Workers at an animal shelter returned to work after Memorial Day weekend to an alarming discovery—but after reading a heartbreaking letter, they rallied to give a poor creature a second chance.
On Tuesday, May 29, employees at the Harris County Animal Shelter in Houston, Texas, found an unexpected surprise in their parking lot: an abandoned dog crate.
Inside the crate was a terrified poodle, left there by his owner.
It’s always heartbreaking to see an animal discarded by its owner—but in this case it seems to have been done out of desperation, not heartlessness.
An attached note from the owner asked the shelter to care for the dog.
“He’s a great puppy, I just couldn’t afford to keep him,” the letter read. “His name is Lee. He will listen, he will bark, and will not bite.”
“Please don’t put him down I love him, but can’t afford to keep him.”
The shelter reminded their followers to always seek other resources before abandoning their pet.
“We certainly understand financial hardship, but if there is some small way that we can help keep pets with their people we want to do that,” they wrote on Facebook, suggesting programs for affordable pet care. “Before making that decision to give up a pet, talk to us about your circumstance to determine if we can link you with a resource.”
Lee’s owner seemed to acknowledge that the dog was suffering from some medical conditions: “I haven’t shaved him yet, I apologize, but please care for him and find him a home. Thanks.”
Indeed, the one-year-old poodle’s fur was found in poor condition—which wasn’t helped by the fact that he was left in a parking lot.
“Lee was matted and covered in urine when he arrived,” the shelter’s media specialist Kerry McKeel told The Dodo. “He was very unsure and nervous.”
Harris County Animal Shelter arranged for him to have a much-needed shave. Being free from his matted fur made Lee look like a whole new dog, and was the first step on a road to recovery.
While the shelter was already crowded, McKeel stepped in to foster Lee. After a few days, he’s already making a significant improvement.
“Lee is an affectionate, very smart and spunky pup,” McKeel said. “He knows how to sit and play fetch. He certainly went from bow to wow.”
“He is sweet, smart and spunky!” the shelter wrote in a May 31 update. “We learned that he knows ‘sit’ and how to ‘fetch.'”
And they also had some great news:
Lee found a new forever home!
After some compassionate rescue work from Harris County, plus a nice grooming job by Best Friends Animal Society, Lee is looking like a whole new dog—and getting a second chance at life.
While his original owner didn’t go the ideal route in getting his dog a new home, he’d be happy to know Lee ended up in good hands after all.