In many ways, choosing a dog to adopt is very much like shopping for clothes. There are lots of choices. They come in all sorts of different colors. Sometimes there are sales. It can be pretty hard to choose just one. And of course, after we get home with our new purchase, we’re usually pretty satisfied. The difference between these two things, however, is that when we decide that a sweater may not have actually been a right fit for us, it’s not that big of a deal when we return it to the store. It will get folded up, put back on the shelf, and its chance of finding another home is high, no harm, no foul. When you return a dog to a shelter, however, you are putting their life at risk. They might get adopted again the very next week or they may wait for months or years on end only to be put down if too much time has passed.

There are many reasons people choose to return animals to shelters after adopting them, but one of the main ones is unforeseen illness or injury. Veterinary checkups are pretty expensive on their own, so when a newly adopted dog becomes injured or develops some illness, some guardians simply can’t front the expense or don’t want to. Thankfully, for as many people that turn away from dogs in difficult situations, there are others who are willing to welcome less-than-perfect dogs into their home, even if it will cost them time and money.


This is Zoe. She was returned to an animal shelter after her former guardians couldn’t figure out why the pup wasn’t eating or going to the bathroom. 

Zoe 1

Thankfully, Zoe didn’t remain at the shelter long after she was returned. A mere week later, two new people showed interest in adopting her. After visiting the shelter vet they were told that Zoe had a urinary stone which was the reason she had not been eating or going to the bathroom in her former home. 

Zoe 2

The doctor also shared that Zoe would need to have surgery and be put on a special prescription diet after the fact. Despite these complications, the couple decided to adopt her!

Zoe 3

The couple was in for good news, though! When they went to pick up Zoe, a second vet determined that the adorable pup didn’t need surgery after all, she was simply constipated. Zoe could get started on her new life without hitch! 

Zoe 4

Now, Zoe is meeting all sorts of new creatures … 

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… napping on warm, fluffy beds … 

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… and just being a general lovebug. Thanks to her kind guardians who were able to see past any possible problems this pup had, this cuddly cutie got a second chance at life!

Zoe 7



Zoe is the perfect example of the wonderful things that can happen when people open their hearts, look past flaws, and treat adopting a pup like a rescue mission as opposed to a shopping trip. Dogs are not objects, they are sentient beings that desire and deserve unconditional love and affection like any other animal, flaws and all. Let Zoe serve as a reminder to all that adopting a pup may be a small part of our lives, but to dogs in the shelter, it is everything.

All image source: AreWeGladiatorsOrAreWeBitches/Imgur