Halo was transported to the Santa Maria Animal Center in California on a frigid night in February, while it was pouring rain, about 10 p.m., after the shelter had already closed – and abandoned outside of it. The little, terrified puppy had no idea where she was or what to do, so she fled behind a nearby garbage can and stayed there to avoid the rain and the terrifying world.
“The shelter was closed at the time,” Stacy Silva, community outreach coordinator for Santa Barbara County Animal Services, told The Dodo. “She sat out there all night, in the pouring rain, until she was located the next morning.”
Fortunately, one of the shelter staff needed to return to the shelter early the next day to pick up a bag of food that had been given, and it was then that tiny Halo was spotted. Despite the bad weather, she was clean and dry since she had chosen a hiding spot away from the rain, and the shelter staff was anxious to get her inside and warm her up after everything she’d gone through.
Halo would not have been seen for many more hours if the employee hadn’t come in early that day, and she would have had to face the tension and horror of waiting outdoors alone for even longer than she already had.
Everyone at the shelter was horrified when they learned how and where Halo had been abandoned, but they swiftly turned it into a chance to teach people how to properly drop off an animal at a shelter.
Santa Barbara County Animal Services posted on its Facebook page, “This post is not to discover the individual guilty, but to teach our community that abandoning an animal is unlawful and there is simply NO justification to do so.” “We have on-call animal control officers who will react if you locate a stray animal that you cannot securely keep and the shelter is closed.” Please bring your pet to the shelter if you are no longer able to care for it so that you may share what you know. This information will assist us in finding the best possible home for your pet, which we think we owe to them.
Silva described her as a “very cheerful, lively, and lovely puppy.”
While Halo’s tale ended happily, the shelter hopes it will serve as a reminder that you should never abandon your pets, even if they are not at a shelter, and that there is always a better way to handle things.