“Free” abandoned dog finds forever home

It took a groomer to remove the writing on Libby’s body, which was scrawled in permanent marker (inset). (Photo credit: KTVU.com)

Some stray dogs have been abandoned by their owner, others have escaped from their homes and usually end up in a shelter in hopes of being reunited with their human. But a homeless pooch in Benicia, California, left no doubt about her status, which was written on the animal’s body.

Shannon Bettencourt, a bartender at The Chill in Benicia, was headed home after her shift on Thursday, when she spotted the dog standing next to a tree on the sidewalk in front of a Chinese restaurant.

“I was so sad, my heart, just like broke,” Bettencourt tells Heather Holmes of KTVU. “Someone just treated her like trash, but she ended up being my treasure.”

The dog had “I need a home” scrawled on her forehead and the word “Free” written on both sides of her body. It took a local groomer to remove the markings.

Not wanting to turn the healthy and well-trained pooch over to animal control, Bettencourt took the dog home for the evening, and the two quickly bonded.

“The first night I let her sleep in the bed with me because I knew she needed something,” Bettencourt says. “She just slept on my stomach the whole night.”

“She was obviously well taken care of,” Chris Franco, Bettencourt’s fiancé, tells NBC Bay Area. “You could have easily found a home for a dog like this, if you really gave it half an effort.” The original owner could be charged with dog abandonment.

“It actually was kind of a blessing in disguise,” Bettencourt says, “Even though it was very sad to start with.”

After a fruitless search for the dog’s owner, the couple decided to keep the dog. They gave her a fitting name. “I decided to name her Libby for Liberty,” Bettencourt says, as she found the animal close to America’s Independence Day. She plans to formally adopt the dog this week.

Source: KTVU.com, NBC Bay Area, The Chill Facebook page