MANATEE -- Ten-year-old Roofus was once loved, but his family's economic hardships left him an orphan in 2010.
He's mostly lived at Bishop's Animal Shelter for the past six years; he's been adopted and dropped off at the shelter a total of three times.
But Roofus has proof that he was once loved. The family who fell on hard times left a letter with the shelter for prospective families to let them know Roofus was an important part of his former family.
"I will miss my two-legged siblings so much," the letter reads. "They keep crying and hugging me, begging mommy and daddy not to take me back to the shelter.
"Your staff is very kind, but nothing compares to a family," it continues.
The letter is signed by Roofus, so there's little information in it about the family who loved Roofus. It's clear from the letter that the father lost his job a year earlier and couldn't find another one. The family had to move to a small apartment and couldn't afford to take Roofus with them. They brought Roofus to the shelter with his dog bed and his favorite toys with a request to please find him a good home.
But Roofus hasn't been so lucky, and now he's 10 years old -- so he's largely overlooked when visitors come looking for a puppy at the shelter.
He's been adopted and returned twice. But it wasn't until recently when a Bishop employee was looking through Roofus' file that they came across the letter.
Bishop Animal Shelter staff say that Roofus, a weimaraner mix, is hardly ever looked at even though he is a favorite with shelter employees.
"He's a mellow, laid-back dog, but being 10 years old puts him at a disadvantage compared to the younger dogs at the shelter," said Samantha Dominis, public relations manager at Bishop.
"Roofus wiggles and drools when he gets excited. He loves back scratches and walks," according to a kennel worker at Bishop Animal Shelter.
Roofus is described as a "little gentleman" and "a good mix of independent and friendly." He prefers to be in a home without other animals.
For more information on Roofus and the other animals at the shelter, call 941-792-2863 or go to www.BishopSPCA.org.