German Shepherd type dogs
Zuzu, the sad mutt whose heartrending tale of abandonment brought tears to the eyes of dog-lovers everywhere, was on her way to a new home and hopefully a permanent one. She was due to be spayed, microchipped and vaccinated on Friday
The adorable two-year-old German Shepherd/Belgian Malinois mix was moving out of the overcrowded pound to a new no-kill shelter until she can find a permanent home
And one thing is for certain — she won’t be going back to her heartless former owners who turned down her tail-wagging pleas to take her back home while they searched for a new pet.
Zuzu was captured on Thanksgiving morning after she was spotted wandering the streets east of Los Angeles. On Sunday she was being given an introduction to see how she reacts with other dogs when suddenly staff at the 500-kennel shelter saw her ‘light up like a Christmas tree, ’ as she saw a group of visitors at the shelter.
One man leaned down to play with her through the metal fence.
But the owners hadn’t come to claim their dog and take her home — they were there looking for a new pet to replace her.
And when shelter volunteer Desi Lara posted a video of the reunion on her Facebook page, Zuzu suddenly became the most famous shelter dog in America. The video has now been viewed by more than 125, 000 people.
‘Once I found out they weren’t taking her, my heart broke, ’ shelter volunteer Desi Lara wrote. ‘They acted like they really liked her but they didn’t want to take her.’
‘I didn’t know they were her people, ’ Lara wrote on her Facebook page which has since been taken private. ‘I just saw she was so excited.’
‘She looked like the happiest dog. Yeah, she’s going home, ’
Or that’s what she thought. But when she spoke to the family, a man and woman shelter workers said appeared to be in their 40s or 50s with a younger couple in their 20s, they told her they didn’t want their dog back, they were looking for a new pet.
‘Once I found out they weren’t taking her, my heart broke, ’ Lara wrote. ‘They acted like they really liked her but they didn’t want to take her.’
‘She wasn’t a happy dog anymore, ’ Lara wrote. ‘Their solution for her unhappiness was just leaving her here. And go get another dog.’
Two-year-old Zuzu got excited when she saw her family come to the fence of the shelter
She assumed they were there to take her home and began furiously wagging her tail
The family talked to her through the fence, but when asked if they were there to claim their dog they said no
Who are the owners who left Zuzu at the shelter? If you know, contact Martin.Gould@Mailonline.com
Shelter trainer Janay Chapin told DailyMail.com that she too couldn’t believe the owners’ reaction. ‘Zuzu was kind of shut down and as soon as she saw her owners she suddenly came to life, ’ she said.
‘We could tell that the second they approached the yard that they knew exactly who she was and she knew who they were, ’ added Chapin who was holding the other dog’s leash in the video.
‘She suddenly became a totally different dog the moment she saw them.’
The owners told Chapin and Lara that their dog — who they called Princess but was renamed Zuzu at the shelter after George Bailey’s daughter in the movie classic It’s a Wonderful Life — had become depressed since the death of her father.
Zuzu is heading to the Pet Adoption Fund in Canoga Park, California
Zuzu is pictured with her trainer Janay Chapin, who told DailyMail.com that she couldn’t believe the owners’ reaction. ‘Zuzu was kind of shut down and as soon as she saw her owners she suddenly came to life, ’ she said.
They said they tried to cheer her up by moving her from their back yard to the front but that failed and instead she kept jumping over the fence.
Neighbors reported that she was wandering the streets and the dog catchers moved in.
Chapin said Zuzu had obviously been well-cared for and is obedient, healthy and well-behaved. She said she clearly had a good bond especially with the older man and she seems to like men much more than women.
But the family, who didn’t give their name at the shelter, were not bothered by their dog’s plight, Chapin said.
Chris Kim is the public information officer for the Los Angeles Department of Animal Care and Control
‘It seems she was just too much trouble for them and they wanted a new pet.’ However they went home empty-handed when they couldn’t find the kind of dog they wanted.
Zuzu is going to the private Pet Adoption Fund in Canoga Park, California, a shelter that does not euthanize abandoned animals, until a permanent home can be found for her.
But Kim told DailyMail.com that Zuzu was never a candidate to be put down. The county’s seven shelters only kill animals as a last resort if they are sick or vicious, he explained.
‘And Zuzu is certainly neither of those, ’ he said. ‘She has a very even temperament.’
As for the family that brought her in, the county can refuse to adopt out a dog to ‘unsuitable’ owners. ‘It is our goal to see every animal in a forever home where it is wanted and loved, ’ the department said in a statement.
Kim said Zuzu is going to the Canoga Park shelter because it was first to enquire about her. Since then though the shelter has been inundated with other people wanting to adopt.
The Pet Adoption Fund’s kennel manager Pat Winter told DailyMail.com that only fund president Maggie Turner could discuss Zuzu’s case. Turner did not return calls.