PARIS — Last week, employees with Responsible Pet Care of Oxford Hills posted a photo of a white purebred Staffordshire bull terrier named Ginger with a sign draped around her neck on its Facebook page.

The sign read, “I have been in the shelter for 1,456 days. Please adopt me.”

A week after the photo was posted on Facebook, it was shared thousands of times across the state. The photo was even picked up by the Huffington Post, a national news and opinion website.

Kelly Ouellette, a vet technician with Responsible Pet Care who has been responsible for overseeing Ginger’s medical treatment, said that Ginger has been at the shelter longer than any animal they have had in the past.

“Normally, I’d say it’s normal for a dog to be here as short as a week and as long as two months, depending on the dog and its personality,” Ouellette said. “Ginger is definitely the longest we’ve had a dog.”

Ouellette said that in 2014, Ginger was brought into the shelter as a stray.

“That makes it hard for us to figure out her background and what she was like with other people,” Ouellette said.

Since the photo went viral, Ouellette said that the shelter has been able to figure out some of Ginger’s background after a previous owner posted on Facebook.

A woman named Kelsey Cronin wrote on the shelter’s Facebook page that that her brother and father used to own the dog, but after her brother — who serves in the military — was transferred to California and her father moved to Hawaii, the dog was given up to a couple “who wanted to train her as an emotional therapy dog of some sort.”

“I am completely heartbroken,” Cronin wrote on the shelter’s Facebook page. “We really thought (she) was going to be in good hands, and the thought of her sleeping alone in a shelter every night kills me.”

As of Oct. 25, Ouellette said that the shelter has fielded several hundred phone calls and has received four adoption applications for Ginger.

Ouellette urged those interested in adopting Ginger to read her entire bio before inquiring about her.

Ginger has been at the Responsible Pet Care shelter in Paris for over 1500 days. Because of guarding issues, the shelter is careful with whom can adopt her. Sun Journal photo by Daryn Slover

“We get calls from people with other dogs or animals, or young children, but we’ve specifically put in her bio that she needs to be the only animal in the home,” Ouellette said.

She said that Ginger needs a home that has no other animals and no young children due to her “resource guarding.”

“Normally, when a dog has issues with resource guarding, we can work them and overcome it, but Ginger is stubborn,” Ouellette said. “We’ve had private training classes, but if Ginger wants something and it’s hers, that’s the end of that. It makes it hard to place a dog like that in a home. You have to be careful where you put them, which makes it hard in homes with animals or small children.”

After filling out an application, Ouellette said that those interested in Ginger will have multiple meet-and-greets with her.

“The shelter will also do a home visit to make sure that it’s a proper place for Ginger,” Ouellette said. “After the home visit, we do a sleepover to make sure the dog will do well.”

According to Ginger’s bio page on the shelter’s website, she has been spayed, is house-trained and is up to date on shots.

Ginger was brought into the Pet Care of Oxford Hills shelter as a stray in 2014. Because of guarding issues, the shelter is careful with whom can adopt her. Pet Care of Oxford Hills

While Ginger is still in search of her forever home, Ouellette said that the attention that the shelter has received over the last week has resulted in other animals with long tenures at the shelter to be adopted.

“We have a dog named Mario that has been here for two years, and just after we posted about Ginger, someone came in and adopted Mario,” Ouellette said.

The employees at the shelter are confident that Ginger, after four years, will find a forever home, especially after the attention she’s received since the photo went viral.

“She’s stubborn and set in her ways, but we all know and love her here at the shelter,” Ouellette said. “She’s our princess. We’ve done everything we can to get her into a forever home. I never thought putting a sign around her neck and taking a picture would get us to where we are now.”

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