LONG BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- Cinderella, a 6-year-old pit bull-terrier mix, finally has a forever home after spending 1,139 days at a SoCal shelter.
Jesika Sarceno and her family recently came to the spcaLA PD Pitchford Companion Animal Village & Education Center in Long Beach and asked which dog had been at the shelter the longest. That's how Cinderella met her new owners - a family of three, plus four cats.
"She chose us. We didn't choose her....Right now, I'm teaching my children that a lot of animals are left because of their ages, because of their breeds," Sarceno said.
Earlier this year, someone else took in Cinderella for just one day, only to bring her back because she was just too large.
"It's just been a very long road. Our experience is that for very special dogs, they just need the perfect family, the perfect fit, and we do everything we can to reach those people," said Ana Bustilloz, communications and marketing director of spcaLA.
Sarceno said with just one look, she knew Cinderella was the one.
Over the past three years, Cinderella has received hundreds of hours of animal behavior training and enrichment, the shelter said in a statement.
Her time at the shelter also included recovery from surgery. In October 2022, Cinderella required a tibial plateau leveling osteotomy for a cranial cruciate tear.
Her $3,000 procedure, which was made possible by donations from spcaLA supporters, was followed by a month of recovery in foster care.
Cinderella is now fully rehabilitated, well-adjusted and happy in her new forever home.
"She is so playful, she's loving, she doesn't bark at anybody, really," Sarceno said. "She's really, really good with the kids, and she protects my son already."
It turns out, Cinderella's previous name was Lola, so that's what Sarceno's family will go with moving forward.
This month, the spcaLA is having its "Find your Big Boo" event, where big breeds are up for adoption for only $25.