Dogs get left at shelters every day. It’s a sad reality in a world where animals are still treated as commodities rather than beings with emotions. But this particular shelter story stands out because of the extraordinary reaction of the pup, once he realized he was being surrendered.
Nancy Klein is a resident of Modesto, California. As a dog lover, she regularly volunteers at Stanislaus Animal Services Agency. She is no stranger to sad stories, as every day she interacts with dogs in wait of a forever home and it’s hard not to feel for them. But when this family walked in with a pit bull in tow, she had no idea what she was about to witness.
The pit bull was called Moses. He was white and brown, and approximately four years old. Pit bulls are known for being strong and burly, and many people have strong opinions about the breed’s personality traits. They are often thought of as aggressive and violent, ready to attack at any second. Some towns even have ordinances that ban people from owning this breed. Was Moses’ behavior the reason for his surrender?
As it turned out, it was the complete opposite. Sure, he was big and brawny, but his demeanor was far from aggressive. Moses was calm, loving, and gentle. He was obedient and friendly to both staff and customers. Clearly he liked affection and was eager to give it back. That’s when Nancy, who was about to leave for the day, realized she had met Moses before.
Moses had been taken to that very same shelter just one year prior. Nancy remembered him for his sweet temper, and even recalled wanting to take him home after he curled up in her lap. Then he had been adopted by a family with kids, cats and other dogs. Needless to say, it seemed like the perfect match and Nancy thought he’d live happily ever after. So why was he back?
The family explained that they were moving out of the area, and the new place they were going did not allow pets. So they were forced to surrender him, only a year after his adoption. Nancy has heard all the reasons for why people abandon dogs, and this family’s predicament was understandable considering the circumstances. She was also glad they were responsible enough to bring him to the shelter. But not everyone agreed…
Some people believe adopting a dog is a serious commitment, and that those who do should make an effort to keep their pets with them, no matter the circumstances. Others pointed out that we cannot judge a person’s decision to surrender a dog unless we know all the facts. However, they all agreed this was a dire situation for Moses, who was being left homeless for a second time. How would he react?
It was clear that Moses remembered being at the shelter before. This is no surprise – smell is the sense most associated with memory, and dogs have an extraordinarily strong sense of smell. According to experts, they form positive or negative associations with things that happened to them, and have expectations that similar positive or negative things might happen to them again in those places. Perhaps this explains what Moses did next.
“It’s like he ‘knew’ the way he clung to his owner,” explained Nancy in a Facebook post. “I took out my phone and well… you can see for yourself.” In the video, Moses stands on his hind legs, with his front paws trying to hold on to his owner. It’s like he’s begging him not to leave him there. The heartbreak in his eyes was evident. What would happen to Moses now?
Wishing to help ease Moses’ pain, Nancy decided to share the anecdote on Facebook in hopes of finding a permanent home for him. Moses’ story went viral and soon Nancy was able to announce that he had been adopted by a doting family with two children. Sadly Moses’ experiences of rejection are common when it comes to pit bulls. But he’s not the only one with a happy ending!
Having been born deaf, Nook Nook was deemed unfit for breeding and abandoned at the pound, where he was to be euthanized. A pit bull rescue saved him and took care of him for six months, until Ariel Dehart came to volunteer and fell in love with him. She taught him sign commands and now Nook Nook spends his days sitting on Ariel’s lap.
When Caitlyn was rescued from an abusive owner, her muzzle had been taped shut and she nearly died. She was able to receive medical treatment and live in a loving foster home. Now that she’s recovered, she participates in campaigns for abused animals, like photo shoots with shirtless firefighters. Her foster family decided to adopt her, and she even got to meet singer Rick Springfield!
Olive waited for 11 years in an animal shelter, waiting for her forever home. She never lost hope, even after a couple of failed adoption attempts. One of them was a shelter employee who was ready to bring her home, but he died unexpectedly. After her story gained social media attention, she was finally adopted. She now spends her days eating meatballs and sniffing flowers.
When their home was broken into, the intruder fired at her owner but Lefty jumped in the way and took the bullet. Lefty was badly injured and her leg had to be amputated. Thanks to Facebook, the community came together and covered the medical costs in full. Now a three-legged-dog, Lefty doesn’t let that stop her from having fun.
TaterTot was a rescue pit bull on his first week as a foster dog with Christi Smith and her four year old son. One night, he started barking and whimpering, pacing between rooms. Christi found the boy unconscious and barely breathing. At the emergency room, they learned his blood sugar levels had crashed and he could have died. TaterTot smelled the shift in his body chemistry and saved his life. Now Christi’s family is his forever home.
Cletus was a service dog for Josh Kelly, a man who suffered from epilepsy. It took Josh a decade to finish his geoscience degree due to his disability. Sadly, he passed away months before his graduation. The school decided to let Cletus walk in his place along with Josh’s dad to accept the diploma. They also renamed a study hall “Cletus’ Corner” in honor of Josh and his dog.