A German Shepherd mix was brought to a California shelter site after jumping the fence of a local yard.
Staff members at Downey Animal Care Center thought Zuzu was a stray dog. To their surprise, she actually belonged to a family who showed up at the shelter later that day to find a new dog.
Two-year-old Zuzu wagged her tail and ran to her family when she saw them approach the gate. They proceeded to pet her and speak to her through the fence before walking away to find a new canine companion.
“With her fast wagging tail seeing her owners Zuzu lit up like a Christmas Tree. She looked like the happiest dog. Yeah, she’s going home,” shelter worker Desi Lara wrote on Facebook alongside a video of the heartrending scene. “But no. Talking to her owners they told me they were not here to reclaim her, they were getting another dog.”
Lara said the family told shelter employees that Zuzu was depressed after the passing of her father and that she just wasn’t the same dog, so they didn’t want her anymore.
“Their solutions for her unhappiness was just leaving her here! And go get another dog,” Lara wrote.
Although it is unclear whether the family took home another dog, social media was outraged over the dog’s abandonment. Many people on Facebook have left messages saying they want to adopt Zuzu, and some even offered to drive in from other states.
The shelter named her Zuzu after the little girl in “It’s a Wonderful Life” because, as Lara wrote, “We are going to post, tag and share her and give her a new life. A wonderful life!”