by Jennifer Nelson
Lewis Jiminez adopted Titus as an 8-month-old puppy from the Austin Animal Center in 2013, never imagining that fate would force him to return the pup in November of 2017 over a dispute with a landlord.
On February 25, Jiminez finally found new housing that allowed Pit Bulls and he was able to adopt Titus again. Thankfully, he hadn’t been adopted by anybody else while Jiminez searched for affordable housing that would allow Titus to come home again. Shelter staff, who had watched Jiminez repeatedly visit Titus during his stay, were delighted to see the two finally reunited for good.
In a post on Facebook, Austin Animal Center says,
“These pictures right here make our hearts so happy.
Titus has been with us for 4 months. His family was forced to surrender him due to problems with their apartment complex, but they’ve been moving mountains to bring him home ever since.
Titus has been stressed out at the shelter and generally having a tough time. His family would come visit him, but we can’t imagine the heartbreak for them or him every time they had to leave without him. They had raised him from puppyhood; they were the only family he’s ever known.
Yesterday was the day we’ve all been waiting for. With new housing in place, Titus’ dad came to take him home. And as you can see from the photos, happiness is an understatement for this moment. 😍❤️”
One of Jiminez’s neighbors resented sharing an apartment building with a Pit Bull and repeatedly complained to management. Jiminez had even resorted to walking Titus at 4 am when nobody was around. But the situation came to a head in November when Jiminez’s 10-year-old grandson took Titus for a walk and met the problematic neighbor, where Titus “nipped the neighbor’s finger” according to TODAY. While Jiminez didn’t witness the incident, he believes Titus was trying to protect his grandson.
Worried about being evicted, Jiminez did the last thing he ever imagined – he returned Titus to the Austin Animal Center. During Jiminez’s repeated visits to Titus in the shelter, he kept promising Titus that he would come back for him one day — he only hoped he would be in time. Luckily, Austin Animal Center has a 97.9 percent live release rate, so there was little chance of Titus being euthanized; the only concern was that he would be adopted before Jiminez could change his living situation.
In late February, Jiminez and his girlfriend found an affordable house to rent that needed fixing up – something Jiminez does for a living. Austin Animal Center spokesperson Jennifer Olohan told TODAY:
“Titus got lots of love here at the shelter from staff and volunteers. He went on regular walks, played with toys, and got lots of treats. News of Titus’ reunion spread through the shelter pretty quickly and there were tears from everyone.”
Jiminez is immensely grateful to have Titus back. He told TODAY:
“Animals are our family. He’s home. He’s home, and he’s happy.”
We’re so glad their story had a happy ending!