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Elderly couple abandons Dachshund at shelter because they can't care for it

Toby Wisneski is looking for an elderly couple that were forced to abandon their 13-and-a-half year old Dachshund named Harley at an Animal Shelter. She doesn't necessarily want to return the dog, but at least let them know that he's safe.

Harley was left because the owners couldn't care for him anymore.
Harley was left because the owners couldn't care for him anymore.
KTLA Channel 5
The charity Leave No Paws Behind helps 13-year-old Dachshund
Leave No Paws Behind

Harley was very sick when left at the shelter last week, and on Friday the Sun Valley, Calif.-based charity that Toby runs, No Paws Left Behind, took over the care for the dog. On Monday, reports were that Harley is doing fine.

But, the heartbreaking story is that a note was left by the seniors who were forced to give up their canine companion.

The tragic handwritten note reads:

“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.”

The note wasn't signed. But, it shows a desperation that poor people in this economy can't handle. Harley was bleeding from his stool, and had could only hobble around, but in just a few days he is improving. The medical bills were paid for by the non-profit Leave No Paws Behind, Inc.

Donate to them here:

Leave No Paws Behind Facebook page

Dachshunds tend to live much longer than other breeds, so Harley has at least five good years in him or more. The animal shelter in Baldwin Park, Calif. contacted Wisneski because she specializes in helping dogs that are at risk for being exterminated. She took the dog to the East Valley Veterinary Clinic in Sun Valley to get nursed back to health. Harley was diagnosed with noncontagious demodectic mange, and Toby said his blood work came without any problems.

The note detailed the skin disease that Harley has had for years, and they worried about the dog's recent bloody stools and throwing up.

“He is a great dog, he is fine and 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 said.

Toby said that the couple did an "act of kindness" for Harley, but she is glad the dog didn't have to be put to sleep. "The couple's last act of kindness was assuring that Harley was going to be safe now and have a good life by leaving him in a basket and leaving him with a note. By doing that they almost guaranteed he would be taken care of, and for that we are all very thankful."

So far, with some local press and TV coverage, even national coverage, the couple hasn't been able to find the elderly couple. She thinks that the dog could be returned to them if a home visit shows that they could be reliable dog owners. If not, she will find Harley a proper foster home.

If you are interested if Harley should go up for adoption, contact Leave No Paws Behind at

Here are some comments from the people who know about Leave No Paws Behind:

Ladell Greene said, "I could never conceive giving up my little old man Doxie or any pets. However, I do understand that situations are different for all people. After my mom retired well into her 70s, I see first hand how it only takes one event to send you into financial crisis. And if you have no family or friends to lean on, I can understand the hopelessness someone might feel. A lot of the older generation is not used to assistance, this couple may be in need them selves, as the said in the note they are sick. I do hope they come forward, they have nothing to ashamed of. Besides saving just Harley, they too can be saved. Thank you Toby, you are awesome!"

Lisa Burks said: "Your heart and your priorities are in the right place. I am so grateful that the LNPB team is handling Harley's case, it truly could not be in any better hands. Thank you, Toby & Dr. Mark and staff for all you do for ALL the rescues. Sending Harley love & prayers of continued healing."

Marley Lord very well said sherry obershea. this letter tells me a lot about his owners. it tells me they loved him, quite a lot. it tells me they felt sorry they couldn't (on their own) provide for him. it tells me that they did what they could do and just wanted their baby to be in good hands and if necessary, cross the bridge with dignity and without pain. that is love. i hope you can find them and, if it's at all possible for them to care for him, provide help so they can be together for that golden, senior time, in their lives. They must miss him badly, and looking at his eyes, he misses them e same way....

Darlene Mohan saw the reports across the country: "That pup is full of love, his face and eyes show it just like my Doxie, Max.......and if I am wrong about those people who just left him there with that note, I will be first to say I am sorry.......I would love doing that, but until then, I think they are cruel and it took time for that pup to get sick, not overnight."

Again, Toby says, "Vet bills are continually challenging our medical slush fund because of the type of urgent care that is often necessary for our seniors and special need rescues, many of which have been severely neglected. Please help us give the gift of life and the promise of tomorrow to these very special animals. No amount is to small and all amounts help save lives and are tax deductible."

See: Donate to them here:

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