Senior Dogs Were Abandoned At Shelter After Years Of Neglect


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6.9k shares, 411 points

Some people do not deserve to own dogs. Like the woman who abandoned two elderly dogs at an animal shelter because they barked too much, saying she didn’t want to care for them anymore.

The dogs, Donnie and Marie, had spent ten years in the backyard, a place where they felt at home. Then in early July, the woman loaded the shepherd-mix dogs into the back of her truck and dropped them off at the Humane Animal Treatment Society, in Mount Pleasant, Michigan, The Dodo reports.

Dogs Endured Years of Neglect

You can see what beautiful, sweet dogs they are in the photos below. Michigan winters can be devastatingly cold. It’s sad to think these poor dogs were out in such weather.

Image by The Humane Animal Treatment Society
Image by the Humane Animal Treatment Society

However, despite their lovable personalities, the woman said she no longer wanted them.

It would be nice if situations like this were uncommon, but they aren’t, noted Mandy Risch, the director of The Humane Animal Treatment Society. Risch told The Dodo she has seen an avalanche of cases of elderly dogs tossed away like garbage, and many of these dogs are too fragile to live in a shelter.

The staff tried to explain this to Donnie and Marie’s owner, who refused to listen.

“We explained that if these dogs are 10 and they had lived their entire lives outside, that they might not do well in a shelter environment,” Risch said. “It’s really hard to adopt out senior dogs, so it could lead to euthanasia. As far as I understand, the response was that she didn’t care … she needed to bring them in.”

Risch asked the dogs former owner why they were riding in the bed of the truck and not in the cab with her, AddictingStories notes. The owner’s response?

The dogs were “too smelly,” and she didn’t want them in the truck with her.

After ten years of living outside, it became clear Donnie and Marie were neglected. Through no fault of their own, the poor dogs were an absolute mess.

“The first time our kennel tech tried to bathe them, her hands were literally black they were so filthy,” Risch said. “Her hands were just covered because they needed a bath so bad.”

To give these poor dogs the necessary care and attention they needed, the staff made sure they were given the full spa treatment. And they made certain to drive the dogs inside the car to and from the spa.

Image by the Humane Animal Treatment Society via Facebook

“Donnie absolutely loved the attention,” she said. “Marie was a little more scared, but she eventually came around with the grooming staff.”

Marie after her stint at the spa. Image by Humane Animal Treatment Society via The Dodo

Marie, who is a bit on the shy side, had trouble adjusting to life at the shelter, especially if Donnie wasn’t around.

“She shakes all of the time, and when Donnie is not with her she is absolutely lost, she cannot function,” Risch said. “They’re very, very scared.”

Risch was well aware that if the dogs stayed at the shelter for too long, they would become depressed and increasingly withdrawn, and that she needed to do something if they were to be rescued. So she decided to give Facebook a shot and shared Donnie and Marie’s story. Before she knew it, the post went viral, and there was plenty of liking and sharing.

The dogs get to take an actual trip in the car. Image by the Humane Animal Treatment Society via The Dodo

People Responded.

“We had an outpouring of generosity,” Risch said. “People have already sponsored their adoption fees, and then we had a number of people call from other states to look into adoption.”

So the staff went to work, sorting through one application after another. Fortunately, the best home turned out to be only a few minutes away from the shelter. A local couple found out about Donnie and Marie’s plight and decided they want to help.

Right from the beginning, the brother and sister pooches warmed up to the couple, who had also brought their basset hound, 13-year-old Daisy, to meet her future dog buddies. Donnie and Marie warmed up to the situation right away.

Image by Humane Animal Treatment Society via The Dodo

Now all three pooches will be part of the family. And Risch knew it was the right thing to do. Especially after Donnie and Marie’s new dad said, he found their story heartbreaking. Then their new mom said, “you just don’t do that.” That was exactly what Risch hoped to hear.

“We agree,” she said. “You just don’t discard members of the family … for any reason.”

These sweet dogs will have a much better life. Instead of being ignored and neglected out in the cold, they’ll have a big farmhouse and huge yard to play in and couches to rest on. They will always be clean and be loved and will be treated as members of the family.

Because that’s what they should be.

Featured image by the Humane Animal Treatment Society via Facebook

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