The Story of a Pitbull Who Didn’t Want to be Given Away

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When it comes to surrendering your dog (i.e., man’s best friend), many people choose to send them to the shelter – and sometimes something quite incredible can happen as this volunteer discovered. This is guaranteed to bring a tear to your eye, so keep the tissues close…

Man’s best friend

Nancy Klein lives in California and is an avid animal lover – so much so that she volunteers her services at the Modesto-Stanislaus Animal Services Agency. It was here that she first met Moses.

Man's best friend


Meet Moses

Moses is a pitbull who’s just four years old (and pretty adorable. Just look at that face!). Pitbulls are often mistaken for being violent and aggressive, which can put many owners off – and even result in them surrendering their dogs because of this stigma. At four years old, Moses had already experienced more than most other dogs, likely because he was a pitbull. But he didn’t let that change him. Throughout this story, his heart remains pure (and we love him for it).

Man's best friend

Unfair Reputations

Pitbulls aren’t naturally aggressive; these traits are often caused by the mistreatment and care they receive from their owners. This breed gets a pretty bad reputation, often being called violent or dangerous, or even not safe to be around people. But not Moses, the hero in our story. This gorgeous dog was kind, calm and loving. Nevertheless, Moses was being surrendered to the Animal Services Agency for the second time during his short lifetime. It’s a heartbreaking thing to see.

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The Problematic View Of Pitbulls

Because of the reputation surrounding this breed of dog, pitbulls often find it hard to find their forever homes and are often the last ones left in the shelters. A hundred years ago, Pitbulls were nicknamed “nanny dogs” because of their gentle demeanor. However, bad press and awful owners have changed all of that for the poor pitbull. Now, people assume that a pitbull is too dangerous to have around their children, for example. Even a pup like Moses.

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Moses’ First Stop – Modesto Stanislaus Animal Services Agency

Moses was brought to the ‘Modesto Stanislaus Animal Services Agency’ shelter on January 22, 2017. His family had decided to get rid of him and this shelter in Ceres, California seemed to them like the right place to surrender him. According to the shelter, one of the breeds they see come through the doors most often is the pitbull. Moses was just another dog in the long list of abandoned pups they’d seen. Or was he?

shelter location on map

Finding a Forever Home

As well as being one of the most prevalent breeds in shelters across the world, Save-A-Bull Rescue has found through their studies that pitbulls are also the breed of dog that is the most frequently euthanized. But Klein didn’t see how anyone could give away such a sweet and adorable dog… He didn’t seem aggressive or a danger to his owners, he seemed like beautiful little Moses the sad pup that was about to be abandoned by his owners.

Moses tries to appeal to his owners by looking them straight in the eyes

Surrendering Moses to the Shelter

Klein first described the emotional meeting with Moses on her Facebook page on January 23, 2017. Nancy writes of the incredibly moving situation, and how she found the whole thing incredibly distressing – but it was Moses’ reaction that pulled on her heartstrings the most. This dog was about to melt the heart of not just Klein, but the whole of America – and the rest of the globe. Moses was about to become famous for all the right reasons.

Moses loves his owners, but he suspects something is wrong

Kleins’ Point Of View

Klein published her thoughts and feeling in a post on Facebook on January 23, 2017. “Last night as I was leaving the shelter at closing this dog was being surrendered” she wrote.  It wasn’t only the dog surrendering that was so sad for her but also the dog’s reaction that touched her so deeply. Little did she (or Moses) know that this story was about to go viral around the world, and change their lives for the better.

Moses standing at the counter of the shelter, not wanting to be let go of

Saying Goodbye

Klein describes the scene throughout her post. During the whole exchange, it was as if Moses knew what was happening to him – and of course, he wanted to stay with his family. He wanted a forever home. He didn’t want to go back to the shelter. Nancy found the whole ordeal heartbreaking, and she found herself becoming overwhelmed with emotion; having to catch her breath. After a while, Nancy Klein decided to ask Moses’ owners what was going on.

Although he can't speak, his face says it all

Second Time Isn’t a Charm

It turned out that Moses had first been adopted from the Stanislaus Animal Services Agency the previous year, and his family had been completely smitten with him. He was a sweet dog; affectionate, gentle, and never vicious or aggressive. So what on earth had Moses done so wrong? Why would someone want to give away such a beautiful and kind hearted pooch? Especially one who had already been through so much in his four years.

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The Family’s’ Decision

Nevertheless, his owners had to give him up. His family was now moving away from the area and into a new home – but their new house wouldn’t let them keep pets. So they had no choice but to surrender him. Moses would now be going back to the shelter for the second time in his short life – and through no fault of his own. It was absolutely heartbreaking to read Nancy Klein’s Facebook post on his story.

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He Knew Whats Happening

Nancy Klein continued her story on her Facebook post – and even provided pictures of Moses and his reaction to being back in the Stanislaus Animal Services Agency. He knew something was wrong. And he knew that his family was leaving him. There was something about the way he hung his head and seemed to have such sad eyes, that proved he knew what was happening. He’d been here before. The pictures would melt even the hardest of hearts.

Moses the pitbull doesn't want his owner to leave him here

Moses the Heartbreaker

Nancy wrote that at one point, Moses begged his owners to keep him. He stood on his hind legs, lifted his paw into his owner’s hand, and gave him saddest puppy dog eyes (quite literally). Enough to make your heart melt. It was quite clear to anyone in that room that day, that Moses didn’t want to go back to the shelter. He wanted to stay with the family that rescued him in the first place. Poor pup.

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Luckily She Had Her Phone

“I took out my phone and, well, you can see for yourself,” Klein wrote on her Facebook post. Nowadays, there is no doubt that the ease of publishing and telling a story that can reach thousands around the world helps a lot in creating a better world, for us humans and for man’s best friend. Nancy putting Moses’ story on Facebook was about to change both of their worlds, just through the power of social media.

Moses desperately looks for someone to love him

How Did He Feel?

Dogs’ emotional abilities have not gone unnoticed. Research has found that they know and understand abandonment and what it entails. If it happens to them, they are aware of it. Which could explain why Moses was making his feelings quite clear at the shelter that day. Dr. Stanley Coren is a dog expert and has dedicated his career to this concept; discovering whether dogs understand emotions such as abandonment. His discoveries explain what Moses was feeling that day at the shelter.

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The Medical Facts

He reported to Psychology Today that the emotional level of a dog is equal to the emotional level of a two-and-a-half-year-old. They can’t comprehend developed emotions such as pride and guilt, but they understand the basics. This means that they can understand when things are going well – and when things aren’t going so well. Moses could genuinely feel the emotions of being abandoned; he wanted to prove to his family that he loved them and wanted to stay.

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Desperate for Love

What Nancy Klein realized was that Moses was so much more than any other dog. He was aware. He knew what was going on. He knew what his family was doing. And he didn’t want to let them go. However, his emotional attempts didn’t seem to phase his owners – he didn’t get the reaction he wanted. So, he looked for help elsewhere. He soon became so desperate that he looked for comfort from all of the other humans in the room.

Moses doesn't want to let go of his owner, he seems to know he's being left

A Lap Dog

The room was full of staff members, volunteers, and families – and Moses made his way around all of them. He ran up to a young boy and his mother who were standing in the lobby as if pleading with them to take him with them. He then found his way to Nancy, who knew immediately that this was one of the sweetest dogs she’d ever met. Moses crawled onto her lap, and almost pleaded with her to take him with her.

Moses desperately looks for someone to love him

The Power of Facebook

Nancy’s heart sank when she saw how desperate Moses was to find a loving family, and saw how much he didn’t want to be left in the shelter. She knew that she had to do something; it took a lot of strength to stop herself from taking him herself. She hoped that Moses’ loving nature would speak for itself, so she posted about the ordeal online, with a video of the gut-wrenching scenes, to try and find him a new family.

Nancy posted about Moses on social media, to try and get him out of the shelter ASAP

Moses’s Abandoners

The story soon reached hundreds of people, with many having their own opinions about the family’s decision to surrender Moses. The family soon came under intense scrutiny and criticism from dog and animal lovers across the world. The internet is an open forum, and as such, people should prepare to hear out the opinions of others. Both good and bad. Unfortunately for the family, there weren’t many good. People just couldn’t understand how they’d be so cruel and abandon Moses.

The handsome Moses posing for his portait

They Left Him

Although they agreed that they did the best thing by surrendering him to a shelter, they disagreed with their reasons for leaving him, and many thought they should have done more. Some people even believed they should have been punished for doing so… It didn’t seem fair that they could just dump the dog they rescued in the first place. Perhaps they should have found somewhere else to live, that did accept pets. People were unhappy that Moses had been abandoned.

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A Dog is for Life

Many people truly believe that a dog is for life, and that they soon become part of the family – so they should have done more to keep Moses within theirs. One social media user has since said that families and owners who surrender their dogs or pets due to moving home ‘should never be allowed to adopt pets again.’ They went on to say that they should have chosen a new home that does allow pets, to keep Moses.

Moses should have stayed with his family for the rest of his life

For the Best

The whole ordeal soon became a worldwide debate, with people from across the globe giving their input; some were even less forgiving. Another social media user criticized the family for treating Moses like trash, and discarding him as if he meant nothing to them. However, there were other people who realized that no one but the family knows the true circumstances behind their decision, and the decision they made could have been the best for the welfare of Moses.

Moses looks happy, but he is upset inside

The Search Begins

People soon began to defend the family and their decision, with many being thankful that the family decided to surrender Moses to a shelter which will care for him and find him a new loving home rather than something worse. However, regardless of the family, the circumstances and their reasoning, all of the followers of Moses’ story all came to the same conclusion – they wanted a happy ending for the pitbull. Because this whole ordeal showed that he deserved it.

The people of the internet came to Moses's rescue, once they got word of his situation

He’s Not the Only One

The story surrounding Moses is an extraordinary one – and just shows us that dogs are so much more intelligent and aware than most of us think. Although he had lots of people working on his side, it doesn’t make his ordeal any easier. Yet, it isn’t just Moses who goes through this. There have been hundreds of cases across the globe where dogs have been aware of the fact that they were being surrendered. They are capable of so many emotions – they just want love.

It happens to other dogs too

Unbroken Bond

Although they cannot understand deep and developed human emotions as we can, they exhibit the same sort of emotions as a toddler. If you’ve ever been around children or have had a child yourself, you will know that toddlers are incredibly emotional – and one of their main emotions is love, especially for the family. You have a bond, and if that bond is broken – your toddler, or dog, will most likely cry. Just like Moses and his family.

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If You Must

Dr. Stanley Coren went on to expand on the idea of your dog’s emotions in his Psychology Today article. Whether you’re that kind of owner or not, one of the reasons your dog lets you put on that crazy outfit (complete with wig and little shoes), is because it feels no shame. However, your dog will still feel an intense connection, bond, and love for you, and this is something we need to value more often.

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Awesome Update

Nancy Klein’s post on Facebook was shared so many times and reached so many people that it didn’t take a loving new family to adopt him. (Yay!) She updated her Facebook post to reveal that she had an ‘AWESOME UPDATE’ from the Stanislaus Animal Services Agency. Moses was adopted by a new family, and even has new two children to play with – and it’s said that they absolutely adore him and smother him with affection. We expect nothing less!

Awesome update

Love Them: Always

Despite his horrific ordeal in the animal shelter, Moses proved to his old family, his new family, Nancy Klein, the other volunteers and the world how brave and truly powerful dogs can be. And that their emotions are just like those of your child. Moses got his happy ending, but there are still thousands of pitbulls and other dogs out there who still need a new and loving forever home. So, fancy another child? But remember: love them. Always.*sobs*

Remember to always love your pup, because he will always love you back