Brown and white Pit Bull Terrier in shelter kennel
© houseofrescuedogs/ TikTok

Heartbreaking video captures the reactions of dogs surrendered to a kill shelter

By Greta Inglis Dog Behaviourist | Animal Behaviourist

Published on the

Millions of dogs are given up to shelters each year. This abandonment often has a profound impact, leaving them shutdown and withdrawn. 

Tulsa Animal Welfare takes in 100-200 dogs a week, leaving the shelter very overcrowded. 

Emily Gorham, who volunteers weekly at the shelter, documented the reactions of some of the dogs who had recently been surrendered by their owners. The result shows the heart-wrenching reality they face. 

An endless wait

"This is what your dog does after you surrender them to the kill shelter", writes Emily, "they wait for you to come back". 

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From the shy, reserved pup at the back to the resigned ones who don't even lift their heads, the dogs all have the saddest expressions, as they wait endlessly for their owners to return. 

Panning out of each kennel Emily also captures the intake photo for each of the dogs. Heartbreakingly, the dogs in the kennels barely resemble the dogs that came in.

Please do better

Emily captioned the video with a moving explanation of why many dogs end up at the shelter. "I understand life happens", she writes, "but so many people surrender their dogs to Tulsa Animal Welfare for silly reasons. They want a new puppy, they have too many pets, the dog is too active etc. Please do better". 

"This hurts my heart. I wish I could help them all", commented a viewer. But as the video goes to show, not everyone is as compassionate when it comes to their four-legged friends. 

Emily hopes to raise awareness through her videos, encouraging people to think about the lifetime commitment and dedication needed when sharing your life with a furry companion. 

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