It was the first real cold night in a long time. People were hunkered down inside trying to stay warm. Most of the neighborhoods dogs and cats were inside, some of them peacefully sleeping in front of the fireplace.
One exception was the house on the corner, the eyesore of the neighborhood. That house had been abandoned two years earlier. The windows were boarded, lawn uncut, weeds growing as high as the window ledge. The front door was cracked just enough for a little black and brown dog to get inside. The Heinz 57, mixed breed dog was someone’s playmate when he was younger, but, as he got older, his people just didn’t seem to have enough time for him. He was kept in the yard for a while until the day he was driven to the strange location and left on the side of the road. He has been living in the abandoned home ever since.
The pup would leave the property to scrounge around, looking for food in the garbage. Some days there was a feast, other days his stomach would grumble. His ribs became more prominent as he got skinnier. He would wander through the streets, dodging speeding cars. His life was lonely and all about survival. He began to distrust people and would run as fast as he could to protect himself. He had now been living in the abandoned house for over a month.
Bob ventured out that evening in search of hot cocoa for his wife. She told him not to forget the marshmallows. As he pulled out, he saw something dart in front of his car. He heard a thump, and he swerved so he wouldn’t hit it again. He got out of his car to see a small animal crawl into the abandoned building next door. He wanted to make sure the animal was okay.
Bob found the little black and brown dog shivering in the corner. He sat on the floor for what seemed like an eternity until the dog allowed him to check out his bleeding paw. He picked up the dog and rushed him to the 24-hour animal hospital. Luckily, the veterinarian said he would be fine with a little TLC. That night, the little dog found his new family and would never be cold again. But not all animals are as lucky.
More than 11,000 homeless, abandoned, and injured animals enter into the Pasadena Humane Society each year. Most come in as strays with no identification. All have stories about their lives before entering the shelter. All are hoping for a great future. You can make a difference in the life of a homeless animal by considering the following:
Be a Responsible Dog ParentDon’t be part of the problem. Make sure your dog is always safely and humanely confined and you always know where they are. Make sure your dog is always wearing current identification. If your dog gets lost, look for them at the animal shelter.
Don’t let a stray dog stay on the streetDespite what you see in the movies, life on the street is not a good one for a dog. If you find a stray animal, please bring them to the shelter so they can get care and so their family has a chance to find them. If you want to find the family yourself, make sure you take the dog to the shelter or a veterinarian to scan them for a microchip.
Get InvolvedEducate your neighbors about being a responsible dog parent by sharing information about the laws and expectations for dog parents in your community. You can find your city’s ordinances by visiting your city website. Help homeless animals by becoming a volunteer, donating, and always considering adoption in an effort to help save lives.
Join us to help us reach our goal of having fewer pets enter the shelter system each year. You can do your part by getting involved. Learn more about volunteering, lost and found, adoptions and donations at pasadenahumane.org.