In an open letter to the previous owners of Mia, a ten-year-old Boxer who died alone in her kennel, a volunteer wanted to convey the message that this dog deserved more than the non-caring family who couldn’t even bother to respond to the shelter’s plea to provide information about their senior pet.
Mia’s tragic story began on February 8, when she was found as a stray and brought into the OC Animal Care in California with a back leg injury. The older Boxer, who had never been spayed had a microchip, and therefore her stray hold would be extended to ten days; giving the dog’s owners sufficient time to reclaim their pet. A letter to her owners and a phone call were immediately dispatched, but in the meantime, Mia had a very difficult time adjusting to the noisy shelter life and quietly hid in the corner of her kennel cage hiding under the blankets of her turned over kuranda bed. The shelter had prescribed anti inflammatory and pain medication for her, but there wasn’t much that could be done pending the time Mia had to be legally held for her owners to respond.
While it became quite clear the dog’s family had no interest in her, who could convince Mia? She waited and watched, and even though she became weaker by the day, it seemed as if Mia refused to give up hope her family would soon return. When a rescue organization in Seattle, Washington, a foster home in California and a host of compassionate advocates stepped up for Mia, volunteers hoped the dog could be cared for and given a new life – albeit no one knew for how long. None of that however was meant to be; the day before Mia was to take her freedom walk out of the shelter, she died in her kennel – alone.
Follows is the letter, Teresa Ritzhaupt, a volunteer and advocate who worked so hard to save Mia, wanted to publicly post with the hopes her owners will read it:
“What we do know is that Mia suffered from the loss of her family, pain and being in a kennel 24 hours seven days a week for ten days. What I am hoping (I’m the Seattle, WA Senior Rescue) is that a friend, co-worker, neighbor or family member finally sees this post on Mia. To know that although Mia was your responsibility, she became ours when you abandoned her to die alone, scared and in pain at a California high kill shelter. Those of us who couldn’t visit with Mia and tell her she would be okay, (per the chip hold Mia was still your property up until the 18th) no one other than shelter staff and volunteers could visit her.”
And Teresa continued. “So many of us are now left to mourn her; we saw a beautiful dog who deserved better, and we so wanted to help her and comfort her. Instead we are the ones upset, caring and left crying over her. It’s very clear to everyone who cared that you simply did not care about Mia; you left her there to die.” Sadly, what happened to Mia is the fate of too many dogs. We urge everyone to think carefully before bringing a pet into your lives. They are not disposable, and they deserve better.
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