‘Amazing’ 13-year-old dog needs new home after owner checks into rehab

After spending the last 13 years in a loving home, Gracie Lou was dropped off at the Humane Society of Manatee County on Tuesday afternoon.

The owner of the black Labrador mix gave the dog to a stranger in the parking lot of the Lowe’s shopping center in Bradenton. At 4 p.m. Tuesday, the dog was brought to the Humane Society with a bag of toys and a letter from the owner.

“I am sorry to leave this amazing animal with you, but I am in no position to take care of her properly. I am checking myself into a rehab,” the letter read. “You have no idea how this is affecting me.”

Now the Bradenton shelter is asking the community to adopt Gracie Lou, who is heartworm negative with normal bloodwork, so the 13-year-old dog can spend the remainder of her life in a home instead of a shelter. The Humane Society, which is located at 2515 14th St. W., Bradenton, can be reached at 941-747-8808 ext. 313.

“She certainly wants to be near people,” said Brenna Beightol, Humane Society of Manatee County shelter manager.

Gracie Lou is deaf but appears to be good around other animals, Beightol said, adding that there wouldn’t be an adoption fee.

Gracie Lou is one of 79 owner surrenders brought to the Humane Society of Manatee County since May 1, according to Beightol, who gets about 20 phone calls a day from people wanting to surrender their animal.

“This time of year is a very big strain on rescues and shelters,” she said. “We deal with high volume of owner surrenders throughout the year for variety of reasons.”

If someone is planning on surrendering their animal, “time is the biggest friend to anyone that needs to re-home a pet,” Beightol said.

“Notice is really helpful and honesty is a really huge help to be able to place the animal correctly,” she added.

Claire Aronson: 941-745-7024, @Claire_Aronson