'First and foremost, we are so sorry you had to part with your best friend. It's evident just how much you loved her,' the message said.
Editor's Note: This article was originally published on May 6, 2022. It has since been updated.
The Wisconsin Humane Society (WHS) is fighting hate with compassion. It all began when Baby Girl—a nearly 6-year-old mixed breed canine—was found tied to a fire hydrant at the corner of East Walnut Street and South Clay Street in Green Bay. Photos of the abandoned pup received a massive response after locals shared them on social media, sparking an emotional reaction from countless people who chastised the dog's owner for abandoning the canine in such a manner. "Cannot believe someone could do this," wrote one Facebook user, sharing that they sat with the dog "for an hour keeping her warm waiting for someone to come back, but no one did."
According to WFRV-TV, Baby Girl was found with a backpack filled with food, treats and toys as well as a note from the dog's owner, identifying the canine and explaining why they could no longer take care of the pet. Rescuers eventually transported the pooch to WHS' Green Bay campus, where she was receiving lots of TLC from the staff while serving her mandatory stray hold. "We regularly work to make sure that surrender fees are not a barrier to those needing to rehome their pet and although we request a surrender appointment be made in advance, we do take in emergency surrenders if necessary. It’s important to us that the community knows we are a supportive, welcoming resource for those in need," the nonprofit said in a statement.
WHS also posted a message on its Facebook page addressing the owner of the dog with compassion. "You may have seen this recent photo of a dog tied to a fire hydrant here in Green Bay and we understand it evokes a strong emotional response. She's currently in our care serving her mandatory stray hold and is doing great. As her story gains attention locally and beyond, we wanted to take a moment to address Baby Girl's previous owner directly," the post reads.
"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," they wrote. "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."
"While we'll never let fees be a barrier and we welcome anonymous surrenders, we see that you did what you thought was best for your beloved pup and we are grateful for your compassion. Rest assured that she's safe, she's getting tons of attention from our team, and she's on track to finding her next loving family very soon. We wish you all the best and hope that if you see this, you can rest a little easier knowing your Baby Girl has a bright future ahead," the post concludes.
Speaking to WITI, a staff member said: "There was a note left. And it was really, to us, an act of desperation." They explained that the WHS shared the heartwarming message "after seeing several days of people attacking and vilifying" Baby Girl's owner. "Our post today was beautifully received by a community who loves animals and are now seeing the humanity in this situation," she added.