Moses the Pitbull: How this PItbull Reacts when he Realizes His Family Is Giving Him UpReading Time: 4 minutes
This Sad Dog’s Emotional Response to His Abandonment Will Make You Cry
If dogs ran the world, it’s hard to imagine that they would treat humans as poorly as some owners treat their canines. Would they tie their humans out in junkyards, alone and friendless to guard their things? Would they suddenly fall out of love with their humans and abandon them in shelters? And would they have them put to sleep just because they didn’t want them anymore? No. It’s highly unlikely any dog would behave like that because they are loyal creatures. Most would even sacrifice their own lives to save their beloved humans. But every year, 3.3 million dogs end up in animal shelters. And while some are canines who have strayed away from their owners, many of the dogs in the shelter system have been left there by humans who — for one reason or another — just didn’t want them anymore. Maybe, this shouldn’t be surprising. America has become a throw-away society. We want things, and then we don’t. Sadly, this attitude even extends to living, breathing creatures like dogs. This beautiful pup, for instance, was clinging desperately to his family, as they dropped him off at a shelter.
Meet Moses. He’s a beautiful four-year-old pit bull. His family brought him to the Stanislaus Animal Services Agency in Modesto, California in January 2017. This is NOT a no-kill rescue where every creature will be kept alive and well until they get a home. No, it is a kill shelter. The slightly good news for Moses? The Stanislaus Animal Services Agency has been working hard at bringing its euthanasia numbers down. In 2013 to 2014, 50 percent of the animals brought into the shelter had to be put to sleep. In 2014 to 2015, the number went down to 45 percent. The shelter was, fortunately, able to reduce its number even further in 2015 to 2016, but it was still having to put down approximately 29 percent of the animals that it took in. So being put to sleep was definitely still a possibility for Moses.
More bad news for Moses? Pit bulls are typically one of the first dogs to be put down in shelters. In fact, according to Save a Bull Rescue — a website dedicated to helping pitties — “about 75 percent of municipal shelters euthanize pit bulls immediately upon intake.” These pups never even get a chance at a forever home. Why? Because in some counties and cities in the United States, it is actually illegal to own a pit bull. So if a stray pittie is found or a person brings one into the shelter, no one will be allowed to adopt it. Pitties are also banned on all military bases in the United States.
When Moses was brought into the shelter by his owners, it was obvious that he was a very sweet and gentle soul. His owners reported that he was good with kids and even liked cats. Plus, he was also very beautiful. Even so, finding a home for him would be an uphill battle for the shelter. Too many people in the general public associate this breed with dog fighting and believe that ALL pit bulls are dangerous, vicious animals with an unquenchable lust for blood. The truth? Most bullies make very loving, sweet pets, especially when trained and socialized properly.
Poor, sweet, and sad dog Moses did have one stroke of luck on his side. On the day that he was dropped off at Stanislaus Animal Services Agency, Nancy Klein, a regular volunteer at the shelter, happened to be on the scene as his family prepared to give the adorable pittie up. It was obvious to her that the emotional dog knew that something bad was about to happen. He probably could smell the fear and desperation of the other dogs in the shelter. And because a canine’s nose is very sensitive, he probably could also smell the scent of death in the air from the dogs who had been euthanized at the pound.
Moses the crying dog had another reason to be fearful. This was not the first time the pretty dog had been in this pound. Just one year before, Moses had actually been adopted by his current family from this very shelter. So he must have remembered what it was like to be locked up day after day in a cage, while listening to the frantic and mournful cries of his fellow inmates. The thought of having to return to the shelter must have been terrifying to Moses because he tried to stay as close to his beloved family as he could.
Seeing the pit bull’s distress, Klein decided to use her cell phone to take a quick video of Moses expressing his sad dog emotions. That way she could share the frightened pup’s story on social media and hopefully find him a forever home. In her video, she starts out by introducing the pretty dog and explaining that Moses is being dropped off right at closing time. The reason? Unfortunately, the pit bull’s family was moving into a new home where he would not be allowed.
During the video, the sweet pup first sits on his hind legs, leaning on his owner as if to beg him not to leave him at the shelter. Moses then notices Klein who has gotten down on the floor so she can get a better video of the pup. It is then that the pup tries to climb into her lap. As his lovely face fills the camera lens, you can see that he has beautiful white eyelashes that frame two very sad and worried eyes. Klein laughs at the loveable pup and jokes, “Hi. Oh, you’re just going to crawl into my lap. I can’t take your picture that way.”
Some people believe that dogs don’t actually feel emotions like humans do. But, according to Psychology Today, research has proven that dogs do feel all of the basic emotions, which are joy, fear, anger, disgust, and love. But can dogs feel sad? Is there such a thing as an emotional dog? While scientists still aren’t willing to definitely say, yes, dogs can feel sadness; most canine owners would attest that they’ve seen dogs that were sad. And to most animal lovers watching Moses’ video, it was obvious that he was one very sad, very frightened pup.
In fact, for dog lovers, Moses’ body language and expressive dog emotions is easy to read in the video. He obviously wants his owner to take him away from the shelter, this place of great sadness. He also yawns once during the video. In dogs, that is often a sign of anxiety, not boredom.
When Klein posted her video of Moses on Facebook, it immediately went viral. It was shared 11,785 times, and it also received more than 2,500 comments. People absolutely fell in love with the sweet, crying dog. But, at the same time, many people were outraged by the behavior of Moses’ owners. One woman, for example, posted, “People who surrender their pets due to new living quarters should never be allowed to adopt pets again. You CAN choose a new home that allows pets. Period.” Another person blasted the pit bull’s owner, saying, “This literally makes me sick to watch and now I’m sobbing. The subpar person surrendering this beautiful baby is a gutless garbage pile, spectacular failure of a man.”
Others were more understanding. “It is so sad when a beloved dog is surrendered by his family because they have to move and can’t take him with them. I don’t want to judge that family since I don’t know their circumstances. I do hope this handsome boy is quickly adopted, as he deserves a forever home.” Some people also thanked the family for giving the dog back to the shelter where he might have a chance of getting a new home rather than abandoning him on the streets.
Still other people noted the terrible truth about owning dogs and moving — it’s not always possible to find a home when you own certain breeds of dogs. One person wrote on Klein’s Facebook post, “This is so sad to see any dog or any breed forced to leave their family. But the sad TRUTH is that many renters aren’t welcomed with a pit bull bred dog. If you are a homeowner you may pick your breed… but if you RENT, please keep this in mind when you get a dog! This is just heart breaking”
Another person tried to educate others about the difficulty of finding a home if you own a pit bull or other breeds that have been labeled dangerous, “He (Moses) was being surrendered because his owners were moving and were not allowed to take him with; which is common with BSL (breed-specific legislation) against most bull breeds. It’s not always the owner’s fault, it’s the laws that have to change and narrow minded opinions about Pit Bulls that need to change. Most rentals anymore won’t allow dogs over 30 pounds, especially bull breeds – the list of ‘vicious breed’ is long and specific. If you get caught lying about the breed of your dog to a potential landlord, you can be evicted for “breaking the terms of the lease” after paying HUGE pet deposit fees which are usually nonrefundable.”
Still another person posted about their own difficulties trying to find a place to live, “I have 3 of the sweetest, non-aggressive Bullies you could ever come across. When I had to move suddenly because of work, it was near impossible to find a rental that would allow me to have them. So I bought a house. But I was fortunate enough to be able to do that. Even then, I have to register my pups with the city, and carry $250,000 pet liability insurance.” As many people noted on Klein’s Facebook post, not everyone can afford this solution.
Luckily for Moses, his viral video helped find him a home very quickly. In an update on her original post, Klein shared Moses’ happy news, “HAPPY AWESOME UPDATE TIME! I just got news that MOSES was ADOPTED!! And he has two new human kids to play with and love him! We are SO very happy for him!”
And while we can rejoice that this beautiful dog has found his forever home, we are also sick for the many other pit bulls out there being abandoned at shelters or just dumped by their owners. So can dogs feel sad? Just look at Electra’s face and you’ll find the answer. This beautiful dog is another pit bull that ended up in a shelter. Her name is Electra, and she is a pit bull cross, who ended up at the Inland Valley Human Society, which is also located in California. Like Moses, this dog’s emotions are very easy to read. She appears to be in shock, in fear and filled with worry and dread.
Also like Moses, Electra’s sad plight came to the attention of the general public when a shelter volunteer, Lolys Menchaka, posted a video and information about the four-year-old dog on Facebook. “Electra represents the face of sadness and reality in the shelters,” Menchaka wrote.
Electra’s mournful expression stole the hearts of thousands of people on Facebook, and her video quickly went viral, with more than 330,000 people reacting to the video.
Fortunately, Electra like Moses was able to find her forever home. Adriane Silvano started out by fostering the sweet pup. But then, as so often happens with foster animals Silvano ended up falling in love with the once mournful pup and decided to adopt her permanently.
With love and a new mom, Electra now wears a much different expression on her face. This is a picture of an extremely happy pit bull terrier who now has a loving home of her own.
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