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This Woman Found A Cold Dog Tied To A Tree, Then She Saw A Heartbreaking Note

Abandoned in a Park

Image: CBS Baltimore

It was a freezing cold day in 2018 when a young woman discovered a two-year-old American Bulldog tied to a tree and left to fend for itself in a park. Scared and alone, the frightened dog broke the passerby’s heart.


Determined to do everything she could for him, she then saw a note that made her break down in tears.

A Breath of Fresh Air

Image: CBS Baltimore

It was a freezing morning at Patterson Park on January 13, 2018, when Stephanie Dagenhart decided to take a stroll with her dogs to get some fresh air. While enjoying the morning, Stephanie noticed a lone American Bulldog tied next to a tree. Freezing cold and seemingly abandoned, she was absolutely shocked someone would leave the dog alone.

Being an avid animal-lover, she knew she had to help him.

Freezing and Somber

Image: CBS Baltimore

Dagenhart told ABC News,“He was just sitting there so somber and freezing cold. I could not get that out of my head he was shaking so hard from being cold.”

To say she was appalled would be an understatement.

To Rescue or Not to Rescue?

Image: Scribol

Realizing he was in desperate need of help, Dagenhart decided to take him to BARCS, the Baltimore Animal Rescue, and Care Shelter. Unfortunately, the dog was not in the mood to be approached by strangers. Understanding he needed space and some time before being approached, she decided to just sit with the dog so he wouldn’t be alone.

Taking to Social Media

Image: Scribol

While she offered the pup companionship, Dagenhart knew time was of the essence. She immediately called the police to get in touch with someone from the animal welfare department, and also reached out to her local community on social media via Facebook.

“Losing faith in humanity here… found this pup tied up… He’s too scared to let me approach. Anyone recognize him?”

The Sad Note

Image: CBS Baltimore

While waiting for help, Dagenhart noticed a note in the grass next to the dog. When she read it her heart just dropped. The note stated:“My name is Duke. Here’s my favorite toy and my food. I am looking for a new home.”

How could anyone just abandon this sweet baby?

Soothing Duke

Image: Scribol

As someone who adored her own dogs, Dagenhart couldn’t help but be emotional for Duke. She immediately started using his name, hoping to soothe his spirit and let him know that he wasn’t alone.

It was then something absolutely amazing happened.

Coming to His Aid

Image: Scribol

After reading Dagenhart’s Facebook post, local neighbors began to show up at the park. They brought towels, blankets, and treats for Duke, wanting to show him love and soothe his fears. Some even offered up ideas to make him feel more comfortable.

Off to the Shelter

Image: Scribol

Thankfully, it only took the animal control officers an hour to show up and they immediately took poor Duke to BARCS, which is where Dagenhart had wanted him to go in the first place. Immediately, the rescue was flooded with adoption requests for Duke thanks to Dagenhart’s social media posting.

However, there was one legal hitch that prevented him from being adopted.

A Mandatory Three Day Hold

Image: Scribol

It was explained by BARCS director of communication, Bailey Deacon, that due to state law, Duke would have to be on a mandatory 72-hour stray hold. This was simply because Duke’s owners had not officially surrendered him. However, once the hold was over he would be eligible for adoption.

Would this poor baby finally find a family that wanted him?

A New Home from Duke

Image: Scribol

Deacon went on to confirm that the note that was left did reveal his owners weren’t interested in keeping him and that she was positive they would find him the perfect home. She also noted that Duke was a big sweetie pie now that he was being taken care of and no longer out in the cold.

Ready to Meet New People

Image: Scribol

Six days after his rescue, Duke was settling into life at the shelter and doing extremely well. According to Deacon,“He is very trusting and enthusiastic to meet new people. His smile is infectious, and his tail is always wagging. He’s the type of dog that thinks everyone in the room or walking by is there especially just for him.”

It’s shocking anyone would want to give him up, right?

Public Outpouring of Love

Image: WMAR Baltimore

Duke’s original rescuer, Dagenhart spoke out about the amazing community support for Duke.“I think he kind of captured everyone’s hearts because he’s so adorable and looked so stoic just sitting around that tree.”

How Could Someone Do This?

Image: WMAR Baltimore

Despite the positive outpouring of love and support for Duke, some people on Facebook had a few things to say about the owners who left the sweet dog.

One Facebook user stated,“I couldn’t imagine the frustration or the anger that someone would have to put a dog on a tree and tie it up like that. I guess they got the reaction or what they were looking for.”

Don’t Thank Me

Image: Scribol

The media and social media commenters had much praise for Dagenhart and her rescue, but she wasn’t one to be showered with compliments. According to Dagenhart, it wasn’t a choice for her. She saw a sweet animal in need of help and simply acted. Now, she hopes he finds a wonderful home and lives out a happy life.

Animals Deserve to Be Cared For

Image: Scribol

Our pets are our companions. They dish out unconditional love, even when we are not at our best. They deserve to be cared for and loved in return. Now, it’s also important to state they there are many different ways to surrender an animal that can’t be cared for any longer. It’s a choice to do the right thing.

Every pet deserves a loving home. We’re happy Duke is getting a second lease on life.