have to start moving! Let's go!’” 

sad shelter dog
Jessica Williams

Now, Benji loves spending time with his family, and they love taking him everywhere. He loves going to restaurants and sitting out on the patio with his parents, and he also loves just hanging out at home. While he still has some progress to make, he’s only been with his family for three weeks and has already come so far, and his parents are so thrilled that they decided to take a chance on him.