Owning an animal is a tremendous responsibility. They become an important part of our lives once we keep them as pets. It takes more to look after a new dog or cat than just a love of them; you have to be ready to dedicate a fair chunk of your life to their care and upkeep.
Not everyone has what it takes to be good to animals, for one reason or another, though. Such is the story of Tori the dog, whose owners weren’t able to give her what she needed with truly tragic results…
For years, Tori the dog lived happily with Oksana and Alexander Urusov. Their two young children adored the pup and it really seemed that Tori was a part of the family, appearing in countless family photographs.
That’s why what Alexander did to her is so shocking and heartbreaking. When he and his wife Oksana were flying to Germany to see their kids, they decided to bring Tori along…
However, at the airport, officials quickly discovered that Alexander did not have the paperwork necessary to bring Tori on the plane. Unless they acquired this, Tori would have to stay behind.
Alexander and Olga were stressed at first, but soon Alexander came up with an idea. He told the airport officials he would call a friend to get the dog, and he carried her outside in her carrier bag to wait for her pick-up.
What really happened, however, couldn’t have been more different than that plan. Alexander never called a friend to retrieve the dog like he told airport officials. He instead stooped to the lowest depths of irresponsibility…
Alexander put his own needs above the needs of his pet, and actually hid Tori outside the airport terminal where no one could easily see her. Then he went back inside just in time to catch his flight.
Three days later, Oksana posted a message to a local website searching for Tori. The guilt was too much for her to handle, so she shared a description of their sweet pooch, admitting what she and Alexander had done.
Oksana’s message read: “Our children can’t stop crying, please can you help? We’re ready to pay the fine. We had to leave her at the airport… they didn’t take her on board at check in as we were flying to Hamburg to see our children.”
Animal protective services raced to the airport to try and find the abandoned dog. Alexander had hidden her so well that they needed the help of airport security and CCTV tapes to find the dog’s location.
When they found Tori, it was too late. She was still there, but tragically she had frozen to death in the single-digit temperatures. Tori was hunkered down inside her carrier bag, waiting for her humans who would return far, far too late.
When people found out about this horrific incident, not only were they outraged, but a petition was started to have the owners charged for their cruelty. Hopefully the courts do, in fact, hold them accountable for their atrocious action.
As much as you’d like to believe that Tori’s story was the only incident of a helpless dog being left alone at an airport, it wasn’t. One afternoon at the McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, Nevada, a security guard found something in the bathroom that broke their heart…
A three-year-old pup was alone in a stall, and his owner was nowhere in sight! The poor dog had been abandoned, but there was something especially upsetting about this particular incident…
The dog, whose name was Chewy, had a note attached to him explaining why his owner had left him. She was apparently fleeing an abusive relationship, and she didn’t have the money to bring Chewy along with her.
The security guard quickly contacted local rescue organization, Connor and Millie’s Dog Rescue. An employee named Darlene Blair, a passionate animal lover, happily picked up the pup so he could be cared for by professionals.
According to the note, Chewy had been kicked in the head by his owner’s boyfriend, and he may have suffered serious brain trauma. Chewy’s owner hoped someone would give him proper medical care, but was his health in too serious of a condition to help?
Fortunately, Chewy’s initial veterinary exams turned out okay! Even though he had come from a violent home, he seemed so much more chipper now that he was surrounded by love and affection.
After a few days at the rescue shelter, Chewy’s playful personality completely came out. The employees were overjoyed that he was getting used to his surroundings, and he wasn’t letting the experience in the airport restroom negatively affect him.
When interviewed about his rescue by a local news reporter, Chewy was all smiles. He was probably thinking, “Life was ‘ruff’ for a while, but luckily the amazing people at Connor and Millie’s gave me a second chance!”
Thankfully, Chewy’s story unfolded differently than Tori’s, but an important lesson can be learned from both: even when you can no longer care for an animal, make sure it ends up in good hands. Also, you always have to keep an eye out for pets in need.
In early 2017, Blanca Cushman and her cousin were out shopping in their hometown of Lexington, South Carolina. Little did they know that this seemingly ordinary afternoon was about to take an unexpected turn.
As the pair left their local mall, they noticed something unusual in the neighboring parking lot. Upon closer inspection, Blanca and her cousin came upon a heartbreaking sight behind a dumpster.
There, sitting among piles of trash, was a lone dog. Judging by the look of the small terrier, this poor pup was just about six years old.
A hastily written note gave them everything they needed to know about him. The note, scribbled with a pink marker on a discarded bath tile, read: “Free Pup. Name is Scooter. Owner Went to Jail Today.”
Unwilling to abandon the already panicked and terrified dog, Blanca took to Facebook to spread the word about Scooter. Hopefully, she could get in touch with someone that could help her find Scooter’s owner.
After images of Scooter circulated the internet, a woman named Paula Langford came to the rescue. Being a part of the local foster rescue organization, South Eastern Homeless Animals (SEHA), she had plenty of connections within the animal care community…
“I just reached out to them and said, ‘I’ll take the dog,” Langford said in an interview. “‘I have a microchip scanner, I’ll get him scanned and validate the story first. And then we’ll get him wherever it is that he belongs.'”
Later that day, Langford drove out to a Lexington gas station to meet with Blanca and take Scooter into her care. As soon as she saw him, Langford knew that Scooter wasn’t just an abandoned pet.
Scooter had been left with an expensive carrying case, a pricey collar, and a bag of grain-free dog food. Even to the untrained eye, it was easy to tell that Scooter had been a well-loved member of someone’s family.
After Langford had taken Scooter into her care, the dog finally began to calm down. Once she scooped him up in her arms, Scooter became visibly more relaxed.
“He was a bit nervous, but very sweet and very loving,” said Langford. “He wanted to cuddle. It was kind of precious, because on the way home, he kind of laid his head on my chest and just did this big sigh, and kind of melted into me and went back to sleep.”
Instead of putting Scooter into a foster home, Langford decided to take the exhausted pup home herself. She knew that a dog like this needed all the love and affection he could get.
Langford later scanned Scooter’s chip and was surprised at what she found. After speaking with the microchip company, she discovered that Scooter had been lost twice before: once in Colorado in 2015, and once Florida in 2016. What was Scooter doing all the way out in South Carolina?
After some more digging, Langford was able to get in contact with the officer that had arrested Scooter’s owner. To her astonishment, the officer informed her that they had been taken into custody at the very same parking lot Scooter was found!
Chattanooga Times Free Press
“When he was arrested,” Langford relayed, “[his owner’s] main concern was that his dog did not go to the shelter, so he handed his belongings, his money, his backpack, his carrying bag and his beloved dog to his friends and asked them to ensure that the dog was safe.”
Eric Dugwyler / Facebook
But instead of caring for Scooter they simply left him in the street. While an arrest warrant was later issued for these so-called friends, the pup was still no closer to being reunited with his family. But Langford knew she couldn’t give up…
Langford was finally able to get in touch with Scooter’s owner’s mother, who lived all the way out in Colorado. The mother happily agreed to take Scooter from Langford, and so the two women arranged to meet halfway in Nebraska to hand the homesick pup over.
Eric Dugwyler / Facebook
For Langford, the trip rounded out at 2,700 miles and took nearly 24 hours of driving to complete. It definitely took a toll on the mother of three, but reuniting a beloved pet with its worried family would be worth every minute behind the wheel.
When Langford arrived at the mother’s home in Colorado, both dog and owner were thrilled to be together again. In Langford’s mind, this was what being an animal lover was all about.
“It was a very touching and emotional reunion, and it was quite obvious that Scooter was very happy to see his family again,” Langford said. “I am 100 percent confident in my decision to reunite this beloved pup with his family.”