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Adoption Spotlight: Cody

Posted on Wednesday, January 26, 2022

In September 2021, BISSELL Pet Foundation transferred 140 homeless animals to shelters in Virginia. These pets were evacuated from Louisiana animal shelters ahead of Hurricane Ida. The Richmond SPCA took into our care 20 cats and six adult dogs from this transfer including a timid dog named Cody. In today’s blog, Adoption Counselor Bri Green shares Cody’s journey and how the right home helped him build confidence.

This was the first adoption I cried while saying goodbye.

When Cody arrived in our care, he was not doing well. He was completely shut down and our Animal Care technicians couldn’t get him to leave his kennel. When I was introduced to him, I fell in love with him immediately. He was incredibly scared and spent most of his time cowering under a bench in his Living Room. It took a lot of patience to become his friend. The only thing he really loved was food. If you tossed him treats he would come out for them, but as soon as there was no more food, he went back under the bench.

Our trainers and staff did everything they could to help Cody build confidence. He was terrified of everything; people, dogs, cats and anything outside. I would often stay after the humane center closed and toss him treats next to the door and encourage him to take a step outside of his room. With time and patience, he made it to the door, but he would never leave his room.

Though Cody received a lot of interest, he required a very patient and quiet home. Interested adopters had to commit to visiting him multiple times and understand that the home acclimation period could take months. Luckily, those adopters came in the form of Paul and Donna Sumner. They came in one day because they had seen Cody on our website. They weren’t really looking for a third dog, but once they saw him and heard his story, they knew they wanted to meet him.

Paul and Donna exceeded our expectations from day one. They visited him almost every day for several weeks prior to adopting him. Some days they would come together and others one would come alone. After all the visits, our trainers and adoption team felt that the Sumners were perfect for Cody. The only remaining question was how Cody would do with their two dogs. They took him home on December 3, and though he was still timid and scared the first few days, he was showing progress. Within weeks, he became a completely different dog.

Cody has been renamed Bo, and it is obvious in the Sumner’s updates that he has found his people. They recently sent us a video of him and his dog siblings welcoming Donna home from work. I am so incredibly proud of Cody. He is a shining example of how different pets can be here in the shelter versus the comfort of a home.


If you are interested in adopting, let our adoption counselors match you with your perfect canine or feline companion. To adopt, fill out an adoption survey and then visit our humane center to talk to our knowledgeable adoption team about our available dogs and cats.

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