When his family took him out for the final time, Maverick the German Shepherd likely had no idea that they were about to dump him. And when the dog was abandoned, it was at a high-kill shelter. Then, one day, the pooch’s time at the animal center came to an end.
Carson Animal Care Center is a shelter run by the County of Los Angeles Department of Animal Care and Control. As part of its work, the center takes in creatures before attempting to find them loving homes.
But while the shelter strives to find a family for every animal it can, that’s not always possible. And perhaps that’s down to the sheer number of abandoned pets that come through the center’s doors. Indeed, according to the ASPCA, 6.5 million pets arrive at shelters each year in the United States. Of these, 3.3 million are dogs, while 3.2 million are cats.
And of all the animals who enter shelters each year, only 3.2 million are successfully adopted. As a result, 1.5 million are euthanized each year to make space for new admissions who might have a better chance of finding families.
Establishments that carry out such practices are known as kill shelters, and Carson Animal Care Center is one of these. As a result, animals who arrive at the center have a limited time to make good impressions on potential adopters.
However, when some pets are left at shelters, they may be simply too traumatized to come out of their shells and impress prospective owners straight away. Consequently, they can find themselves left on the shelf with no sign of a happy ending.
And that’s what happened in the case of one eight-year-old German shepherd. Maverick the dog had arrived at Carson Animal Care Center after being given up by his former family. And the animal seemed to be so sad about his predicament that he couldn’t look anyone in the eye.
What’s more, as some people have suggested that dogs are capable of experiencing depression, Maverick may have been exhibiting symptoms of the condition during his time at the shelter. What we do know, though, is that dogs can be very sensitive to any disruptions to their routines.
Indeed, when pets experience disturbances in their day-to-day lives – such as house moves, break-ups or the death of other animals – they have been known to show symptoms similar to those of depression in humans. Common behavioral changes may include loss of appetite, sleeping more and increased aggressive episodes.
So, when Maverick found himself alone at the shelter rather than in the home he had shared with his family, he may very well have seemed upset. After all, everything he had come to know had been taken away from him.
But while Maverick had every right to feel miserable, his inability to connect with people was seemingly preventing him from finding love once more. Luckily, though, that changed when a family came along who were willing to take a chance on the dog.
And the news of Maverick’s eventual adoption was celebrated by the folks at Saving Carson Shelter Dogs. The online community group promotes the rescue of all the animals who have found themselves at Carson Animal Care Center.
In 2016, moreover, Saving Carson Shelter Dogs revealed Maverick’s story in a Facebook video. The accompanying description read, “He was dumped and discarded by the family he loved. It broke his heart so badly he wouldn’t even look at anyone. He thought he had done something terribly wrong.”
The caption continued, however, “Today he took his beautiful freedom walk out of the shelter and he is going home to a family which includes humans, dogs, a lot of land and a goat. So he should be really happy!”
And the video shows Maverick taking his first tentative steps out of his shelter cage and into his new life. But while someone tries to comfort him as he is led away by a leash, the dog’s trust with humans is seemingly so broken that he barely even reacts.
Then, as Maverick makes his way towards an awaiting car, it’s clear to see than he’s unsure what’s going on. So, he looks around anxiously for clues – and when he arrives at an open trunk, he sniffs around it gingerly.
Thankfully though, those around him are confident that Maverick is going to a good home. They carefully lift him into the car, where he finally appears to calm down. It is as if he realizes that his happy ending awaits.
Maverick’s future therefore looked to be bright again. And many people couldn’t have been happier to see Maverick’s transformation, judging from the reaction to the video. That clip would also go on to attract 672,000 views and 19,000 shares.
The post additionally received more than 6,000 comments, many of them from well-wishers. “Yay for Maverick,” one person wrote. “So happy he found a home. He looked so sad… Hope he is smiling now.”
Another individual commented, meanwhile, “Happy tails Maverick! So happy you’re going home. Your new peeps will continue to tell you you did nothing wrong at your old house and have nothing to fear at your new house. Grow old in comfort surrounded by love and buddies!”