Helena, the Rescue Dog Returned to Shelter for Being Too Nice, Finds a New Home

Apparently there is such a thing as being too nice.

That’s the reason 4-year-old Helena was returned to Lifeline Animal Project in Atlanta, Georgia. According to, Helena first arrived at the shelter last summer after being found on the streets as a stray. The dog sported a sunny demeanor and sweet smile when she was first rescued, even though it was obvious she was malnourished and in need.

Those positive characteristics only grew over time and in October 2017 she was adopted. Lifeline Animal Project thought they found the mixed breed pooch the happy ending she deserved until she was returned in March 2018. While there are dozens of reasons a pet owner may be forced to surrender an animal, the reason was almost unheard of.

“She really was returned for being too nice,” LifeLine Animal Project spokesperson Karen Hirsch told “It was obvious the gentleman was looking for a guard/protection dog. He also suggested she be adopted by a woman ‘because they are more into that petting stuff.’ ”

After more than four months in a forever home, Helena was back at the shelter looking for attention, hugs and a new place to live.

Not so surprisingly, it didn’t take long for the furry lovebug to make a connection. On March 7, Helena was adopted again, this time by a family looking for a “velcro dog” that would never leave their sides.

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“She is doing terrific and has found the family of her dreams,” Hirsch told PEOPLE in an email.  “So nice guys do finish first!”

Hirsch believes that Helena’s original owner may have thought the canine would be a good guard dog because of her stocky appearance. She hopes that this story encourages animal lovers to pick a pet based on their personality, not on breed stereotypes.

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