An animal shelter in Florida has shared a story of how they were able to reunite a dog and their owner without charging any fees. The story has since gone viral, and the shelter has received a lot of praise online. Santa Rosa County Animal Shelter had been caring for deaf puppy Glock before his owner came to the shelter to claim him. She was in tears as she was desperate to get her dog back, but couldn’t afford the fees that would have been payable. The lady was really worried that she would have to leave Glock at the shelter and that he would be adopted by someone else. The manager of operations at the shelter, Jessica Jade, made a Facebook post to explain how they were able to return Glock to his owner. According to the Greater Good, the post was shared more than 10,000 times. In the post she explained that the shelter wanted to do all that they could to reunite the family. They were really touched by how much the lady wanted to get her dog back and how distraught she was that this might not be a possibility.
When Glock saw his owner it was obvious to all the staff at the shelter how much love there was between the two of them. The lady started crying even harder when she saw Glock, and he was so happy to see his owner he was running and jumping around excitedly. It was the most animated that the staff had seen Glock in the two weeks that they had been caring for him. This was further proof for the shelter that they needed to do everything that they could to get this family back together. Jade took the lady into the office and reassured her that she would be getting Glock back. They had some paperwork that needed to be completed and she took this time to talk to the owner about the financial difficulties that she had been facing. It soon became clear to Jade that there was absolutely no reason why Glock shouldn’t be returned to his family. He was clearly well cared for and very loved. It was only the financial situation of the family that was standing in the way, and this was something that the shelter knew they could help with.
Jade believes that the redemption fees that need to be paid to get a lost dog out of a shelter contribute to the problem of overcrowding. If people know that they are not being able to afford the fees, then they may not even attempt to try and get their pet back. The purpose of shelters is to reunite lost animals with their families, but it is considered to be a flaw in the system that financial reasons may prevent this from happening. Upworthy reports that in some cases the fees for getting a rescued pet back can be as much as $300. While these fees will only be charged in extreme circumstances, it still contributes to the issue of pets not being able to be returned to their homes because the fees are not affordable. This is an amount of money that many people would find difficult to raise in a short space of time.
High fees are often charged in the cases of pets that have not been neutered. However, in most cases the only reason owners have not had this procedure performed on their pets is because they couldn’t afford it. This was the case for Glock’s owner, who also had cats at home that hadn’t had the operation either. The shelter was able to help out further by providing Glock’s owner with vouchers so that he and his cat siblings could all be neutered. This is something that the woman was incredibly grateful for. If Glock had been picked up by another shelter that was not as understanding, she may have been unable to get him back. Jade hopes that the story of what the Santa Rosa County Animal Shelter did for this family would inspire others to do the same. I Love My Dogs So Much reported that as part of her Facebook post she made an appeal for other shelters to be flexible in how they apply their fees.
The shelter also gave Glock and his owner some dog food so this was one less expense that they had to worry about. They recognized that the time they had spent apart had been very stressful for all parties and so they wanted to ensure they could enjoy being back together with a bit of relief from financial worries. In the case of Glock, and many other pets who find themselves in a similar situation, it is not a matter of finding them a new home. They already have a loving home, they just need to be reunited with their owners. If shelters are able to be flexible in regards to charging fees for pets that have loving homes but have just been lost, then it means more pets can be reunited with their families. This will reduce the amount of pets that are in shelters unnecessarily and free up space for animals that really do need help.
Since the post went viral, the shelter have had people from all over the country inquiring about how they can make a donation. Donations can be made through their website and they also have a wish list on Amazon. Jade had also set up a fundraising page to help get Glock’s owner back on her feet financially as she received a lot of messages from people asking how they could provide help. Although the shelter is grateful for all the support they have received, the real reason that Jade decided to share the story was to raise awareness of the fact that sometimes redemption fees can actually prevent families and their pets being reunited. This is something that she does feel she has achieved.