When John Van Zante saw the small, gray-haired woman being pulled along the sidewalk by her powerful bulldog puppy, he ran from his office to help.
“I can still picture this poor woman as she was literally dragged up the sidewalk by the bulldog. Tears in her eyes. Stumbling,” says Van Zante, spokesman for the Helen Woodward Animal Center, a nonprofit pet adoption organization in San Diego. “When I took the leash, she just stood there to catch her breath.”
Finally, Van Zante says, the woman told him that her grandkids thought she was lonely so they bought her the dog for Christmas. The only problem was, the kids hadn’t asked her if she wanted a pet.
The woman insisted that the dog was nice. But she lamented that her new puppy chewed sofa cushions, pooped in the house, dug up the yard, and yanked her arm so badly during walks that she’d gone to the doctor.
Though she was sad to surrender her dog to the center, she felt she had no choice. “I wanted a little kitten,” Van Zante says she told him, “but nobody asked me.”
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