The day my sweet little foster girl went to her new home up in Oregon, I was already thinking about my next foster. After a few days, I decided to go to the East Valley Animal Shelter and "just see."
I got there and went into the area where the kennels are. It was so overwhelming, I came close to running back out in tears. But, I knew that in order to save another life, I would need to prepare myself and forge ahead. It was truly heartbreaking seeing hundreds of amazing dogs being held in these cold, concrete cages. Mostly, huskies and shepherd-type dogs. No dog does well in a shelter setting, but these two breeds, do exceptionally bad in cages. They were pacing, howling, jumping and in general distress. Again, I was broken-hearted for all of these dogs.
I had gone in looking for a smaller dog, since I am in an apartment, with three other dogs. Two of which are elderly, blind and one is both deaf and blind. There were not many small dogs there at all, and the ones that were there, all had adopters that were coming back to get them once their hold time was up. So, I ended up just roaming around in the kennel area for about two hours. I was trying to figure out which dog needed me the most.
Most of these dogs would bark and run up to the kennel door, jumping for attention. I noticed one kennel that appeared to be empty. But when I looked deeper into the kennel, there was a dog curled up on a cot inside the cave-like part of the cage. I called him, but he just looked at me, not moving. He seemed shut down and, as if, he knew there was nobody coming for him. I read his kennel card. No behavior issues, goes by Levi, male, neutered, 1 year and 3 months old, owner surrendered.
I continued to walk around until I found a volunteer to ask about Levi. She acted very shocked. She peppered me with questions. "Has someone told you about Levi? Why do you want information about Levi? Do you know this dog?" My answer was no and I was surprised at her reaction. I thought the reason the shelter existed is for people to view the dogs and adopt them. Perplexed, I asked why she was asking these questions. Was there something wrong with Levi? Did he have a bite history? What was it?
It turns out, she, being of an elevated age, couldn't handle him. She also told me he had gotten into a fight with his kennel mate once. I wasn't disuaded. Shelters are extremely stressful places for animals.
So, she said she would get another person to bring him to me to meet in the play yard. I waited for a very long time, but finally he came around the corner, looking very happy to be out of his kennel. The girl that brought him to me told me his entire story.
Levi's owner had a female dog that had gone into heat. At six months old, Levi, just being a baby and a male dog, was humping the female dog. His owner decided to surrender him at six months old to the shelter. Nobody, during the entire 8 months of his time there, had ever shown any interest. Since nobody had shown interest in all that time, Levi was put on the red list. He had a date for execution and it was that Friday.
Well, that did it for me. This dog was 100% not going to be put down. So, as it was 5pm, by the time I got to meet and play with him, I left. I had to speak to Ryan with the rescue group. I had to speak to my boyfriend. Everyone said SAVE THIS DOG.
So, that is what I did the very next day. I flew over there after I got off work at 4, and we finalized the adoption into Free Animal Doctor. The entire time I was doing the paperwork, the shelter staff was trying to talk me out of adopting this dog. Why they didn't want me to get him and save a life, is beyond me. But I didn't listen.
We took him home and he is the perfect dog. He has a big personality, a goofy puppy, but smart as a whip. How he became house trained in a shelter setting is miraculous. But he has never had an accident in doors. He loves hikes and walks, but he could also be a big potato on the couch. Levi gets so much attention on the street. Everyone tells us what a gorgeous dog he is. I have to say, I wholeheartedly agree.
Levi is currently up for adoption. Click on the adoption application on this site and apply to adopt the most beautiful boy ever. Adoption Application