Heartbreaking Gaze from Dog Facing Euthanasia Asks ‘Why Didn’t They Love Me Enough?’

Sammy is on the euthanasia list at Brooklyn’s facility of the New York City Animal Care Centers for today. Volunteers at the shelter vouch for Sammy’s sweetness, and as he posed for a few photos in the hopes of sharing his story, it seems as if he stared at the camera to ask:

Why did they not love me enough?

Sammy was adopted in Houston and brought to New York City, where he lived for over four years. He was surrendered because his owners were “no longer able to give him the time and attention he needed.”

Imagine Sammy trying to adjust to shelter life after living with his family and the children he loved playing with. Although it’s unlikely, Sammy just wants to return home, where he once enjoyed “running his fields,” playing tug o’ war, and wrestling. This intelligent dog happily learned basic commands like sit, come, down, shake, spin, and roll. He does well on a leash and needs a quiet, stable home to regain his confidence.

Sadly, his family spent less and less time with him, causing anxiety when he was left alone for hours.

No matter how busy things are, I always make time for sammy! This big, sweet boy craves affection (feeling it even more so in a large, crowded shelter) – standing up in his kennel and barking at me, worried that I might overlook him. He zooms through the hallway, eager to get some relief from the stress and anxiety of a shelter environment, and is quickly ready for his daily back scratches and cheek rubs! I love watching his face light up and feeling all 60 lbs. Of him gently wiggling into my legs as he laps up all the attention. He then does this cute little prance, like it was just the boost he needed before returning to his kennel. Sammy was adopted from a texas shelter 4.5 years ago and came to us when his owner no longer had time for him. They describe him as friendly if approached in a friendly manner; lived nicely with two young children; and is partially housetrained. (I’ve seen his habits improve with regular and multiple daily walks). Sammy has some challenges, but with fear-free, positive-reinforcement training/behavior modification, he has great potential to make a wonderful family member!

Check out his high-5s!

INTAKE DATE: 26-Dec-2022
SAMMY. ID# 160212, 6 Yrs. Old, 70 lbs., Neutered Male
Brooklyn ACC, Large Mixed Breed, Brown / White
Owner Surrender Reason: Unable to provide the care and attention he needs Shelter Assessment Rating: LEVEL 4
No children (under 13)
Recommend no dog parks
Single-pet home
Medical Behavior Rating: 2. BLUE (great!)

Sammy needs emergency placement. Although Sammy has been social with caretakers and handlers, “he has begun to display a concerning level of kennel reactivity and has become a trigger for the other dogs in the room he is housed in. Despite best efforts to keep him comfortable, Sammy wails and bounces off his kennel walls.”

Family notes when Sammy was surrendered:

Sammy isn’t bothered during storms/fireworks. He is anxious when left alone and is hard to control. He isn’t bothered when you push or pull him off furniture, hold or restrain him, or disturb when sleeping. He is afraid when you give him a bath, brush him, or touch his feet. He will bark and growl when someone unfamiliar approaches the home or a family member.

Another volunteer states:

“Sammy is one of my favorite dogs. Two things he loves most in life – getting attention from his human friends and treats. I walk him nearly every evening and sometimes we sit down the block on the amazon bench, where he loves to calmly sit beside me and soak up all the cheek rubs and back scratches I lavish on him. He also loves when I feed him treats – and will sit and give paw, even giving a high-five, for them; and takes them very politely. The poor guy seems lonely and just wants to be with people. I’m impressed that despite his stress level, he never gets over-aroused (never jumping, grabbing the leash, mouthing, etc). His behaviors (other than around other dogs) are very calm and polite at all times. When sammy gets multiple walks a day (I.E., my evening walk is his third), then his kennel is usually clean and he potties outside, which is an improvement from when he first came.”

Sammy needs out of the shelter. In one of his more recent evaluations, Sammy had his front feet up on the bars and was barking when the handler arrived. Food treats were used to lure Sammy down to the ground. He was easily leashed. Sammy was run out of the kennel room on a tight lead, but he tried to kennel fight dogs on both sides of the aisle. Sammy was tense and alert on the way outside but shook off and displayed a more neutral body once outside of the care center. He was responsive to the handler, following commands, and taking treats gently. He pulled little to none and sniffed occasionally but mostly kept his head up and his ears pinned back.

Please share Sammy’s plight with approved rescue organizations, friends, family, and social media contacts. Sharing saves lives.

New Hope Rescue Only

For dogs to be pulled by a New Hope Partner Rescue, please contact nycdogslivesmatter@gmail.com. To follow Sammy’s story and for more information, please click here.

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