According to recent pet statistics, there are about 6.5 million companion animals entering the U.S. animal shelters each year.
Sadly, out of these whopping number, only about 3.2 million of these wonderful animals are adopted annually. So what happens to the rest of the animals left in care of the shelters?
In a documentary photography created by Mary Shannon Johnstone, the sad fate of the animals who failed to be adopted has been captured in heartbreaking photos.
As shown in her eye-opening pictures, some of the dogs and other companion animals who are in perfect shape are being euthanized because their number is too much for the shelter to handle.
Approximately, more than a million of animals are being put down each year. As an effort to lessen this saddening figure, various pro-animal organizations are encouraging people to adopt an animal from shelter rather than buy one from a pet store.
The same thought seemed to be running on the mind of Jessica Williams and her boyfriend Jared when they were planning to have a pet to celebrate Jessica’s birthday.
While scanning through the photos of the animals up for adoption, a photo of what looked like the saddest pup in the world caught Jessica’s interest.
With the photo pulling the strings of her heart, Jessica could no longer wait for her birthday and was determined to adopt the sad dog right away.
Without second thoughts, Jessica and Jared embarked on a 400 miles road trip in order to take the saddest pup home. Six hours after hitting the road, the couple finally arrived at the shelter and was ecstatic to meet the sad pup- Benji!
Benji, or the saddest pup in the photo, was a stray dog that was rescued and brought into the care of Los Angeles animal shelter.
The shelter staff may only know him for a short time, but they could already tell that Benji has a slim chance of being adopted. After all, the dog is not really on his best shape.
The poor dog almost lost all of his fur from a very bad flea infestation. On top of that, Benji does not have a pleasing and friendly personality as well.
In fact, he was aloof from humans and would snarl and bark whenever someone gets close to him. With these in mind, the rescue staff was even discouraging the loving couple from meeting and spending time with Benji.
“The shelter also told us he wasn’t friendly and refused to take us into a calm waiting area to get to know him because ‘he wouldn’t be a dog that would come over to us to be cuddly,’” Jessica recalled how the staff dissuaded them.
“We knew that he had a high possibility of being euthanized and didn’t want him to die.”
But Jessica knew that if she wouldn’t adopt Benji, then the saddest pup will certainly be euthanized. After all, the dog already spent 10 days at the shelter and his time is ticking. And so Jessica and Jared left the shelter with Benji.
Contrary to most dogs who were excited and affectionate to their new owners, Benji showed no interest towards his new family.
Perhaps it was due to the humans he dealt with before… The dog remained wary of Jessica and Jared even after he arrived to his new home.
Fortunately, the phrase give up cannot be found on Jessica and Jared’s dictionary. As each day passes by, the couple patiently showered Benji with tender love and care. Soon enough Benji shows no resemblance to his ‘saddest pup’ photo because no trace of sadness could be seen on face.
Today, Benji is no longer a grumpy pup. Instead, he lives each day of his life full of fun and joy. According to his family, Benji loves eating with them on their outdoor patios and playing with them.
“He loves to come up and lick our faces and play with his toys. He is such a goofball now! He has crazy zoomies after he gets bathed.
He will also start barking the second we get in the car as if to say, ‘We have to start moving! Let’s go!'” Jessica shared about Benji’s heartwarming transformation.
SHARE the heartwarming story of Benji, a dog who was saved from being put down by the love, patience, and determination of his new family!
His story is but one of the 6.5 million of animals longing to have a family and place to call home- adopt animals and give them a chance to live a better and happier life!