Shelter praised for not charging poor woman to get her dog back

Animal shelters need money to keep up their important work caring for rescues, and as such most charge fees for adoption or other services.

However, sometimes these fees can prevent in-shelter pets from going home to their homes because their families are unable to afford them. But one shelter knows their priority is to help pets and their owners no matter what—and recently earned praise for helping a poor woman get her dog back.

Jessica Jade, the manager of operations at the Santa Rosa County Animal Services in Florida, shared the story of a deaf dog named Glock who was in the shelter for two weeks.

This is Glock. This sweet deaf pup was at the shelter for almost two weeks. Today a woman walks in the door holding some…

Posted by Jessica Gutmann on Monday, September 21, 2020

Glock waited in the shelter until a woman suddenly came in, crying and holding his vet records. It was the dog’s owner.

The only problem was she could not afford to claim him: “Can I please have my dog? I don’t have any money to get him out,” the woman said.

But instead of turning her down, the shelter reassured her: “It’s okay, we got you,” Jessica said. “You’re getting your dog back.”

Glock’s owner was overjoyed, and soon reunited with her beloved dog. Not only did the shelter wave the reclamation fee, but they gave her dog food and a neuter voucher. They also learned she had kittens at home who needed to be spayed and neutered, and offered vouchers for them as well.


The story went viral, with many people online praising the shelter for their generosity. But Jessica says it was just their duty, and more shelters should be similarly open-minded about pet fees.

“Glock wasn’t a dog who needed rescue; he was a dog who needed to go back to the loving home he already had,” Jessica wrote.

“Inflexible redemption fees and policies prevent animals from returning to their homes and unnecessarily add to shelter populations. Innovative shelters remain flexible to ensure as many positive outcomes as possible, ensuring animals go back to the families they belong to where they are already loved.”

Thank you to this shelter for being so kind and open-minded. Sometimes people go through hardships where money is tight, but that shouldn’t mean they can’t get their dog back to its home.

Share this story if you agree more shelters should be like this!