November 30, 2023

Bowlingual Dog

Animal Planet Directory

Dog Staring at Shelter Window Every Day Waiting to Be Adopted Breaks Hearts

Some dogs pass quickly through animal shelters, while others can take a little more time to get adopted.

One dog known as Steven Tyler has been at the Bradshaw Animal Shelter in Sacramento, California since, July 25, 2023. In a video posted by the shelter two days ago, the animal can be seen waiting at the window of his pen, willing passersby to adopt him.

“In fact, the only time he’s not at the window, is when he’s cuddling with a friend he made in playgroups,” says the video with the username @bradshawanimalshelter.

Each year, 6.3 million pets are surrendered to U.S. shelters, which is an average of 17,260 a day, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The number of dogs and cats taken in by pet shelters hit 46,807 during January 2023, an increase of 1,744, compared to January 2022, the 24Pet ‘Shelter Watch Report’ found.

Around 920,000 surrendered animals are euthanized every year. Shelters are striving to minimize euthanasia rates by promoting adoption campaigns, spaying and neutering programs, and behavior rehabilitation.

A study from 2021 entitled Characteristics and Welfare of Long-Term Shelter Dogs found that “behavior problems that were more prominent in long-term shelter dogs were related to aggression and high arousal. It is important to prevent the worsening of these problem behaviors, as this may reduce adoption chances even more.”

Shelter dog
A shelter dog peers from its cage down a corridor. A canine in a rescue shelter has a heartbreaking way of attracting people to adopt him.
Julia Gerasina/Getty Images

“Although it is difficult to disentangle the effects of personality and environment, we suggest providing especially long-term shelter dogs with a predictable environment, a structured enrichment program, and undisturbed resting periods in order to manage arousal levels,” the researchers added.

The study did not find that dogs who spent a year or more in a shelter were particularly negatively affected. “However, the results of behavioural observations gave rise to the assumption that long-term shelter dogs might be more affected by stressors, e.g., leading to highly aroused behaviour and difficulties to relax in the shelter environment.”

Users on TikTok were moved by the video. “He is so precious he is waiting for his new family [praying] someone adopts him,” commented one.

“This breaks my heart I can’t afford dogs the way the economy is,” wrote another.

“That made me cry. that’s so sad he looks so sad. I will pray he gets his forever home and it’s a good home where he will be happy forever,” posted a third viewer.

Newsweek has reached out to the Bradshaw Animal Center via email for comment.

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