Last weekend, a dog named Baby Girl sat stoically on the grass of a residential street in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Tied to a fire hydrant by her leash, she could’ve been just waiting for her owner to return — which is what Kylie Rose Engelhardt thought at first.
Luckily, Baby Girl didn’t have to be alone in the cold for long. Engelhardt spotted her and stopped to make sure she was OK. “[I] sat outside with her for an hour keeping her warm waiting for someone to come back but no one did,” Engelhardt wrote on Facebook.
Next to Baby Girl was a backpack filled with all her favorite things — food, treats and toys, as well as a heartbreaking note. When it became clear to Engelhardt that Baby Girl had been abandoned, she brought her to the Wisconsin Humane Society.
“I did my best, everyone,” Engelhardt wrote. “Trust me, it breaks my heart, too.”
The picture of Baby Girl left alone with her possessions has gained quite a bit of attention over the week. And according to the shelter, the 5-year-old dog is doing great.
"She is doing well and getting lots of TLC from our staff," Angela Speed, vice president of communications for the shelter, told The Dodo. "She loves her walks, toys and performs an adorable 'sit' for treats. She’s a happy and affectionate pup."
Yesterday, Wisconsin Humane Society released a compassionate statement on Facebook, addressing Baby Girl’s previous owner directly. The shelter explained that they understood how difficult it was to leave Baby Girl when they felt they could no longer care for her.
"We know how hard it is for someone to part with a beloved pet, and how traumatic it can be for the owner, too," Speed said. "We really wanted to let the owner know that we were not judging them and saw the love in everything they did to prepare Baby Girl to be quickly found and supported."
The sweet letter read: “First and foremost, we are so sorry you had to part with your best friend,” Wisconsin Humane Society wrote on Facebook. “It’s evident just how much you loved her and we can see you did your best while struggling with your own medical complications and challenges of life. We see your love in the bag you carefully packed with all of her favorite things. We see your love in the way you secured her leash so she wouldn’t get hit by a car. We see your love in the way you placed her in the middle of a neighborhood where she’d be quickly found. We see your love in how happy and healthy Baby Girl looks. And we see your love in the note you left, pleading for someone to help her when you no longer could.”
Baby Girl has finished her “stray hold,” and will be available for adoption in the coming days. In the meantime, the sweet pup is getting plenty of cuddles from shelter staff in preparation for her second chance at a loving home.
“Rest assured that she’s safe, she’s getting tons of attention from our team, and she’s on track to find her next loving family very soon,” Wisconsin Humane Society wrote. “You can rest a little easier knowing your Baby Girl has a bright future ahead.”