LINCOLN, Maine — You’d think that most dogs would want out of a dog pound, but Rocky is not most dogs.

The perhaps 11-year-old hound mix has twice been adopted from the Penobscot Valley Humane Society shelter in the last 15 months, but each time he has run away from his adopted families in favor of returning to the shelter, said Meg Crocker-Curtis, the shelter’s manager.

“We’re not trying to keep him. He just likes it here. He likes us, so he is here as long as he wants to be,” Crocker-Curtis said Friday.

Rocky escaped out a window to return to the shelter one time, and with the other, nipped a small child — effectively forcing his return to the shelter, Crocker-Curtis said.

Rocky seems to enjoy, or at least be comforted by, the everyday routine of life at the shelter, Crocker-Curtis said. It’s possibly why he stays there. He knows every day that he is going to be fed, watered and walked, and seems to like that.

Vary the routine, however, and Rocky makes his displeasure known.

When one younger worker moved him to another pen, shelter workers learned that Rocky prefers to be in the far corner cage near the back door to the shelter. He expressed his displeasure at his displacement by shredding the stuffed bed he slept on, Crocker-Curtis said.

Yet Rocky is not necessarily a dictatorial dog. Although he isn’t great with children — Crocker-Curtis suspects there was an abusive young owner in his past — Rocky is a friendly and generally happy canine, who responded eagerly with a wagging tail when she petted him.

Rocky is, rather, an abused dog. His past owner kept him outdoors on a chain for nine years, and fed him only occasionally, Crocker-Curtis said. When he was brought to the shelter for the first time, the dog sat rigidly in the corner of his cell and stayed very still — a sign that he was used to having his movements extremely restricted by a lead.

Rocky was also emaciated. In terms of the abuse he took, Rocky is far from the worst case Crocker-Curtis has seen, she said, but he was one of the thinnest dogs she had ever seen, indicating neglect about as severe as any she has encountered. Careful feeding restored his weight.

“He’s just a big fat happy camper now,” Crocker-Curtis cooed over him as she scratched behind his ears.

And Rocky will run away, or at least run a lot, whenever he gets the chance. As a hound dog, running is in his blood, but his desire to gallop off is also a reaction to the years he has spent confined by a lead, Crocker-Curtis said.

Crocker-Curtis hopes that Rocky will eventually find a good home.

“If the right people came in and wanted to adopt him, he’s available,” she said, “but it would have to be very special people.”

Anyone who wishes to donate money or supplies can contact the shelter at 207-794-3457 or visit it at 1 Park Ave., Lincoln.