When Sadie left the shelter in 2014, no one expected her to return. When her family relinquished her last month, she did return. Sadie was soon adopted again — and then returned. She was adopted and returned a week later, but that was not the end of the story.
When Sadie and her littermates arrived to the Harris County Animal Shelter in Texas, they were just a few months old. The employees had photographed Sadie, and the small puppy was quickly adopted by a family. This, however, was not the forever family Sadie had been yearning for.
When Sadie’s family surrendered her last month, Ashley Roberts, a Harris County Animal Shelter staffer, was present. “[Sadie] was in a small ball,” Roberts told The Dodo. “To be honest, I figured she was a stray who had been found, which explained her fear. She didn’t appear at comfortable among the people she was with.”
“They mumbled something about [Hurricane] Harvey and said, ‘We thought we were going to keep her,’” Roberts continued. “However, they didn’t appear remorseful about returning her to the shelter.” When a staff worker scanned Sadie’s microchip and looked up her information on their computers, a puppy photo surfaced.
“[The staff member] was on the verge of crying,” Roberts added. “When he saw her initial photo and her return now… being surrendered back to a death shelter, he couldn’t even function.” The contrast between her confident puppy portrait and the dog in front of us was stark. He was on the verge of crying. “I was already crying.”
Another family contacted the shelter the next week and begged to adopt Sadie. At first, everyone was ecstatic, believing Sadie’s bad luck had come to an end. Sadie’s new family, on the other hand, returned her a week later. “I wasn’t present when she was surrendered the second time,” Roberts recalled, “but [the new family] claimed that she kept having accidents in the home.” “We assume she was so terrified that she urinated anxiously,” says the investigator.
Following that, the team posted images of Sadie on Facebook in the hopes of finding her a better — and more permanent — home quickly. Soon after, a young woman approached the shelter and offered to foster Sadie in the hopes of eventually adopting her.
“We try to offer adoption and foster counseling so that these animals and people have a better chance of being adopted,” Roberts stated. “And we specifically stressed, ‘[Sadie] does not need to be around any other dogs for at least a week — just give her some room and time to relax out – she’s been through so much.’” For whatever reason, according to Roberts, the young woman did not listen.
“We believed it would work out because she seemed well-intentioned,” Roberts continued. “So she brought her home and told me, ‘Oh, she’s doing great.’ She told her sister, ‘Bring your dog over.’ As a result, her sister comes over with her dog, which bites Sadie.” When Sadie was taken to the Harris County Animal Shelter for the fourth time, her neck was covered in bite wounds.
Roberts said, “It’s all been bad luck.” “I’ve never seen a dog that’s been returned so many times,” says the owner. The shelter workers arranged for Sadie to be put in a foster home with Down South Rescue to help her get back on track.
“Sadie is in the care of an experienced foster,” Down South Rescue director Sharon Fanning told The Dodo. “She’s still afraid of others and wary of them.” Despite this, she has formed a deep bond with her foster mother. Her recovery, both psychologically and physically, will take some time. And we’ll be very picky about who we allow to adopt her.” Sadie will not be ready for adoption right now, but when she is, Roberts hopes she will be adopted by the best family she can find.
“She was really kind in the shelter,” Roberts said, “and I don’t think she has a cruel bone in her body.” “All we want is a home where she is appreciated and gets the time and attention she needs.”