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KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Finally. That’s likely what one Kansas City, Kansas shelter dog would say if he could.

His name is Merrick, and he’s been looking for his forever home for more than 5 years — that’s most of his life — at the Humane Society of Greater Kansas City.

After sitting in the shelter for so long, animal advocate Scott Poore started a fundraiser to rent a billboard starring the pup. He and the Humane Society were hoping Merrick’s billboard would connect the pup with his future owner.

“Nobody’s been homeless longer than Merrick, which is why I was drawn to him and why I’ve been helping him for such a long time,” Poore said.

It took some time, but Merrick finally found a new home.  

“Once I saw him, I knew he had to be mine,” Jordan Nassbaum said. “And it took about a week to get all the formalities underway, and he’s been with me for about 10 days now.”

And Merrick’s new owner said he’s already part of the family.

“It seems like we were kindred spirits almost as cheesy as that sounds. It just seems like we were meant to be together,” Nassbaum said.

On Wednesday, after that short trial period, the shelter threw Merrick a giant send-off as his new owner came to pick him up. Volunteers, staff and other friends lined the Humane Society’s entry to wish the new duo well and say goodbye.

“I can’t even tell you, emotions are so heavy today,” Poore said. “I’ve helped hundreds of dogs find homes, but none of them mean as much as helping Merrick.”

Nassbaum said he has a big back yard that Merrick is very excited to run around in.

To learn more about the Humane Society of Greater Kansas City and see other pets that are looking for a home, visit their website.