5 min read

Dog Abandoned Outside Shelter That’s Been Closed For A Year

It's been about a year since the animal shelter on Ash Road in Lubbock, Texas, closed its doors.

Which made the sight of a lone dog tied to a pole outside all the more baffling - and heartbreaking.

Whitney Turrentine was driving past the former shelter on Tuesday when she spotted the severely malnourished dog amid a halo of flies, waiting in the Texas sun.

Someone, she noted in a Facebook post, had dumped her there.

"I pulled up to the dog and she was just like wagging her tail ... and like, 'Thank you so much,'" Turrentine would later tell KCDB 11 News.

It turned out the dog, whom she named Gracie, wasn't waiting for those doors to open - but for a better life.

And within days, she was well on her way.

Turrentine brought Gracie to the Lubbock Animal Shelter Adoption Center. Once there, a plea for a foster family went out on social media. That plea was answered.

"We haven't been able to take dogs in for over a year now because we've been full where we keep them," Laci Holcombe of Saving Grace Pit Bull Rescue tells The Dodo. "So the only way we've been able to help is if someone offers to foster. Thankfully, one of our followers did that."

Holcombe says it's unlikely Gracie was tied to the pole for too long, suggesting passersby, like Turrentine, would have spotted her quickly.

The dog's real torment began long before she was dumped at the shelter.

"It takes a long time for a dog to get that skinny," Holcombe says. "She was probably starved by whatever human she was with."

Sadly, Gracie, who's a pit bull mix and now about 2 years old, was likely bred for profit before she was rescued. "Someone started breeding her as soon as they could and probably made a bunch of money off her puppies and then dumped her," Holcombe says.

Lubbock Animal Services has also faced criticism for leaving a sign on a building it vacated last year - something that may confuse people looking to surrender their pets.

But Holcombe says that's unfair.

"The fault needs to fall on the person who starved her and abandoned her," she says.

And praise needs to be extended to the chain of caring that began when a woman stopped her car to help a dog waiting at doors that had long been closed.

Thanks to them, the doors to a new life are now wide open.

Think you could help Gracie find her forever home? Get in touch with Saving Grace Pit Bull Rescue. And consider supporting the group's mission to find homes for countless dogs like Gracie by making a donation.