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When you think of a person faced with the heartbreak of rehoming a beloved pet, what goes through your mind? You may ask, “Why would anybody give up their pet? I would never do that!” You may have judgments about those people – Irresponsible. Callous. Heartless.

It may surprise you to learn that most people surrender pets as a last resort, often to save or improve the life of their loyal companion. They may be evicted from their home. Or escaping a violent partner who threatens to harm the pet.

Or, worse…

On a beautiful summer day in June, Kevin’s* (not his real name) life changed in an instant when the motorcycle he was riding was struck by a hit-and-run driver, dragging him across several lanes and partially ejecting him from his bike. He was hospitalized with serious injuries. Learning to walk again would be a long, painful, and arduous journey.

After many months of trying his very best, Kevin, a deeply spiritual man, made the anguishing choice to surrender Tebow, so that his best friend could have a second chance at a loving forever home with a family who could provide the care and attention that he no longer could.

Tebow, confused and forlorn about his situation, but always ready to snuggle.

But it wasn’t easy. As Kevin explained, “I was turned down from ten shelters in and around Atlanta. I was told Tebow was ‘too big’ or ‘too old’. It broke my heart, but I prayed. You were my last hope.” Of course, we said yes.

Tebow stole our hearts with his sweet, gentle personality and quizzical expression that suggested both amusement and surprise. He was a staff and volunteer favorite, preferring to sit beside you with his head resting on your shoulder to chasing a ball.

A volunteer fell head-over-heels for Tebow and sent her father a photo of the ‘super-sized senior’ looking forlorn. Dad responded immediately – “Bring that dog home today!” He knew he’d found his forever Netflix buddy.

Surrendering a beloved companion can be extremely traumatic, made worse by enduring guilt and judgment. We understand and empathize. Most pet guardians have thought long and hard about the decision and only want what’s best for their furry friend.

. . . They trust that AAHS will do all it can to give their best friend a second chance at life and love. And we do. Their best friend is our best friend.

We can say “yes” when other shelters say “no,” because of your support.