Losing Family

Image: Scribol

One of the worst things that can happen to a dog is losing its family. Every year, thousands of dogs are abandoned by their owners and find themselves sad and confused in a kennel, wondering what they ever did to deserve such cruelty. For one volunteer, one of the surrenders she witnessed moved her to tears and this story is sure to melt your heart, too.

It’s not the situation that’s unique (unfortunately) but it’s the dog’s reaction and the owner’s response that will disturb you. By the end, you’ll have to choose whose side you’re on.

A Longtime Volunteer

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California-native Nancy Klein had always loved animals, so volunteering at the Modesto Stanislaus Animal Service Agency was a no-brainer. It was there that she met a sweet dog named Moses, whose story is most likely going to break your heart.

Surrendered by Second Family

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Poor Moses hadn’t had much luck in his short four years of life. A pit bull with a sweet demeanor, he was already being surrendered by his second family. And while pit bulls are known to have aggressive tendencies, in this instance that wasn’t the case. He was kind and lovable, seemingly picture perfect.

Everyone in the shelter asked the same question, “Why was such a perfect dog being given up for adoption?”. It didn’t take long until everyone was gasping.

Common Breeds for Shelters

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Unfortunately, pit bulls are one of the more common breeds that find themselves in shelters. Due to the breed’s reputation, they have a harder time being adopted and are usually one of the top breeds to be euthanized. For pit bulls, surrender at a shelter is usually a death sentence.

Why Would You Give Him Up?

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Klein couldn’t believe that anyone would want to give up Moses. She detailed his surrender on a Facebook post—as she was leaving the shelter, a dog was being surrendered and, while it was a sad moment, it was the dog’s reaction to being left that touched her heart.

Holding On To Hope

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According to Klein, sweet Moses held on to his owner. She revealed it was like the dog knew he was being left. Tears in her eyes, Klein approached the owners to understand why he was being surrendered.

Nerve-Wracking Approach


As Klein walked towards the family, she was bursting at the seams with anxiety. It’s a tough question for anyone to ask, and she didn’t want to offend the family, but she had to know why they were giving the pup up. Nerves weren’t the only emotion running through her body, however.

A Brave Question


Klein knew that if the family gave her an insensitive answer, that she would have to hold her tongue. She was tired of seeing so many pit-bulls being given up on and she wanted to make sure there was nothing that could be done to prevent this horrible circumstance. So, she took a deep breath and asked them why. Their answer, surprisingly simple.

A Tough Decision


As she asked the family why they were giving the sweet boy up, she couldn’t help but feel the seriousness of the situation. She realized the family didn’t want to give up their pup, but they were faced with a situation no pet owner should have to go through. Instead of feeling angry with the family at their decision, she felt terrible that they were in such a tough situation. The truth is, they didn’t have much of a choice, or so they felt.

No Dogs Allowed

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It was revealed that the family had adopted Moses a year earlier, but due to relocating they wouldn’t be able to take him. The sad fact was their new home would not allow dogs, and although Moses was a sweet and docile boy, they felt he deserved better.

Although they didn’t want to give him up, many people thought they could have done more to better the situation–especially after witnessing his next reaction.

Sad and Upset

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As time went on, Moses became more agitated and upset. Klein snapped a photograph of the poor dog up on his hind legs, clinging to his owner. It was obvious the dog did not want to be left at the shelter and knew he was moments away from being an orphan.

In a desperate attempt to gain sympathy from his owners, Moses starts to beg for affection.

Moses Seeks Out Love

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Unfortunately, the owners remained stoic, not returning the affection. Scared and confused, Moses began to seek out comfort from other people at the shelter. Klein was absolutely heartbroken by the poor dog’s desire to just to feel some love in such a stressful time.

Klien shared her thoughts on the heartbreaking experience with the media.

The Sweetest Dog

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“He’s one of the sweetest dogs I’ve ever met,” Klein revealed. The poor dog took to Klein, and crawled up in her lap. Moved to tears, Klein could tell he wanted her to take him with her.  According to her account, Moses wanted to meet everyone at the shelter that day, especially a little boy and his mom he seemed to instantly connect with.

A Sweet Boy for Someone

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Klein revealed it was hard for her to not adopted Moses right there on the spot. However, she knew, with how sweet he was, that his adoption chances would be pretty good. Klein quickly uploaded the video of his surrender to social media to hopefully share his story and increase his adoption chances. Of course, many people had opinions on the condition of his surrender, and many were vocal.

Negative Backlash Begins

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You’re probably safe to assume that most of the responses were negative. Animal lovers united in their disgust that the family would move to a home where animals wouldn’t be allowed. And despite the owners being responsible and bringing the dog to a shelter, many felt they should be reprimanded for their actions. The aggressive comments continued.

Adoption Ban

Image: Dog Lovers Club

One person commented that people who surrender pets due to a new living situation should be banned from adopting a new pet in the future. According to the social media user, you can always find a home that allows animals. However, this was just a tame post. Some people had even stronger words for the owners and they weren’t afraid to tell them.

You’ll have to decide for yourself whose side you’re on.

Strong Opinions

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“Humans that discard their animals as if they are trash are horrible,” one user wrote. “They don’t deserve the kindness of an animal.” Despite, the strong negative reactions, some people believed that without knowing the family’s full circumstances, you can’t judge them.

Despite the reasoning, the most important thing now was finding Moses a new home. The search had begun.

A Happy Ending for Moses

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Regardless of the difference of opinions, everyone did agree that they wanted Moses to get his happy ending. Surrender was definitely a better option than a family getting abusive with a dog they no longer wanted. Not to mention, Moses was so loveable, many people jumped at the chance to adopt him.

A Quick Adoption

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Thankfully, it didn’t take long for Moses to find a new family. Klein posted the happy news on Facebook where she revealed that Moses now had two children to play with, endless love, and toys! His new family was adamant they would be his forever home.

Wide-Range of Emotions

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While some may look at Moses’s reaction to being surrendered as unique, the truth is that dogs have the ability to express a full range of emotions. They know when something is wrong and can express fear, sadness, and, most of all, love for their human owners.

It’s even more heartwrenching to know that Moses had a clear idea of what was going on the entire time, feeling unwanted and unloved.

Psychological Development

Image: Psychology Today

Dr. Stanley Coren has researched the psychological development of dogs for some time and believes that animals have the emotional capacity of a 2-year old human child. This means their emotional development stops before they can feel and understand guilt, contempt, shame, or pride.

The Love of a Furry Friend

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Since dogs have the emotions of a toddler, it means they express love very strongly. They’re big babies that just long for a loving home, and after careful consideration of their mental capacity, it’s horrifying that anyone would give up their dog willingly. Dr. Coren explains it the best…

Love and True Contentment

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“The good news is that you can feel free to dress your dog in that silly costume for a party. He will not feel shame, regardless how ridiculous he looks,” Coren told Psychology Today. “But your dog can still feel love for you, and contentment when you are around, and aren’t these the emotions we truly value?”

Moral of the story, treat your animals like you would a two-year-old child; with patience, respect, kindness, and love.