Animal shelters, especially ones in and around a major metropolis like Los Angeles, tend to be busy, chaotic places with dogs constantly barking. Amidst that noise and chaos, a dog's silence can speak volumes about tragedy.
For these dogs, their cells are nothing more than four walls to house a broken heart.
Oso is an 8-year-old chow mix who was dumped at the Downey Animal Care Center just before the Fourth of July weekend. When he arrived, he was a sad, empty shell of a dog.
Although his owners never provided an official reason for turning him in, Sal Valdepeña, a local volunteer who helps shelter dogs find new homes, thinks he knows why. Oso suffers from alopecia and pyoderma, both skin conditions that Sal believes Oso's owners "didn't want to be bothered by."
Ironically, both conditions are treatable and the Downey shelter even has a booth at the entrance where American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) staff members offer financial assistance for families who can't afford their pet's medical bills.
Unfortunately, as a result of his family's thoughtlessness, Oso is now suffering from a much more difficult affliction to cure - heartbreak.
"He's defeated and confused," Sal said in an interview with The Dodo. "Staring at the wall trembling."
Being brought to a shelter and abandoned by their families is a very rough experience for a dog. These are highly emotionally intuitive animals who feel real love for their families. Imagine if your family put you up for adoption just because you had a totally treatable rash - it just makes no sense.
Unfortunately, Oso is being housed in a busy shelter where space is at a premium. Sal has done his best to buy the dog as much time as possible before he's put on a kill list, but time is running short. If you would like to know more about Oso and/or try to help him out, we urge you to visit the Downey Animal Care Center, or call them at 562- 940-6898.
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H/T: The Dodo | Sal Valdepeña