Inside the basket was a small, old, grey-muzzled Dachshund, staring up at his would-be rescuers with sad eyes. Next to the little dog was a short but tear-jerking note from the dog’s elderly owners, written on a small, crumpled piece of notebook paper:
“Our dog is 13 ½ yrs. old he is sick starting yesterday with bloody stools, vomiting. Had a skin disease for a few years,” the note explained. “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.”
“That just rips at your heart,” says Toby Wisneski, representative for Leave No Paws Behind (LNPB), a nonprofit foster-based rescue group that specializes in caring for senior pets and pets with terminal illnesses.
A worker at Baldwin Park Animal Shelter contacted LNPB about the old dog, hoping they could do something to help him. Wisneski picked up the dog right away and brought him to the East Valley Veterinary Clinic in Sun Valley. Luckily, all veterinarians have found are a few treatable conditions, including an uncomfortable but not contagious case of demodectic mange and arthritis, typical for senior dogs. His blood panel came back clean.
“He has a skin condition right now that’s treatable and it will take a few months but definitely something we can treat,” veterinarian Dr. Danielle Chapman says.
Because the dog’s owners did not include his name in their heartbreaking note, Wisneski had taken to calling the dog Harley. Wisneski and her organization are trying to get in contact with Harley’s owners to let them know he is doing just fine.
“He is as cute as can be, he had a bath, he has been started on medication, he is eating, he is as happy as can be,” Wisneski says of little Harley.
Wiseneski also wants to let Harley’s owners know that she understands what they did was out of love for their four-legged friend.
“Their last act of kindness was assuring that Harley was going to be safe and have a good life by leaving him in a basket and leaving him with a note,” she tells FOX News. “By doing that they almost guaranteed he would be taken care of, and for that we are thankful.”
Leave No Paws Behind hopes to locate Harley’s owners so the old dog can live out the rest of his life with the people who raised him.
“We’ll get him the care he needs and continue to give him the medical, and if you need food we will supply you with the food,” Wisneski says, hoping the owners will come forward soon. “But please let’s just let him stay with you and spend the rest of his life with the humans that they know and love.”
As fate would have it, the dog’s owners came forward and will be reunited with the pooch at the end of the month.
According to KTLA in Los Angeles, the dog’s owners had fallen on hard times and were unable to afford veterinary care for the dog.
“We just are living from week to week we can’t even go to the hospital to get our treatment, we can’t go get dental treatment because we don’t have the extra money,” one of the owners told reporter Christina Pascucci over the phone. “We thought he was dead and now he lives, and he’s been well taken care of, and we are so extremely grateful.”
Harley, whose real name is Otto Wolfgang Maximus, will be reunited with his owners at the end of the month.