"Jake from State Farm" may be one of the most loved commercial characters of all time. Still, a shelter pup with the same name hasn't been so lucky — Jake (his nickname is "Jake from State Farm"), an 8-year-old rescue dog, has ended up in a North Carolina shelter four times in the past three months, the Charlotte Observer reports.
In January, first responders found Jake stuck in a crate at home with his dead owner, who passed away before they could let the pet out. Eric Hockenberry, one of the people who rescued the dog, shared in a Facebook post that "good doggo" Jake was "not happy" when he was found, "but he held everything in until we made it outside where he peed for about 3 minutes straight,"
When Jake first arrived at the Burlington Animal Shelter, he was "stressed, scared and hungry," Darlene Cox, a Burlington customer service supervisor, told McClatchy News. "The (dead owner's) family could not keep him, so he was brought here for us to find him a new home."
Jake was adopted not long after his rescue, but his new family lost their home and had to return the canine a few weeks after his adoption, Cox added. Shelter employees nicknamed him "Jake from State Farm" after the happy insurance agent and even began dressing him up in a red State Farm T-shirt.
After getting his nickname, Jake was placed in two foster homes that didn't work out because he "does not care for cats, and they had cats," Cox said.
People have also reached out to the shelter to meet Jake, but he's still up for adoption.
"A lot of times, the older dogs tend to get overlooked," Cox said, according to the Charlotte Observer. "He is a very mellow guy and is house trained. Just needs a couch to rest his head and retire on."
Pet adoptions and fosters have soared during the COVID-19 pandemic as people are spending more time at home. According to new research from Porch and Shelter Animals Count, Americans have adopted more than 750,000 shelter dogs and cats during the pandemic. About 54% of shelter animals have found new homes, a 3% increase from last year.
In a statement shared with PEOPLE, the ASPCA shared the following about pandemic pet adoption rates: "There's no doubt that the public's desire to support their local shelters by fostering and adopting vulnerable animals amid the COVID-19 crisis has been demonstrated through an enormous and unprecedented response. In the first few weeks of stay-at-home orders in March 2020, the ASPCA saw a nearly 70 percent increase in animals going into foster homes through our New York City and Los Angeles foster programs, compared to the same period in 2019, with interest in adoption at the ASPCA Adoption Center in New York City increasing by more than 177 percent in 2020 from March through October compared to the previous year."
Despite everything Jake has been through these last few months, the pup "has a happy personality [and] seems to keep a smile on his face," the shelter wrote on Facebook. Jake would love to be a part of your life."
For details on Jake, contact the Burlington Animal Shelter at [email protected]
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