The traveling minister couple who dumped a Dachshund off at a shelter with a note saying that they can't care for it anymore and to put it down will not get the dog returned to them.
The decision was described as a mutual agreement between the couple and the Leave No Paws Behind volunteers who have saved little Otto and many other dogs from being exterminated in shelters.
You can meet some of these brave rescuers in person at a fundraiser:
The Third Annual Dog Day Afternoon from 1 to 4 p.m. on May 18 at Peterson Park, 14142 E. Sylvan Glen Road, Diamond Bar with Frisbee-catching dogs, booths, giveaways and more.
Many people from across the country were torn up by the 13-and-a-half-year-old Dachshund left tied to a basket with a sad note, asking the shelter to put the dog down.
At first, it looked like the dog, who was nicknamed Harley, but was soon found to be named "Otto," was going to be reunited with the senior citizen couple who claimed poverty. They are traveling ministers and they could no longer care for the dog and were out of the state, but heard about the public outcry to help find the owners and return the dog after Leave No Paws Behind paid for a health exam and vet bills.
But Toby Wisneski, founder of Leave No Paws Behind, who talked at length with the couple, came to a mutual decision to not return the dog to the owners that gave him up. It was a mutual decision because the dog is fragile, and the couple is constantly on the road and traveling. However, a lot of people online condemned the couple and were without sympathy toward them.
The couple has been shy with press and Wisneski said, "People can be so cruel. It’s horrible what a handful of people can do on social media, they are afraid and I cannot blame them.”
The couple had a photo album of Otto from the time he was a puppy. "They love him very much,” Wisneski said. They will be looking for a local home to take Otto permanently.
The latest from Toby is that:
"Otto is doing great and getting stronger and more comfortable with each passing day. As we have stated many, many times, and per our update the other day, he will continue to remain with Leave No Paws Behind, Inc. under our care where all his medical and basic needs will be tended to for the rest of his little life. As we have always stated, our first and foremost priority is always the safety and well being of our animals. Our decision for Otto was solely based on what we feel is best for Otto and his on going care."
Dachshunds can live to be ripe old ages, as old as 18 to 20, and Toby says, "At 13 1/2 years old, Otto needs to spend his twilight years in a quiet, peaceful and loving home, resting on a comfy bed and basking in the warmth of the California sun with no worries or cares. This little old man has been through a lot in the last few weeks and while he continues to improve, he is in no way in any condition to travel about and needs to remain close to us for continuous care."
Their decision is final, and in the best interest of Otto. See some of the other rescues and help out with the cause below . . . You can email Toby at firstname.lastname@example.org.