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Dog’s Heart ‘Shattered’ After Being Returned To Shelter for Second Time

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A rescue dog has suffered double heartbreak after being adopted and then returned to the shelter for a second time.

In devastating footage filmed at the Valley Animal Center in Fresno, California, a one-year-old Catahoula mix by the name of Lana can be seen pacing around her kennel having only recently arrived back.

She’s been struggling. According to a caption accompanying the clip, the experience of being adopted and then returned all over again has left her poor heart “shattered.”

Yet the sad reality is that the shelter has been the only true constant in Lana’s young life.

Ruben Cantu, an animal care adoption supervisor at the Valley Animal Center told Newsweek: “Lana was brought into our care from animal control as a three-week-old puppy with a litter that her mom was still nursing.”

It didn’t take long for Lana to get adopted after her arrival at the shelter, but it didn’t last. In both instances, Lana has been returned for the same heartbreaking reason.

“In both cases, it was the struggle to keep Lana contained,” Cantu said. “She deals with separation anxiety, and when left alone in a yard she will find a way out.”

Lana the twice returned shelter dog.
Lana the shelter dog has been returned twice. The one-year-old has already suffered a lifetime’s worth of rejection.

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But while there is still some optimism that it will be third time lucky for Lana, the fact is that, even as a one-year-old, her chances of finding a new home are less than when she was a puppy.

A study conducted by Priceonomics, using adoption data from the website Petfinder, laid the reality bare: while 95 percent of puppies listed ended up being rehomed, that proportion dropped to 80 percent even among “young” dogs and continued to decline the older they got.

While Lana waits and hopes for another chance, the sad truth is that she’s struggling in the shelter and will continue to do so.

“Lana absolutely struggles with being back in the shelter environment,” Cantu said. “She is always looking for a way to get out of her kennel and she is extremely smart at finding ways to do so.”

Though Cantu and the rest of the staff are trying to help Lana through enrichment and training with lots of time spent out of her kennel, there’s no quick fix.

That’s not to say there isn’t the right person out there for Lana. Cantu is sure there is. But he believes that, after two false starts, whoever does take on Lana goes in with their eyes open.

“Lana needs a quiet setting with someone that will be dedicated to her,” he said. “Being able to create a safe space for her is essential so she is not seeking a way out, and to also be patient with her to build that bond between her and her new person.”

For now, though, the pooch hopes that the next forever home really is forever.

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