Abandoned shelter dog thinks her owners have returned for her — but they were there for another dog

It’s always upsetting when people give up on their pets and abandon them to the shelter… but it’s infuriating when people abandon them just to make room for a “better” dog.

In one shocking incident, a family had the nerve to leave their dog at a shelter, only to return to the same shelter to adopt a different dog as the poor girl watched helplessly.

Zuzu the German shepherd was just two-years-old when she was surrendered to the Downey Animal Care Center in Los Angeles.


Her old family had abruptly abandoned her, saying the dog became depressed after her father died. Life in the shelter didn’t help things: like many dogs in that situation, she was left deeply sad and confused.

“She is a friendly girl but I sensed sadness and confusion,” care center volunteer Desi Lara told The Dodo. “Most dogs zoom around the yard. She treaded softly, nervous to look around.”

But after days of misery, something made Zuzu perk up—her formers owners arrived at the shelter. The dog immediately recognized them, and excitedly ran up to the fence to greet them.


The old owners petted her through the gate. She naturally thought they were there to bring her home… but that wasn’t the case.

“We asked if family was there to reclaim her and they said no, they didn’t want her,” trainer Janey Chapin told Inside Edition.

The family was instead there to adopt a different dog. The shelter workers were shocked they could be so heartless. It was clearer than ever that this family, rather than try to deal with Zuzu’s depression, decided to just ditch her and pick a “better” dog.

“It’s a heart-wrenching story of dog that’s unwanted,” Janey said.

The story went viral: people were heartbroken and furious at the family.

But the good news is that many people reached out looking to adopt Zuzu. The dog was taken in by the Pet Adoption Fund, a no-kill shelter, who sorted through the many adoption requests to find this poor dog the perfect forever home.

Eventually Zuzu was adopted by Russ and Judith Gallo. One of the couple’s dogs had just passed away and they were looking to take in a new one when they saw Zuzu’s heartbreaking story.

“It broke my heart to see that they had no interest in her,” Russ told Inside Edition about the family.

“Something just kind of told us, hey, we got to do something here.”

After a heartbreaking ordeal, Zuzu now has a loving new family that won’t give up on her. Share this inspiring story!