GREEN BAY, Wis. — For many pet owners, it's probably impossible to imagine giving up their animals – let alone leaving a dog tied to a fire hydrant.
But that's exactly what happened earlier this month in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
Fortunately, a story that started out steeped in sadness has a happy ending.
Back on May 5, the Wisconsin Humane Society shared a heartbreaking photo of a dog, named Baby Girl, tied to a bright yellow fire hydrant in the middle of a neighborhood. A backpack stuffed with her favorite toys and worldly belongings was next to her.
Baby Girl's story quickly went viral, both for the photo and for the way the Wisconsin Humane Society handled her situation.
Instead of responding with judgement or anger, the WHS shared a heartful post on their Facebook page directed toward Baby Girl's previous owner:
"First and foremost, we are so sorry you had to part with your best friend. It’s evident just how much you loved her and we can see you did your best while struggling with your own medical complications and challenges of life. We see your love in the bag you carefully packed with all of her favorite things. We see your love in the way you secured her leash so she wouldn’t get hit by a car. We see your love in the way you placed her in the middle of a neighborhood where she’d be quickly found. We see your love in how happy and healthy Baby Girl looks. And we see your love in the note you left, pleading for someone to help her when you no longer could."
The post has been shared nearly 4,000 times on Facebook since, and was featured on popular Instagram account WeRateDogs, which has 2.3 million followers.
"What a compassionate response," one person commented on Facebook. "I didn’t feel as compassionate when I first saw the photos, but you’ve helped me see with a new perspective."
The Wisconsin Humane Society, which cared for Baby Girl over the past two weeks, posted an update May 10 to say that the agency met with Baby Girl's previous owner and was "grateful for the chance to connect with her, and honor her wishes for Baby Girl to find a new home "
The humane society said a bunch of families were eager to meet Baby Girl when she was made available for adoption, and she officially found a new home on May 12.
Looking to add a four-legged friend to your family? Click here to view a list of adopted dogs from the Wisconsin Humane Society. If you're based in Minnesota, click here to view animals up for adoption through Minnesota's Animal Humane Society.
Watch more local news:
Watch the latest local news from the Twin Cities in our YouTube playlist: