This Family Thought They’d Never See Their Dog Again, Because They Couldn’t Afford Her Vet Bills

This Family Thought They’d Never See Their Dog Again, Because They Couldn’t Afford Her Vet Bills

Zoey and her humans were so absolutely thrilled to be back together, they couldn’t stay put long enough for Washington Humane Society-Washington Animal Rescue League spokesperson Alix John Tolley to get a picture of their reunion.

“They were all so excited to leave that we could not get them to sit still,” she says.

They had great reason for all that joy.

Zoey was brought to the shelter in early June. She’d been urinating blood, and her people couldn’t afford the necessary veterinary care. They told staff at Washington, D.C.’s city shelter they didn’t think they had any choice but to give up their dog.

WHS-WARL veterinarians found that Zoey had what they described on Facebook  as a “massive bladder stone, causing a complete blockage.” Surgeons removed a golf-ball sized stone from the small dog.

After that, Zoey was healthy, but sad, says Tolley: “She was trembling, distressed, and totally shut down.”


Shelter staff felt pretty sure that Zoey’s family was miserable without her, too.

On Monday, folks from the shelter reached out to ask if Zoey’s people would like their dog back—it’s not usual at this shelter or any; so-called “economic euthanasia” is a very serious problem.

“But this was really the adoption, intake, and medical staff making a decision based on how much they clearly loved this dog,” Tolley says. “Apparently the owner has been crying since we called her two days ago.”

Wednesday, the shelter packed up a big box of supplies for Zoey—and made sure she and her humans could be part of  a program called Pets for Life, that helps with access to veterinary care and other necessities, so that well-loved pets can stay at home where they belong.

And then the family walked on out the shelter door—together, again, at last.

Images via Washington Humane Society

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