Dog Found Tied to a Tree Shaking, Abandoned in the Cold with Note from Owner


Plenty of people like to spend the first hours of the day out and about, soaking up the early morning birdsong and the feel of a new start.

Local parks are common spots for walkers and joggers of all ages and kinds, both two-legged and four-legged. And while everyone seems to enjoy getting out of the house and enjoy the sights and sounds, some walkers were surprised by what they found at the park one morning.

The place was Patterson Park in Baltimore, Maryland.

A large white dog, barrel-chested and shaking, sat next to a tree he’d been tethered to. Next to him was a folded crate, a large bin of dog food, a bone, and a note.

Passersby were surprised to see him there: his presence was clearly no accident. The sad situation was made even sadder by the fact that the temperatures were in the 20s, and the dog’s short fur wasn’t giving him any insulation.

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People began to gather around him, cautiously trying to provide support and figure out what the situation was.

The note was short: “My name is Duke. Here’s my favorite toy and my food. I’m looking for a new home.”

It was impossible to tell just how long the dog had been there, tied to the tree with his belongings scattered around him. Unwanted. Cold. Alone.

“He was just sitting there so somber and freezing cold,” said Stephanie Dagenhart, one of the women who first noticed him. “I will not get that out of my head. He was shaking so hard from being cold.”

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Dagenhart sat on a nearby bench, trying to figure out the best mode of approaching the dog and getting him to safety.

She called the authorities, and then posted on Facebook, saying she was “Losing faith in humanity.” She added that “It’s 18 degrees. 911 called, waiting here until they arrive. He’s too scared to let me approach. Anyone recognize him?”

As she waited, other people took notice and responded to the call. Some people brought blankets for the shivering pup, others brought treats or suggested methods to win the dog’s trust.

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Another woman, Leslie Gray, found out about the dog when her husband Keith ran across Duke. He’d been out walking his own dog when he spotted the pathetic pooch.

Gray posted about the lone white dog on the Patterson Park Facebook page, saying he was “shaking and obviously a little scared and probably freezing. 311 has been called but if anyone knows Duke please help him out!”

Eventually Duke was taken to the Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter, where he’s waiting for the three days before he can find a new home.

Even though it’s clear his former family no longer wanted him, there are laws stating that shelters must hold “stray” dogs for 72 hours before adopting them out. Because of this technicality, the shelter has urged Duke’s former owners to show up and sign him over.

Fortunately for Duke, his story has caught a lot of people’s attention and he has a bunch of potential adopters lined up. He’s turned out to be a friendly boy, and we wish him all the best with his future family!

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