Scooter was left near trash, but his rescuer knew he had a loving owner.
Dogs are abandoned by their owners every single day around the world, and, sadly, they’re often the lucky ones because some humans kill their animals rather than just letting them go. Why people abandon them at all is a total mystery because there are often nearby animal shelters that allow people to surrender them free of charge.
One dog that was abandoned last month was Scooter, a tiny dog that was found tied to a dumpster in a parking lot at a mall in South Carolina. As a 6-year-old terrier, he was confused and sad as he sat there like a good boy, waiting for someone to come rescue him. He had a sign near him that said,
“Free pup. Name is Scooter. Owner went to jail today.”
Thankfully, Scooter was quickly discovered by some young women who took photos and posted them on Facebook to see if they could get anymore information about him or find someone willing to take him. Paula Langford, the founder of a local foster-based rescue, South Eastern Homeless Animals, stumbled upon the photo and knew she wanted to help.
Though the sign had tons of information on it, there were still unanswered questions that Langford wanted to resolve once she met up with Scooter’s rescuers, like what his real story was. She claims that as soon as she laid eyes on Scooter, she knew that even though he was left near trash, he wasn’t a product of careless owners.
“I knew this was a loved pet,” Langford said. “He was clean, he was flea-free. He was abandoned with an expensive carrying case for him, an expensive collar, a bag of grain-free dog food.”
After picking him up, she said that Scooter was sweet, loving, and seemed to know that he was in good hands. He reportedly let out a huge sigh as he laid on her chest once he was in Langford’s arms. This was even more proof to Langford that Scooter was a loved dog who knew he could trust humans.
Instead of placing him with a foster family like usual, Langford brought him home and scanned his microchip. According to his history, Scooter had quite an adventurous past and didn’t seem to belong to a singular place.
“We discovered that he is originally from Colorado,” Langford said. “We tried to contact the number on the microchip, but the number was disconnected. The microchip company informed me that he’d been found in 2015 in Colorado, and then again in 2016 in St. Petersburg, Florida, and that he’d been returned to the owner, but that’s all he knew. And then, all of a sudden, he’s in South Carolina!”
Scooter had already been discovered in more states than some Americans have even visited, meaning his human must have been somewhat of a nomad. After some impressive detective work, Langford was able to contact the police officer that arrested Scooter’s owner, who had more information to offer about what happened to the poor dog.
According to the officer, Scooter’s owner had been arrested several hundred feet away from where he was found, but that his owner’s only concern was for his dog. Instead of letting him go to a shelter, he handed all of his belongings, including his money, backpack, and Scooter’s items, with his traveling companions after making them promise to keep Scooter safe. Sadly, they did not keep their promise and instead left him by that dumpster.
“They have issued an arrest warrant for those two individuals for the abandonment,” Langford said.
Though his owner was in jail, Scooter’s story did not end there. Langford was able to get in touch with the owner’s mother, who lived in Colorado and was more than willing to take in Scooter if transportation could be arranged. Langford was more than willing to make the trip, and wound up driving 2,700 miles (over 24 hours of driving) to meet the woman in Nebraska and hand Scooter off. Despite some people doubting whether the trip was worth it or wondering if this woman was actually a good owner, Langford knew the second they reunited that this was where Scooter was meant to be.
“It was a very touching and emotional reunion, and it was quite obvious that Scooter was very happy to see his family again,” Langford said. “I am 100 percent confident in my decision to reunite this beloved pup with his family.”
Scooter may miss his human, but hopefully he will one day be reunited with him as he waits at home in Colorado with his family. Most homeless animals end up being rehomed because their owners are never found, but for Scooter his story had a happy ending.