With the coronavirus pandemic continuing to cause widespread economic devastation, some pet owners are finding they can no longer afford to feed their four-legged friends.
But the way that one dog-owner, in Johnson County, Indiana, gave up their pup was both heartbreaking and potentially very dangerous.
Roadie, an adorable German and Australian shepherd mix, was found tied to a tree with a plastic bottle hanging from her neck.
Inside the bottle was a note that explained why Roadie’s owner had abandoned her.
It said she was a rescue puppy from a litter of ten that had been well cared for until her owner had lost his job and, the writer of the note claimed, potentially their home as a result of Covid-19.
The note listed Roadie’s favourite foods and toys, and said she loved to play with children and other dogs.
But Michael Delp, director of Johnson County Animal Shelter, slammed Roadie’s former owner, saying Roadie could have been “struck by a vehicle, could have been attacked by wolves or coyotes,” while tied up by the roadside.
The shelter published clear guidelines for both stray dogs and “owner surrenders” on its website.
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Michael says he had conflicting emotions when he read the note: “One, if it is legit, my heart goes out to that individual.”
But if the note was not completely true, says Michael, he feels angry “that someone would manufacture an excuse to abandon their dog that was designed to elicit sympathy,”
Luckily, Roadie’s story has a happy ending. Jeremy Pell, chief of the local fire department and a reserve sheriff deputy, just happened to be looking for a dog that could both live in his home and accompany him on search and rescue missions.
He said as soon as he saw a news report about her, she seemed ideal: “I opened up the news and saw Roadie, I saw the breed and the story and the fact that she is literally in my backyard.”
A quick assessment showed that Roadie was perfectly suited to her new role, and now she has a home, a job, and a loving family again.
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