Nobody Wanted This Shelter Dog Until One Man Offered To Paint Her Portrait

At first glance in these pictures and videos, you’ll probably have a hard time understanding why Tonka had such a difficult time finding a forever family. But the life of a shelter dog is not an easy one, especially when you’re Tonka. Tonka was surrendered to Sacramento SPCA by her owner that had become homeless. The goal, as always, was to find a better home for this sweet girl.

But Tonka was confused by the shelter atmosphere and didn’t appear adoptable to the families that came in. She was a Staffordshire Terrier mix, a senior at 9-years-old and barked a lot when people came to see her. All of these things made her look scary, especially when there are so many other dogs in the shelter.

With everything against her, the shelter staff knew they had to put in extra work to find her a forever home. They took her on outings and videotaped them to show off her adorable personality. She really is a fun-loving, sweet girl! They even had her on local TV and advertised her on their Facebook page so that everyone got a chance to see what she was really like.

Image source: Sacramento SPCA

Even still, nobody wanted to take Tonka home. But the staff at the Sacramento SPCA wasn’t going to give up. They knew what they had to do – the same thing they had done for other difficult-to-adopt dogs before Tonka. They had to have her portrait painted.

One of the shelter staff, Nathan Cinder, likes to paint in his free time. Being the great artist he is, he decided to start painting portraits of the dogs that were hard to adopt. For whatever reason, it always helped the dogs find a home. So Cinder knew he had to paint a portrait of Tonka.

These “paw-traits,” as they are aptly called, are displayed in the lobby of the shelter for everyone to see. When the dogs get adopted, their new forever families can take the portrait home with them. This portrait, along with the video footage of one of her days out with the shelter staff, lead a family to see her.

It turns out that this family saw Tonka and fell in love. Finally, after 153 days in the shelter, Tonka had found her forever family. She is now a member of a wonderful home where she will be loved and cherished for the rest of her life! Go Tonka!

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