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Dog found with heartbreaking note to be reunited with owners

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Otto, aka Harley, was to be reunited with his owners March 28. (Credit: KTLA)

(KTLA) A 13-year-old dachshund left outside an animal shelter with a note asking that he be put to sleep because his elderly owners could no longer afford to care for him was expected to be reunited with the couple soon.

The dog, named “Harley” by rescuers, was found tied to a basket outside the Baldwin Park Animal Shelter on March 6, according to Toby Wisneski, CEO and founder of Leave No Paws Behind.

Attached to Harley was a note explaining that he had gotten sick, was vomiting and had bloody stools.

“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,” stated the note, which ended without identifying the owners.

Wisneski received a call from the shelter and took the dog in knowing if she didn’t he would be put to sleep.

After receiving medical care at the East Valley Veterinary Clinic, doctor’s told Wisneski that Harley was going to be OK and had a couple of years left in him.


A photograph of the note left with Otto outside an animal shelter.

Determined to reunite Harley with his owners, Wisneski tracked down the couple and found out Harley’s real name is Otto Wolfgang Maximus.

“We just are living week to week,” one of the owners, who wished to remain anonymous, said in a phone interview. “We can’t even go to the hospital to get our treatment.”

The couple was informed that Leave No Paws Behind — described on their Facebook page as a nonprofit, foster-based rescue — would cover Otto’s healthcare and food costs for the rest of his life.

“We thought he was dead, but he lives,” said the owner on the phone. “He’s being well taken care of and, boy, we’re just so extremely grateful.”

The couple was expected to be reunited with Otto when they return to the area on March 28.


  • FU Critics United

    So, rather than show up with the dog and ask that the dog put down, they left this dog that they "love' at a shelter to die by himself? This dog was petrified. The only owners he knew abandoned him and asked that strangers kill him.

    It's no better than dropping your dog off at a shelter and speeding off as a tech takes your beloved animal who is also scared to death back to the murder room and kills it because you were too selfish to keep it.

  • ToTellTheTruth

    There's some pretty crucial information missing from this article, and that is that this couple, who are not from the area, dropped their dog off at the shelter while on a ministry trip. Before I learned that, I was feeling terribly sorry for them. Once I learned that, it occurred to me that unless this couple are the ones actually running the ministry, they merely belong to it and are faithful adherents, probably giving every last penny they have to it — to a ministry whose leaders clearly have no conscience whatsoever. If they did, they wouldn't let this faithful couple live under such circumstances, and certainly wouldn't take money from them. If this is so, then perhaps I need to feel even sorrier for them that they're being taken. Instead, I'm now feeling anything but — because if this is so, they're clearly idiots.

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