Mitch the hound dog spends 7 years at North Carolina shelter. Now he has a new home

Screengrab from the Cashiers-Highlands Animal Shelter on TikTok

After seven years of waiting, a North Carolina shelter’s longest resident is finally getting a new home.

Mitch, an 11-year-old treeing walker coonhound, arrived at the Cashiers-Highlands Animal Shelter in Sapphire in 2016 after he was found as a stray.

Mitch was featured in a 2019 segment of WLOS Pet Pals, in which Jodi Henkel, an assistant shelter manager, said he was skinny and scared of his own shadow when he first came to the shelter.

“Really the reason he’s been in our shelter so long is he’s just a little nervous around new people and he’s ... so accustomed and comfortable at our shelter, he thinks it’s his space,” Henkel said. “He just needs somebody who is willing to trust in him and give him the time to become their loving family member.”

Despite the segment, Mitch continued to wait for the perfect fit.

“CHHS never gives up on our shelter pets,” the shelter wrote in a Facebook post on Feb. 8. “Just ask Mitch.”

In a video shared on the shelter’s TikTok on Jan. 3, Mitch can be seen walking around outside the shelter, and it said he was “looking for a home where he can sit in the sun and get some gentle pats.”

@ch_humanesociety Mitch is our longest term resident, and we’re all hoping this sweet boy finds a warm safe home to spend his senior years in. If you think you might be Mitch’s forever human we hope you give us a call. ️ #animalshelter #northcarolina #dog #adoptabledogs #adoptadog #seniordog #animaladoption ♬ Emotional Piano Instrumental In E Minor - Tom Bailey Backing Tracks

Teresa Shular, a retired elementary school gym teacher, saw the video and told WLOS it made her emotional.

“I cried when I watched it the first time,” she said. “I cried when I watched it the second time. I thought about it and prayed about it for a few days.”

Then Shular decided to bring Mitch home.

Henkel said Shular was her elementary school gym teacher, so knowing her personally “made the story even better,” according to WLOS.

“2023 has already seen some of our longer resident Hero Pets find their forever homes,” the shelter wrote on Facebook. “But this latest news tops them all.”

The shelter also shared the news on its TikTok account.

“Mitch found a home!!!” the caption read. “Thank you to everyone who helped spread the word about his story!”

Sapphire is about 55 miles southwest of Asheville.

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