During Memorial day weekend in Harris County, Texas, around 200 people abandoned their animals for the Houston-area shelter to take in. The shelter can usually hold 150 animals, one per cage. It’s overcrowded with three to four animals per cage. One of those new additions was a poodle puppy named Lee.
The shelter was closed for Memorial Day. It reopened on Tuesday. Staff found Lee in a cage in the parking lot.
The 1-year-old pup was terrified and covered with matted fur. “Lee was matted and covered in urine when he arrived,” Kerry McKeel, the shelter’s media specialist, told The Dodo. “He was very unsure and nervous.”
What saddened the shelter workers even more was the contents of a handwritten note that was scribbled on notebook paper. It was attached to the crate. The message was heartbreaking. “Can you please take care of my dog? He’s a great puppy, I just couldn’t afford to keep him. His name is Lee. He will listen, he will bark, and will not bite. Please don’t put him down I love him, but can’t afford to keep him. I haven’t shaved him yet, I apologize, but please care for him and find him a home. Thanks.”
The environment at the shelter is one Lee will have to adjust to. He’ll be placed in a cage with multiple dogs. No one is certain what prompted so many folks to abandon their dogs over this holiday weekend. McKeel believes the ultimate reason is financial hardships brought on by Hurricane Harvey. While owners may feel forced to surrender their animals during these tough times, the Harris County Animal Shelter believes there are other options out there. The shelter offers spay and neuter vouchers and free or low-cost services for food, fencing, and medical needs.
“We certainly understand financial hardship, but if there is some small way that we can help keep pets with their people, we want to do that,” Harris County Animal Shelter wrote on Facebook. “Before making that decision to give up a pet, talk to us about your circumstance to determine if we can link you with a resource.”
Lee is doing well in the shelter. He finally received a trim. free from his heavy fur, Lee’s personality has started to shine through. He’s confident with a smile on his face.
“Lee is an affectionate, very smart and spunky pup,” McKeel said. “He knows how to sit and play fetch. He certainly went from bow to wow.”
Everyone at the shelter is doing all they can for Lee. McKeel has started fostering him. “He is such a good pup. Very playful,” McKeel said. “I also learned this morning that he really enjoys a Puppuccino! We did a Starbucks run.”
Thanks to McKeel and the other shelter staff, Lee is flourishing. there are two families interested in adopting him. This sweet boy won’t have to wait long to find his forever home.