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Sweet Dog Makes National News After Owner Allegedly Abandons Him at Park

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Dogs who have spent their lives being companions to their owners deserve care and comfort in their twilight years. Fortunately, most loving owners spoil their pups to the end, doing their best to make sure their furry charges are happy and have a good quality of life.

It’s difficult — impossible, even — for us to understand when someone seems to use up a dog’s good years and then lose interest when the pet needs his or her help the most.

Henry is a 13-year-old Labrador retriever whose owner did not appear interested in paying him back for his years of being a good boy. His abandonment was caught on a surveillance camera and shows an absolutely heartbreaking scene.

A Tesla drove up to the Orchards Community Park in Vancouver, Washington, on Thursday and a woman got out. She opened the back door and coaxed Henry out before removing his collar.

He got out, wagging his tail, then he paused as the woman got back into the car. She got out again, and as soon as she did, Henry noticeably relaxed and wagged his tail, ready for a hike.

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She started on the trail with the pup, only to backtrack to her car and drive off, leaving a confused Henry to wander back into the parking lot, looking hopefully at other cars that pulled in.

Alyssa Ott, who owns the house abutting the park and whose camera caught the incident on video, was shocked when she realized what had just happened.

“I couldn’t believe what I was seeing,” Ott told KGW-TV. “I saw her let the dog out, take the leash and the collar off and got back in. I thought she was going for a walk at the park and then she corrals the dog in the park and runs on out.”

A dog rescue, I Paw’d It Forward, came to collect the sad, elderly Lab and keep him safe until his case could be completed.

Video of his abandonment and his story were shared online, and the internet seethed.

Thanks to the vigilance of animal control officers and Ott’s video, the owner was identified and will be cited under animal cruelty laws. While it’s unclear what the owner’s circumstances were that led to her crime, according to a post by the rescue, she admitted to the abandonment and said she’d even told some people that Henry had died.

Many people have asked about adopting Henry, but he will need to stay with the rescue until his case is closed. I Paw’d It Forward is asking prospective owners to give them some time and space to handle things fully.

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“We know this is heated for all of you, it is for us too,” the shelter shared on Friday. “As you can imagine, people doing this has a ripple effect that we will spend the next year fighting. I will explain more of that later.”

“It is abhorrent to see this happen. We know. We feel you. We are working hard on the answers and ask that you give us time to get them, legally.

“To that end, this sweet boy is not available for adoption and [won’t] be while an investigation is happening.

“We cannot respond to all the request of folks that want to adopt him, we just don’t have the bandwidth. Neither does the Humane Society or Animal Control so please, take a breath, and let us sort this out.”

While what the woman did is absolutely unacceptable, it was clear Henry wasn’t wanted and staying with her might not have been the best thing for him.

Now he has people clamoring to adopt him and provide him with comfort and care for the rest of his years, a definite silver lining to this sad story.

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking