A photo taken moments after Lana the dog was returned to an animal shelter by a family that adopted her paints a heartbreaking portrait of sadness and utter dejection. The photo, posted to Facebook with the caption “the saddest dog in the world,” has gone viral online. It shows Lana with her head hanging low and looking sad after she was returned to the boarding kennel by the family that adopted her.
According to Dahlia Ayoub with Mighty Mutts Pet Services, after the family that adopted Lana returned her to the animal shelter, she looked sad and dejected for a whole day and refused to go on walks.
Lana first arrived from Mexico at the animal rescue center Mighty Mutts in Toronto, Canada, as a puppy. She was the runt of a large litter, and according to Ayoub, when she first arrived at the Kennel, she was a tiny puppy, “terrified” of everything.
“Lana was terrified of everything. She was literally the size of my hand.”
After Lana arrived at Mighty Mutts, she was kept in a foster program, spending short periods of time with different families. And no problems were reported during her short stays in several foster homes. But a family that adopted her at 5-and-a-half-months-old returned her to the animal shelter due to guarding issues.
Ayoub explained that the family’s mom decided to return the dog after she exhibited guarding behavior because the family has young children in the house.
“She snapped at the mom,” Ayoub said. “And they decided because they have kids in the house to bring her back to boarding.”
According to Mighty Mutts in a Facebook update, “Although Lana was returned to our program, her family tried their hardest to work with her. Because there were children in the family it was decided that it would be best for Lana to come back to our rescue so that we could find an adult-only home with an experienced handler.”
Lana was so sad at being returned to the boarding kennel that she was unresponsive for a whole day. A photo taken of Lana moments after she was returned to the rescue home shows a brokenhearted and dejected looking dog sitting with her face pressed against the wall.
Ayoub remarked that Lana looked like her “world had shut down” for the whole day. She remained unresponsive and refused to move when a shelter volunteer tried to take her on a walk.
“She just shut down, it’s almost like her world shut down.”
When Ayoub was told that Lana had returned to the shelter, she visited the dog. Lana was excited to see her old friend again, and she appeared to recover her old self.
“I wanted to see if she would be scared of me. I went back there and said, ‘Laaaaana! Hey, what’s up?’ “
Ayoub, who has known Lana since she was a tiny puppy, said the dog has a good, “silly sweet” nature, and gets on well with people and other dogs. Lana’s guarding instinct, according to Ayoub, was due to the fact that as a little puppy who was the runt of the litter, she was forced to compete with bigger siblings for food. But the incident at her new home was the first time that the issue resurfaced, Ayoub said.
Following the generous outpouring of suppport, Lana has found a foster home where she is safe, but she still needs to find a “forever home.”
Mighty Mutts wrote in a Facebook update, “We will continue to work with her and find her a placement in an environment that suits her best.”
Ayoub expressed optimism that Lana, who is currently in the care of Rescue Dogs Match, would eventually find a home. She said, “I know there’s a family for her out there.”
[Images via Mighty Mutts/Facebook]