Breaking News
More () »

Meet the dog that's been at the animal shelter the longest, Charlie the couch potato

Charlie is looking for a home after his first owner passed away. He's available for adoption in North San Diego County.

ENCINITAS, Calif. — Update: Some News 8 viewers have kindly agreed to sponsor Charlie's adoption fee, so it is no longer $75!  

Wednesday is National Dog Day, or as some people call it, “everyday.” Many people have shown interest in adopting a new dog or cat during the pandemic, but there’s one special dog in Encinitas that’s looking for a home.

His name is Charlie, but he’s better known as a “good boy.” 

“Charlie’s been nothing but a dream for us,” said Kathy Zerkle, the Medical Director at the Rancho Coastal Humane Society as she played with Charlie on a warm summer day. ”We call him ‘Charlie big head.”

He has a big head with a tongue to match, but everything about Charlie is larger than life. Charlie weighs in at a modest 174 pounds.

The seven and a half year old Mastiff has a lot to say.

“Speak! Okay, good boy,” said Zerkle to Charlie as she rewarded him with a treat. “He really does love people.”

One of the people he loved - maybe even the most - is no longer with us. 

“He’s been taught a lot of tricks by his old owner,” said Zerkle. “Unfortunately, his owner passed away and there wasn’t anybody in the family that could take him and that’s how he ended up here and I just love him.”

The Rancho Coastal Humane Society believes that Charlie’s original owner raised him from the time he was a puppy until the owner died last year. It's a sobering reminder for pet owners to have a backup plan or two should something happen to them.

“He needs a home,” said Zerkle. “He needs somebody that can take him and just give him a great rest of his life.”

Ever since Charlie was transferred from the Chula Vista Shelter to Encinitas, Charlie has been craving a home again. In fact, Charlie has been at the shelter since December, making him the dog that’s been at the shelter for the longest.

"True happiness isn’t going to come until he gets a home, so there will be a lot of tears when he gets adopted,” said Zerkle. “I know for one I’ll be crying.”

Credit: John D. Van Zante

Charlie's size intimidates some would-be adopters. However, Charlie is hoping for a loving home where he can be a cuddly couch potato and soak up the summer sun. 

“Does that feel good on this hot day buddy?” said Zerkle as Charlie enjoyed his blue kitty pool on the grass.

Zerkle said Charlie would be best in a home with an experienced dog owner.

"I think whoever adopts him can be assured that nobody is going to be breaking into their house,” said Zerkle, referring to Mastiffs' behavior.

Charlie’s had the longest stint at the shelter, but maybe he can find a fur-ever home again. Some News 8 viewers emailed in and offered to sponsor Charlie's adoption fee at the story first aired on Wednesday. Charlie was somewhat recently neutered. He’s available to visit by appointment only at the Rancho Coastal Humane Society on 389 Requeza Street. You can call (760) 753-6413 or email info@rchumanesociety.org.

Before You Leave, Check This Out