What should have been a happy ending for a California shelter dog instead turned into heartbreak. And the devastation was felt around the world.
Video footage shows the 2-year-old German Shepherd barking and prancing when she spots her former owners arriving at her Los Angeles County shelter. But the family reportedly snubbed her because they wanted to adopt a different pet.
“With her fast wagging tail seeing her owners, Zuzu [lit] up like a Christmas Tree [sic]. She looked like the happiest dog. Yeah, she’s going home,” said shelter volunteer Desi Lara in a Facebook post Monday that detailed the video.
“But No. Talking to her owners they told me they were not here to reclaim her, they were getting another dog,” she continued in the post that’s since garnered thousands of views, reactions and shares.
Zuzu’s former owners said they no longer wanted her because she had been “crying and sad” over the death of her father, Lara revealed.
“She wasn’t a happy dog anymore,” Lara wrote. Zuzu escaped their home and animal control picked her up, but her former family decided to move on.
“Their solutions for her unhappiness was just leaving her here! And go get another dog,” Lara stated.
That seemingly cold-hearted decision didn’t settle well with fellow Facebook users who expressed their anger and disgust online.
Not all hope is lost for Zuzu, however.
The shelter announced in a Facebook post Tuesday that a rescue group will take Zuzu in on Friday.
Chris Kim, a public information officer for Los Angeles County’s animal control, told The Huffington Post Wednesday that it would be up to the rescue group to decide if Zuzu would be available for adoption. He declined to identify the organization.
Kim said he was unable to confirm whether Zuzu’s former family had successfully adopted another pet from the shelter during the filmed visit. He said the shelter wasn’t made aware of the alleged owners’ dark backstory until after the Facebook video was posted online.
“We do have the option of not making the dog available to an owner … especially if we see [a potential owner] as seeing a pet as disposable,” he told HuffPost.
HuffPost has reached out to the rescue group believed to have taken Zuzu in for comment.
This story has been updated with comment from Kim.