Teri Wilson
January 10, 2016 10:59 am

When Kings SPCA-Rescue of Lemoore, California, noticed emails from numerous people voicing concern about an abandoned dog in the community, they realized the dog had been alone, homeless, in the same spot for at least five days. The messages had started to accumulate over the New Years weekend, a time when the shelter was very busy.

After looking at the dates on the emails, shelter staff became very worried and went to the spot where the dog had been spotted. Sure enough, he was still there. He’d gotten so hungry that he’d been eating sticks, yet he was still reluctant to leave with animal rescuers. The shelter believes this is because he wanted to stay there and wait for his owners, just in case they came back.

This situation is a real heartbreaker, and unfortunately it’s one that happens all too often. There are five times as many homeless pets in this country as there are homeless people. And Kings SPCA has had enough. Seeing this particular dog’s reaction to being abandoned over the holidays really touched a nerve. The organization wrote an open letter to the dog’s owner on its Facebook page, and the post has since gone viral with nearly 30,000 shares.

Rescuers don’t mince words in the letter, which completely calls the owner out on dumping the dog and leaving it to freeze and starve to death while he pined for his owner’s return. It reads:

The shelter named the dog Banjo (awww!), and it looks like he will indeed be going to a good home. According to the Today Show, since Banjo’s story went viral, the shelter has received calls from potential adopters all over the country. The shelter’s manager, Darlene Laboc, told Today, “I spoke to a lady from San Francisco yesterday who’s interested. A lady from Nebraska already put in an interest card. She said she’s willing to drive all the way from Nebraska to give this dog his loving home. We’ve had people call from New York, all over the place.”

Laboc indicated that the shelter could tell Banjo had been abandoned because of his behavior. Dogs who are runaways will not stay put in one place the way Banjo did. Runaways will move around. She said, “We’re just so tired of people doing this. It’s just heartbreaking, when you’re around it every day and you hear the stories of why people want to get rid of their dog, it’s horrible. We just don’t get it.”

For now, Banjo appears to be doing just great. Kings SPCA just posted a new video to their Facebook page that shows Banjo with a happy, wagging tail, eager and excited for his breakfast.

We wish Banjo nothing but the best, and with so many people wanting to give him a good home, we have a feeling he’s going to get all the love and affection he deserves.

(Images via Kings SPCA Rescue on Facebook.)