Every Animal Has Their Own Story

Seeing an animal in distress is hard, but many animals don't get to share their stories, and are overlooked. They need help too.

Marley, a 10-month-old yellow Lab puppy (pictured), was brought into the Oakland Pet Adoption Center recently. He was in pretty rough shape. for an extended period of time, he ended up chewing his paw so much that there was nothing left but bone! It was honestly one of the saddest things I’ve personally witnessed.

By the time he came into our care, an infection had spread through his leg, and he was running a high fever. He required an emergency surgery to amputate his leg. If you’ve watched any of the local news stations or read the paper, you’ve probably heard about this story. It’s so tragic to think that beautiful creatures such as Marley have to live in such dire conditions. The amount of support we’ve received from concerned citizens (many outside of Michigan even) is tremendous. It really gives hope to the thought that there is more good than evil out there.

While Marley recuperates, his interested party adoption list has generated close to 200 names just in the few days he’s been in our care. I am immensely grateful and in awe at the selfless people who have come forward, just wanting to love this dog so much. Hearing the sincerity in each person’s story that expresses interests in Marley brings tears to my eyes on a daily basis.

I am confident that once Marley has recovered, he will go to a fantastic forever home.Though Marley’s list of potential forever families is long, many shelter animals do not have such good fortune. So many animals that are in shelters come from very similar situations as Marley, but because it is not as heavily publicized, their residency at the shelter extends a monumental amount of time.

Buttercup, a lab retriever mix, has been at our shelter for close to two years now.  I got to spend some one-on-one time with her when we took her to Fox 2 to be featured as our Pet of The Month. With her gentle eyes and loving temperament, I could tell there was something very special about this girl. She’s a very sweet dog that does have some special needs, but nothing serious or unattainable.  I can’t help to feel a little more hopeless each day that passes and I see her in the kennel. The sad truth of it is that the older a dog gets, the less ‘desirable’ they become to potential adopters. So while Buttercup doesn’t ever have to worry about ‘wearing out her welcome’ at our shelter, she does face the possibility of not being considered by a family as opposed to a newer puppy that may have only spent a week or so in our care.  I’m happy for every single animal in any shelter that gets a forever home, but my heart hurts for the ones like Buttercup who must become acclimated to a shelter environment and never know the true love that only a forever family can provide.

Headlines always draw attention, and all shelters are grateful for any press that helps spread awareness of their mission. The animals that attract this attention deserve all the support and love that they get.

But please remember that there are so many others who are just as deserving. If you really want to help an animal in need, consider one that might not be in the spotlight. Marley will find a home in one of the hundreds of families who have expressed interest, but what about the rest of those families? They could rescue another shelter animal. They could rescue Buttercup. Even if they didn’t end up with Marley, rescuing another animal because of the attention Marley drew would essentially be supporting him.  While many shelter animals come from similar backgrounds, there is only so much attention drawn from the stories. Try learning about another animal’s story; you just might find the love of your life.

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Alexis Shull March 01, 2012 at 12:32 PM
Hi Patricia, thank you for reading. Mary Warner is Brooks' daughter, which is why there is the connection between them. It is likely that the Warner family will be welcoming Marley to their home next week, so they are the ones taking him. Also, the Oakland Pet Adoption Center is a division of Oakland County, which maintains a working relationship to spread more awareness of the shelter's mission. I appreciate your feedback and concern for Marley getting justice. We are all working very hard to ensure this happening. I hope that we can get some answers very soon! You are so right that many animals come from abuse and don't get recognized. My purpose for this post was to be a voice to those animals, and help people gain a perspective who may have not realized just how common this situation is. Together, we can spread this message and hopefully prevent future animals from suffering a lonely life, after coming from such sad stories.
David Gifford March 01, 2012 at 04:13 PM
We work with a rescue called NBS Animal shelter. They frequent kill shelters and rescue dogs. They place them with caring foster families to buy them more time. We have fostered and helped save 3 dogs so far and look forward to helping out more. Some of them were given up because of abuse, some were found as strays. NBS won't place a dog with a foster or adoptive family if they don't seem like a good fit. Keep up the good work you do there!
Patricia March 01, 2012 at 11:19 PM
How many people applied for adoption of Marley? I heard there were a lot?
Alexis Shull March 02, 2012 at 07:08 PM
I don't know the approximate number, but I know it was well over 100. My purpose for this post was to highlight the other shelter animals that could be matched with those people (and people in general), now that Marley has found his forever home.
Alexis Shull March 02, 2012 at 07:09 PM
Thank you for the kind words, David.


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