Meet Lana, the sweet-natured one-and-a-half-year-old lab mix who was deemed “the saddest dog in the world” when a heartwrenching photo, featuring her slouched over, despondent, and in a kennel, went viral. Lana first arrived at Rescue Dogs Match in Ontario, Canada, as a puppy and was adopted by a family at five months old, but she was recently returned to the rescue when things didn’t work out in her new home.
According to a Facebook post by Mighty Mutts, a dog training company that teams up with the rescue, Lana grew up with 13 siblings, which led to behavioral quirks. “Often, when there are so many pups in a litter, they learn to compete for their food. It’s the only way to survive when food is scarce.” As a result, she developed guarding issues surrounding her food as she grew older, and since the family she lived with had children, her new owners decided the best course of action would be to take her back to the rescue to be placed with a new family.
Lana’s reaction to her rejection was devastating, which is what led to that painful image. Mighty Mutts owner Dahlia Ayoub told The Dodo that Lana “just shut down. It’s almost like her world shut down.” (BRB attempting to piece my broken heart back together.) According to the Facebook post accompanying the photo, which begs for experienced foster volunteers to take her in, Lana would only leave her kennel for two people in the shelter, and refused to even take a walk for the first 24 hours after she arrived.
Luckily, Lana’s plight moved thousands to try to make a difference. The rescue has since received 2,240 applications to adopt Lana, and she’s been placed with a foster mom who will ensure she receives training for her guarding issues while the rescue sifts through the requests to find her a perfect forever home. The rescue has shared photos of her smiling big doggy smiles as she plays outside and enjoys her new home.
What’s tragic is the thought of the countless other dogs like Lana out there who don’t have the good fortune of having their stories go viral. If this story moved you (or heck, if you are one of the thousands of people whose application for Lana will be turned down since she can only be placed in one home), consider seeking out dogs in similar situations in your community that need love — and will give plenty back in return! If you’d like to help Rescue Dogs Match with their cause, you can make a donation here or volunteer here.[ABC News] [The Dodo] [Images via Facebook/Mighty Mutts Dog Training]
Original by Claire Hannum @Claire_Hannum