A dog named Duke was left in the cold in a Baltimore park with his belongings and a note from his former owner. The white American bulldog was tied to a tree with some food, a crate, some toys and a note that mentioned his name and that the items left with him are his favorites. It also said that he needs a new home and someone to love him.
Luckily, a passerby walking her dogs, Stephanie Dagenhart, saw him and acted quickly to effect his rescue. She says the morning was so cold that she could barely feel her extremities.sponsor
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Dagenhart called 911. The police arrived after about 50 minutes, and animal control ten minutes later. While she was waiting for authorities to assist she had her fiance take her two dogs home so that she could sit across from the dog, and call his name a lot in hopes that he would feel some sense of calm. She also snapped some photos of Duke and posted it to a local social media group in hopes that someone would recognize him. Her community is notoriously very dog-loving and when nobody could identify it led her to believe that he was not from the area.
Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter (BARCS) came and collected Duke where he was warmed up and checked out. Volunteers at BARCS said he was the life of the facility, with a wagging tail and happy energy every time someone came close to him.
Once Duke was at BARCS and as Dagenhart's social media posts gained more attention, both local and national media outlets started spreading his story. An outpouring of concern, love, and interest in adoption came in like a storm.
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A BARCS spokesperson said that people tying their dogs to trees and abandoning them is quite common. He says a primary reason that they do this is due to the incorrect belief that bringing their pets directly to an animal shelter are a death sentence of sorts. He noted that BARCS has an 89 percent save rate, which is very far from a sure death sentence. Before BARCS was commissioned in 2004 the save-rate in Baltimore was only around 2 percent.
The policy for animals not signed over directly to BARCS is to hold them for at least 72 hours before allowing them to be adopted. This gives the owners a chance to come back for their pets as well as time for staff to assess the dog's temperament and other essential preferences such as if they like cats or not.
Since this story was posted by Dagenhart on social media, the 72-hour hold has expired, and we are pleased to announce that Duke has been adopted by U.S. Army Officer Wallace White.
BARCS wants everyone to know, if you no longer want or can keep your pet, you can turn them in to BARCS with no repercussions.