Dog looking for forever home after spending over 200 days in shelter

All Tonka wants for Christmas is a forever home. 

The adorable pooch has been at Orange County Animals Services for over 215 days, putting him on track to be the longest resident at the shelter.

“Tonka is a handsome boy, who can definitely turn on the charm,” said Diane Summers, manager for Orange County Animal Services.

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Tonka's story is a heartbreaking one. He was surrendered back in April and since then has been adopted and returned twice, through no fault of his own.

The shelter says Tonka was found abandoned in the backyard of a home in the Conway area in April. The owner was reportedly tracked down and told Animal Services officers that they had moved and had trouble finding housing for the dog.

After six months at the shelter, Tonka was adopted but was returned a week later. He was adopted again in November but was returned just hours later because the landlord said he was not welcome to stay.

“We’ve struggled to find that lasting match for him because he has shown that he needs to be the only dog in the home, a factor that drastically limits the pool of interested adopters, and he has heartworm disease, a treatable condition, but one that can come with a stigma due to lack of understanding.”

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Tonka’s heartworm disease treatment costs are sponsored by a local civil engineering group – John B. Webb & Associates.

“Earlier this year we made a desperate plea to the community looking for a home for Rocket who, like Tonka, had been with us in excess of 200 days,” said Summers. “The response from local media and on social media was overwhelming, and it helped land Rocket is forever home within a day. We are hoping Tonka can be just as fortunate, he is definitely just as deserving.”

Those interested in Tonka are encouraged to email the shelter at for more information.