An elderly couple who left their 13 1/2-year-old Dachshund outside the Baldwin Park Animal Shelter near Los Angeles with a heartbreaking note asking that he be put to sleep because they could no longer care for him, will be reunited with the couple at the end of the month.
The dog, who was named Harley by rescuers, was found tied to a basket outside the shelter on March 6.
The note reads: “Our dog is 13 1/2 years old he is sick starting yesterday with bloody stools, vomiting. Had a skin disease for a few years. We are both seniors, sick with no money. We cannot pay for vet bills, or to put him to sleep. He has never been away from us in all those years, he cannot function without us, please put him to sleep.”
Shelter workers called Leave No Paws Behind, a nonprofit, foster-based rescue that specializes in seniors and Toby Wisneski, founder of the rescue, brought the dog to East Valley Veterinary Clinic where it was determined that the dog could be treated, and still had a couple of years left in him.
When Wisneski received the call from the shelter she took the dog, knowing that if she didn’t he would be put to sleep.
Since the rescue realized that the sweet old dog had been well-cared for and seemed according to the note, very much loved, they decided to try and locate the owners. Wisneski tracked down the couple and found out Harley’s real name is Otto Wolfgang Maximus.
“We just are living week to week,” one of the owners, who wished to remain anonymous, said in a phone interview. “We can’t even go to the hospital to get our treatment.”
The couple was told that Leave No Paws Behind would cover Otto’s healthcare and food costs for the rest of his life.
“We thought he was dead, but he lives,” said the owner on the phone. “He’s being well taken care of and, boy, we’re just so extremely grateful.”
The couple is expected to be reunited with Otto when they return to the area on March 28th.