On a cold day in January, a good dog named Duke was found. He wasn't lost, he was tied to a tree, with a note just a few feet away on the ground.
Duke was found by a woman named Stephanie Dagenhart who was out walking her own two dogs. She noticed the note and was disgusted by what it said.
"It essentially said: 'This is Duke; he has his favorite toy, his crate, and his food, and he needs a new home and someone to love him,'" Dagenhart recalled.
She said that it was freezing cold outside, so much so that she could barely feel her hands, yet this dog was left outside, shaking all by himself.
"I was stunned. I literally looked left, looked right, looking for someone who might be his owner — like I couldn’t believe what my brain was telling me," Dagenhart said.
Scattered around the tree Duke was tied to were a few of his belongings, including his folded up crate, his half-empty tub of dog food, and a chew toy.
Dagenhart immediately called the cops to get help with the dog, because she didn't want him left all by himself. Because she had her two dogs with her, she was hesitant to approach Duke, but she had her fiance come pick them up so she could get in closer to the poor pup.
He was very hesitant, and growled when she got close, but she stayed on a nearby bench waiting for help to arrive.
She posted his picture on Facebook to see if anyone knew his owners, but had no luck. But 50 minutes after her call a cop finally arrived, and 10 minutes after that an officer from animal control came to collect him.
Duke arrived at the Baltimore Animal Rescue & Care Shelter (BARCS), and at first he remained nervous, but as he warmed up so did his personality.
He revealed his true nature, which spokesperson Bailey Deacon said is nothing more than a "big mush."
"While I’m sure he’s confused about his situation, he is very trusting and enthusiastic to meet new people," said Deacon. "His smile is infectious and his tail is always wagging. He’s the type of dog that thinks everyone in the room or walking by is there specially there just for him."
While the thought of someone abandoning their dog at a park is already morally horrifying, it's also against the law. Instead they could have brought him right to the shelter and they would have accepted him without question.
Deacon stated, "We want to remind pet owners that should they ever need to give up their pet, open-admission shelters like BARCS are a community resource. We welcome all animals into our care without judgment."
Luckily for Duke, he wasn't left alone for long. U.S. Army Specialist Wallace White arrived at the shelter and fell in love with Duke, but it wasn't until after he adopted him that he learned about his history!
While Duke had raised a lot of interest due to the horrifying way he was left behind, White didn't know that his new best friend was so famous.
Duke is such a happy boy, having been lucky enough to get spotted by someone who took the time to help him out, and now he'll get to live with someone who can give him all the love he deserves.
If you ever see an animal in distress, make sure you call your local animal control and find it the help it needs. Don't assume someone else has already done it, because that's how things end up being ignored!
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