Local Marine finds healing in dog that set record for longest stay at shelter

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By Tanae Howard

After returning home from being deployed, Cpl. Justin Growden was a different man. He never thought he would find healing in a four-legged friend.

"She definitely loved on me more than any of the other dogs and there's a special connection there for sure," said Growden.

Growden heard about the Pets Healing Vets program through the Humane Society for Hamilton County. After one visit to the shelter he formed an immediate connection with a pit bull named Princess.

Princess had been at the shelter for seven years--setting a record for the longest stay.

"She's just been in and out of homes to give her a break but not that forever home that she's been waiting for all of this time. And so we could not be more grateful and feel incredibly blessed to have met Justin and have him walk in the door that day," said Rebecca Stevens, the shelter's executive director,

The shelter launched a campaign to get Princess adopted and even started a Facebook fan page with more than 6,000 followers. Everyone is pleased to see her journey finally came full circle.

"We were just not going to give up on her. No matter what it took we were not gonna give up and here we are. It just gives you a lot of faith that you should never give up hope," said Stevens.

Growden says Princess has brought so much joy to his home and they are on the road to being the healing each other needed.

To learn more about the Pets Healing Vets program click here.

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