For animal lovers, the thought of harming a dog or neglecting it in any way is abhorrent. Similarly, hearing about dogs being abandoned is something that will break their hearts. Although there are sometimes genuine reasons why people must give up their dogs, there are methods of doing so that will ensure the safety and well-being of the dog. Simply leaving a dog is just despicable behavior. Unfortunately, some people just abandon their dog without any thought for their well-being. One example of this happening is described by I heart Dogs. They describe an animal shelter that has made provisions to ensure that stray dogs have somewhere safe, even when the shelter is closed. There are outdoor kennels where concerned residents can bring strays they find even if there are no staff present at the facility.
The idea of these shelters is to provide a safe haven for strays. It is not intended for people to dump their pets when they no longer want them. Sadly, this is a situation that sometimes happens. When a dog is dumped by their owner, the shelter will always try to track them down and make them pay the surrender fee. In some cases, the owners are not found, and no surrender fee is paid. Some people abandon their dogs in a very strange manner. While most people would want to abandon their dog as discreetly as possible to avoid being traced, one woman left her dog in an outdoor kennel at the shelter, and then took the time to take some selfies of herself stood in front of the kennel. These actions were caught on the shelter’s CCTV, although it was not possible to identify the woman from the images it captured.
When the shelter staff arrived the following day, they discovered the Pit Bull in one of the outside kennels. They noticed that the woman who had abandoned him had written in the dust on the door that the dog’s name was Staunch. As the dog was not microchipped, this was the only clue to the dog’s identity and the shelter had no way of contacting the owner who had abandoned him. Staunch was very unhappy about being abandoned in the shelter. The timid cowered at the back of the kennel, and it took staff almost an hour to coax him out and get him into the facility. The staff was heartbroken for the poor dog.
The fear in the dog’s eyes also spurred them into taking action to try and find out some information about him and why he had been abandoned. They decided to post his photograph on social media along with a plea for information. They described how it had taken them some time to persuade him to come out of the kennel and begged for information about the woman. Sometimes, Facebook is a successful method of finding out information and, on other occasions, it does not lead to any information being provided. Fortunately, on this occasion, someone came forward with some information, and it wasn’t the information that they had expected.
The man that came forward claimed that he was Staunch’s human. He explained to the shelter staff that he had to go out of town for work purposes and that he had left Staunch with his sister. After discovering that his sister had surrendered his dog to an animal shelter, he claims that he made repeated attempts to contact the shelter to tell them that he was Staunch’s owner. The man also said that he was unsuccessful in getting through. As a last attempt to try to contact the staff at the shelter, he responded in the comments section of the Facebook post. Thankfully, his comments were seen by the staff. To prove that the dog belonged to him, the man also posted some photographs of Staunch during happier times.
The Facebook post and the revelation about the circumstances surrounding the abandonment triggered a huge debate on social media. Many people were disgusted with the woman for abandoning her brother’s dog while it was in her care. However, some relatives came forward to defend her actions, explaining that she had been going through a difficult time that had left her unable to care for the Pit Bull properly. They had also said she had asked someone else to help her out with the dog’s care. When they refused to help, the woman felt that she had no other option than to take the dog to the shelter where somebody would care for him properly. While some commenters still believed that this was irresponsible behavior, others felt that her circumstances explained her actions.
Now that Staunch’s owner has been identified, the shelter has said they are willing to care for the dog until his owner returns from his work trip. This way, the dog will be well cared for until he is reunited with his owner. This should mean that Staunch’s stay in the shelter is only short-lived, and he should return to the comfort of his own home soon. This is a much happier ending to Staunch’s story than the staff at the shelter had expected. They believed that it was his owner who had abandoned him and that they would have to go through the long and difficult process of rehoming him. Thankfully, that was not the case.
While Staunch’s story has a happy ending, not all abandoned dogs are so lucky. Abandoned dogs account for a large proportion of dogs that end up in animal shelters each year. According to the ASPCA, approximately 1.5 million of these animals are euthanized in the United States each year. Of these animals, 670,000 are dogs and 860,000 are cats. It is heartbreaking to think of so many animals being euthanized simply because their owners no longer want them or are unable to care for them properly.