A Pennsylvania shelter’s longest resident has been adopted and her story is going viral following a kismet coincidence onlookers are calling fate.
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Ella, a sweet-natured blue-hued pit bull who has been staying at the Animal Resource Center in Bloomsburg for seven years, had a meet and greet scheduled with a potential adopter earlier this month.
According to the shelter, a local woman named Kaitlyn — who could not be reached for comment — emailed the shelter manager and said she was interested in adopting Ella. She told the employees that her dog, Jo, had passed away a few months back and she was finally ready to get another dog.
In a Facebook post that has been liked more than 3,000 times, staff member Tori Johnson documented what happened next.
“When Ella first saw Kaitlyn, we think she already knew, that this is MY person,” Johnson wrote. “Ella is a dog that has fear aggression and needs multiple visits for her to get comfortable with you — not with Kaitlyn.”
The dog walked over to Kaitlyn with no hesitation and allowed her to pet her and give her scratches. Then, Kaitlyn began crying. She kept looking at Ella’s neck, according to Johnson.
Kaitlyn pulled up a photo of her late dog, Jo, on her phone. The white dog was wearing a bandanna. It was the same one Ella was wearing.
The bandanna had been Jo’s. “I donated them all here when he passed,” Kaitlyn told the shelter staff.
Johnson said the staff began crying, too, perplexed by how out of the 20 dogs within the shelter, Jo’s bandanna ended up on Ella.
“Kaitlyn said it best by saying, ‘I like to think of it as Jo’s stamp of approval,’ knowing it was meant to be,” Johnson wrote.
That day, Ella went home with Kaitlyn.
Ella is believed to be 7 years old, having initially arrived at the Animal Resource Center as a skinny, 5-month-old stray. While previously adopted at least three times, Ella continued to be returned to the center over the years for various reasons, including owners moving, according to the shelter. In previous posts she was described as a loving girl who was dealing with trust issues and fear because of her past.
Shelter staff, who gathered to say their goodbyes during Kaitlyn’s meet and greet, said they would miss Ella greeting them at the door of her kennel first thing in the morning, but were glad to see “Ella finally got what she deserved.”
Since Animal Resource Center’s initial post, Ella and Kaitlyn’s story has continued to spread.
Popular dog-rating personality WeRateDogs posted a now-viral TikTok about the encounter over the weekend. It’s been viewed more than 912,000 times.
In the comments, users described being teary-eyed themselves hearing about Ella, Jo, and Kaitlyn.
“That’s her soul mate dog, TWICE,” one user wrote.
Others rationalized that Ella may have felt so comfortable with Kaitlyn because she was already familiar with her scent, thanks to the bandanna.
Many referenced “invisible string theory,” the idea that the universe connects people to those they are fated to meet — including pets. The trend was recently sparked on TikTok by the song, “invisible string”by Taylor Swift, which references East Asian folklore about the “red thread of fate” that ties destined lovers together.
In a follow-up photo posted by WeRateDogs, Ella could be seen settled into a couch and peering in the direction of a smiling photo of Jo.