Dogs: They are man’s best friend, and also quite the escape artists, apparently—though some are much better than others when it comes to making a break for it. Take the case of South Carolina pup Gumby, for example. This once-homeless hound mix spent the better part of two years channeling Houdini, and boy, was he good at it!

Back in September of 2014, a 5-year-old white hound mix was plucked off the streets of Charleston and brought to the Charleston Animal Society. This no-kill shelter does a great job of finding homes for its furry friends in need, which meant that the homeless pup, who they called ‘Gumby’ ended up getting adopted quickly.

But—and this is a big ‘BUT’—just because the doggy was adopted doesn’t mean he stayed with his family. In fact, he ended up being either adopted from or surrendered back to CAS an incredible ELEVEN times over the course of two years. That has to be a record or something!

Now, it’s important to note that the Charleston Animal Society wasn’t just placing the hound in the homes of negligent owners. These would-be dog owners just found it impossible to keep track of the pooch, seeing as though he would escape ANY chance he could get.

Why Gumby couldn’t stay away from his beloved shelter

In an interview with BarkPost, Donya Satriale, a behavior team leader for the Charleston Humane Society, provided an exhaustive list of each and every one of Gumby’s adoptions, as well as his subsequent surrenders. Here’s what happened:

  • In September of 2014, a white hound was brought into the Charleston Animal Society as a stray. Because hunting is popular in this neck of the woods, the shelter assumed he had gotten separated from his hunting pack. The volunteers named the dog Gumby and he was adopted after spending just a short time at CAS.
  •  3 days after his initial adoption, his owner brought him back to the shelter.
  •  Gumby was adopted once again, but just 6 days later, the new owner surrendered him to CAS, citing the dog’s constant escape attempts as the reason for the return.
  •  By the time Gumby’s third owner was signing the adoption papers, CAS was getting hip to the fact that most people couldn’t handle this dog’s Houdini-like skills, so they made sure that his new owner was prepared. That said, Gumby was returned as a stray four times on the third owner’s watch—the dang dog just kept on getting loose from his new home! Understandably, the constant search-and-rescue efforts were too much for the owner, so he had to say ‘goodbye’ to poor Gumby.
  • In March of 2015, Gumby was officially adopted for the fourth time, but—surprise, surprise—just 4 months later, the dog had made a great escape again and was brought back to CAS as a stray.
  • In the summer of 2015, Gumby was adopted and surrendered two separate times; in one situation, an exasperated family surrendered him and in another, he was picked up as a stray 30 miles away. Impressive!
  • Gumby’s last adoption occurred at the tail-end of 2015 and only lasted a short month. His owner explained to CAS that the dog had escaped from his home three times—even damaging property in the process—and refused to take to housebreaking training. Yikes!

At this point, CAS realized that Gumby was probably trying to say something—he wanted to stay with them! You see, the mutt was always on his best behavior at the shelter, so much so that he earned the nickname of ‘Ambassa-Dog’ because he was so gentle with the other pups.

These days, Satriale says that Gumby is “earning his keep” by participating in the society’s behavioral programs and as a blood donor for the shelter’s kittens. How cool is that?!

We’re so happy to hear that this adventurous pup finally has a home that he loves! To learn even more about Charleston Animal Society’s good work, be sure to visit their site here.

We’d love to hear your take on Gumby’s adventures! Do you have a dog that is a little TOO good at breaking out? If so, how do you keep her contained? Does your rescue dog have an amazing history that you would like to share?