“Nobody ever asks to meet Pirate.” That is what an Oahu SPCA staffer told Jennifer Hoyt when she first visited the shelter’s longest running inhabitant, a senior mixed breed female called Pirate. Founded in 2009, the independently run shelter is dedicated to their “no kill” policy and for 7 years, Pirate lived there, a benefactor of that philosophy.
Jennifer Hoyt was recently stationed in Hawaii as a member of the US Army and planned to spend some time volunteering at a shelter. She knew she wanted to adopt a dog but had agreed with her fiancé, Dennis Shaffer, also Army, to wait until he arrived several months later. The couple planned to find a house, explore their new surroundings, and adopt a dog once they were fully settled.
Excited at the prospect of bringing a pup into their home, Jennifer began poking around online looking at dogs that were available for adoption. She noticed Pirate and felt an immediate draw to her, despite her age and somewhat sad looking demeanor. As she dug deeper into the Instagram page of the Oahu SPCA, she realized that Pirate had been there for a long time. A devastatingly long 7 years.