Sometimes when a family takes in a dog or cat, things don’t work out. There are many factors that contribute to someone abandoning a pet. Not everyone who surrenders their animal is cruel.
They may very well love their dog or cat. They might not be able to afford their care. A new job might force them to move to a home where animals aren’t allowed.
The dog or cat’s behavior might be giving them difficulty, and they are at their wits end with how to handle it. They’re embarrassed to admit they can no longer keep their pet.
No matter the reason, seeing an animal left alone at the side of the road or tied behind a building breaks your heart. One pet owner who left their dog behind wanted to ensure the pooch would be given the best chance to be re-homed and adopted.
Margie Morris of Mobile, Alabama is the Director of Project Purr Animal Rescue. Morris found a pit bull tied to a phone pole in the parking lot behind her organization’s shelter.
Morris is used to finding cats and kittens on her doorstep, but not dogs.
“My initial reaction was, ‘Where was I going to keep the dog?’” Morris said. Her organization strictly worked with saving cats. “I felt bad for the dog being left behind. I believe the person who left him really couldn’t keep him but wanted him to get help. He was well-fed.”
The dog, who would later be named ranger, was left outside the shelter. Morris explains why she couldn’t take him inside: “We took some heat for not bringing the dog into our building, but we seriously have 90 to 100 free-range kitties and nowhere for a dog to go.”
To help find a new home for Ranger, Morris took photos of the pooch and posted them on social media. Until ranger found a new forever home, he would be staying at the city’s local animal shelter.
The staff there promised Morris they’d look after the abandoned dog who’d been left at Morris’s shelter with a bed, bowl and other supplies.
It didn’t take long for Morris’s post and plea for help to go viral. Several people responded. Ginny Leclair, an independent rescuer, took up the call to help Ranger.
She got the pit bull to a vet where he was neutered, vaccinated and treated for ringworm.
Ranger was then transported to Leclair’s home in Navarre, Florida. It took some time for him to adjust to his new foster home.
At the time of his rescue, it was thought ranger was around two-years-old. Leclair worried about his aggressive nature toward her other rescue dogs.
Leclair expressed her initial concerns after first bringing Ranger home: “I had my doubts at first about his disposition and temperament.
“But on the third day, I was like, ‘Wait a minute. He needs a job. He needs to know who’s in charge. This is not one that you can be all cutesy with and baby talk with and feed him, and he’ll be fine.
Ranger needs to know, ‘Hey, I belong to you. You’re in charge of me. This is what we’re going to do.’”
It took discipline, personal attention, and love, but Ranger quickly improved: “He’s doing so much better,” Leclair said.
“He can now walk past other dogs without there being a fight, he plays in the yard. He initiates play. I can take a toy from his mouth, I can take away his food dish. I can take away his water while he’s drinking.”
Ranger not only loves other dogs but people too. The pit bull adores Leclair and her entire family. And they feel the same.
The plan for ranger was to be fostered with the Leclairs, but the family decided to adopt pit bull instead of trying to find him a home.
“He needs to belong,” Leclair said. “He does his best to please you. And if you know what to ask of him and how to reward him, he’s right there by your side.”
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