5 min read

After 7 Years In A Shelter, 'Princess' The Pit Bull Finally Finds Her Prince

<p><a class="checked-link" href="https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.877730225594870.1073741835.216845645016668">Pets Healing Vets</a></p>

Every dog who's now huddling on the cold concrete floors of an animal shelter deserves to find a better life, one of warmth in the company of a family who loves her. For all too many of these animals, however, finding a forever home can take a little bit longer than it does for others. Thankfully, it's never too late for a happy ending.

For the past seven years, a sweet pit bull named Princess had been staying at the Humane Society of Hamilton County, Indiana. The shelter's longest-serving resident, she'd gone in and out of homes, but she'd never found one that would keep her forever.

But that changed recently: Princess has finally found her prince.

"It was certainly one of the happiest moments I've seen here at the shelter," Anne Burns, who works at the Humane Society, told The Dodo. "Princess was waiting longer than any animal should have to. It was joyous to see her adopted."

As it turns out, Princess's rescuer needed her as much as she needed him. Times had been tough on Cpl. Justin Growden, too, as local news station Fox 59 reports. Like so many veterans returning from deployment, Growden found that adapting to life back home isn't always so easy.

He eventually heard about Pets Healing Vets, an organization that pairs service members who have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or traumatic brain injury (TBI) with a shelter animal. They put him in touch with the Humane Society, where he met Princess.

Growden says he felt a "special connection" with Princess, so naturally, he decided to take her home. But it wasn't long after Princess's life was changed for the better before she began to change his for the same.

"She's done so much in two weeks. I can't really explain it. It's incredible," Growden told Fox 59.

(Human Society/Pets Healing Vets)

As Pets Healing Vets points out, there are more than 600,000 U.S. veterans reeling from the debilitating effects of PTSD and TBI, and clinical relief is sometimes hard to come by.

But some relief may be as close as the local animal shelter. As the organization notes on its website, research has shown that companion animals can have a "significant effect" in helping veterans cope with symptoms of PTSD and TBI.

And Growden agrees. In fact, he's living proof of the positive power of pets.

"The best way to heal a veteran, to calm him down, really is an animal - a dog or a cat - a companion," he said.

(Humane Society/Pets Healing Vets)

To learn more about how to support more happily-ever-afters for veterans and shelter dogs, visit Pets Healing Vets online here.