In Houston, Texas, the Harris County Animal Shelter stayed closed over Memorial Day weekend. However, as soon as it reopened the doors on Tuesday, the workers there were met with the saddest of surprises.
LEFT ALL ALONE
When workers pulled into the shelter on Tuesday, right there in the middle of the parking lot was an animal crate. Inside the container was a little 1-year-old poodle named Lee, entirely covered in a long carpet of dirty fur.
“Lee was matted and covered in urine when he arrived,” said Kerry McHeel, the shelter’s media specialist. “He was very unsure and nervous.”
There was a note attached to Lee’s crate from an owner who loved their pet very much.
“Can you please take care of my dog?” read the note. “He’s a great puppy, I just couldn’t afford to keep him. His name is Lee. He will listen, he will bark, and will not bite. Please don’t put him down I love him, but I can’t afford to keep him. I haven’t shaved him yet, I apologize, but please care for him and find him a home. Thanks.”
Sadly, poor little Lee was not the only animal left at the Harris County Shelter around that weekend. The shelter is only supposed to house 150 dogs and cats at a time. By the time Lee arrived, it was already stretched beyond its limits with 375 homeless animals after the conclusion of the Memorial Day weekend.
Cages meant to hold one or two animals instead held three or four.
No one knows why such a large number of owners suddenly disposed of their pets that weekend. However, McKeel said that there is a possibility that financial hardships as a result of Hurricane Maria decimating the area last fall is part of the reason.
Sadly, in a lot of cases, people just dump their pets instead of doing the work to find a solution.
THERE ARE OPTIONS
Unfortunately, what those pet owners did not realize was that there are options. Right there at the shelter, for example, they offer spay and neuter vouchers that will provide the service for free or at a very low cost.
“We can certainly understand financial hardships, but if there is some small way that we can help keep pets with their people, we want to do that,” said Harris County Animal Shelter on Facebook. “Before making that decision to give up a pet, talk to us about your circumstances to determine if we can link you with a resource.”
The shelter in Houston isn’t alone in that thinking either. All over the country, there are organizations will help pet owners keep their beloved fur babies at home. Please never give up on those precious fur babies until you have checked every resource available to you.
Now back to Lee, though. After a few days in the shelter, Lee started to adjust to his new surroundings. He began to get the care he so urgently needed including a haircut.
As soon as they shaved off all that nasty fur, Lee’s fantastic personality started to shine as brightly as his coat. He gained confidence as well as an adorable little smile on his face.
Now that he was all cleaned up, Lee looked like a totally different dog. But what’s next for the little fella?
I am pleased to announce that shortly after the original story aired on local news, Lee found a forever home.
Thanks to the fantastic people at the animal shelter, Lee is now with a family who will never give him up.
Share this article with your friends, so they understand that there are options for those in a tight financial spot so they can hold onto their precious pets.
Feature Image via The Dodo