When a deaf pup named Glock ended up at the Santa Rosa County Animal Services, he was assumed to be a stray. The brown-colored pup had no ID tags, and staff checked for a microchip but he didn’t have that either. After a couple of weeks at the Florida shelter, a woman came in, distressed. She was insistent that Glock was her dog. However, she admitted that she was unable to afford to pay the standard “redemption” fee often charged to owners.
The upset woman was in tears, begging for Glock to be returned to her. As the shelter’s operations director, Jessica Jade, recounted on a Facebook post, “She says, through her sobs, ‘Can I please have my dog? I don’t have any money to get him out.’ When I ask who her dog is, she continues to cry and beg, telling me she can’t afford to get him out.”
Feeling for the woman and not wanting to keep the dog and owner apart, this animal shelter decided to release Glock to her and waive the redemption fee. Jade was happy to write on the post that when they brought Glock out to see the woman, he immediately went wild upon seeing her. The pup was jumping around and clearly very excited. And the woman was equally as thrilled, having broken down in tears as she hugged him closely. As Jade noted on Facebook, “Their love and bond are deep.”
It is no wonder that this heartwarming moment has gone viral, with many praising the actions of the shelter. The shelter was then further given credit for the additional help that they provided the woman by providing her with neuter/spay vouchers for some kittens she had at home, as well as sending her home with a supply of complementary pet food.
While the shelter’s care and compassion did go unnoticed, it also raised the important question of how shelters should go about handling redemption fees and other policies that might prevent pets from being reunited with their families who care for them. This would then add to the stress of large shelter populations already being felt in shelters across the country. Wanting to see a change, Jade added, “Innovative shelters remain flexible to ensure as many positive outcomes as possible, ensuring animals go back to the families they belong to where they are already loved.”
And that’s really all that could be asked for – a little compassion on a case by case basis. What do you think? Let us know!