Skip to Content

This Man Kept Coming To The Shelter To Help A Scared Pup Learn How To Love Again

This Man Kept Coming To The Shelter To Help A Scared Pup Learn How To Love Again

When Alva first found a home, her shelter friends at Austin Pets Alive! were thrilled because they thought she found her happily-ever-after. 

Alva has a neurological condition called cerebellar hypoplasia. This condition affects the part of the brain responsible for movement, causing mobility issues. 

Once she was at her forever home, Alva didn’t go outside enough. Since she wasn’t exposed to new people and situations, her behavior began changing. The pup got scared and defensive, trying to bite the new people who visited her family.

That’s why Alva’s family surrendered her to the shelter once again. The shelter staff was deeply saddened and feared that the dog would have a hard time finding a forever home.

Alva Kept Getting Overlooked 

Alva couldn’t understand why she suddenly found herself at the shelter. She wondered where her parents were and why they were not coming for her.

The shelter staff started working with Alva and training her. They showered her with a lot of love and hoped that someone would give her a chance. 

Although Alva made a lot of progress with her mobility and behavior, she kept getting overlooked by possible pet parents. They weren’t willing to hang out with her and get to know her.

After spending 500 days at the shelter, Alva stopped believing that she would ever find a forever family.

Falling In Love With Alva And Her Fighting Spirit

Everything changed when Joe Rotunda came across Alva’s story while scrolling on Instagram. The moment he saw her photo and her videos, he fell in love.

“She shined. She had this almost tangible will. I saw all these videos of Alva running, playing, and falling down. And every time she fell, she pulled herself back up. Every time a challenge presented itself, she did not go around it; she went over it. And I was very inspired,” Rotunda told PEOPLE.

He immediately headed to the shelter in Austin, Texas. Alva’s shelter friends told him about Alva’s health condition and her anxiety. He didn’t mind and he couldn’t wait to meet her.

When Rotunda met Alva for the first time, she was very cautious with him. Since he was a stranger to her, she became anxious and she snapped at him.

Rotunda didn’t let that discourage him because he saw how loving Alva was towards her shelter friends. Rotunda was determined to do anything to win Alva’s trust and love.

He visited her every day. The more time he spent talking to her, the more he fell in love.

Rotunda Promises Not To Give Up On Her

“I just looked at her and said, ‘I bet everyone has given up on you. I’m not going to do that to you,’” Rotunda told Austin Pets Alive!.

He worked with the rescue’s training staff who helped him win the pup’s trust. 

Alva noticed how much Rotunda cared for her. The pup started looking forward to seeing him every day. Rotunda was overjoyed when Alva started approaching him. She wanted to spend more time with him.

Rotunda decided to take Alva for a sleepover in his home in Austin, Texas. 

He blocked off a large area of his living room in his home. He added many kennels so that Alva could relax whenever she wanted to. He covered hard edges of surfaces so that Alva could move around safely.

Alva’s Perfect Forever Home

man carrying a dog
Source: @adopted_alva

After Rotunda made his house Alva-friendly, he took the pup home. Alva felt like she had finally found her forever home. She was happy and carefree. 

As soon as she saw Rotunda the next morning, she started wagging her tail, and Rotunda knew that Alva was ready to move in.

The sweet doggo brought so much joy to his home. She only needed someone to give her a chance, and Rotunda was glad that he believed in her from the start.

Alva quickly bonded with Max, her doggy sibling. The two siblings became best friends and they love napping together.

Rotunda’s love for Alva melted her anxiety and her fears, which were holding her down. She adores her dad and showers him with kisses. 

She is a new dog now. She loves her new life and can’t stop smiling.