Homeless Teen Unable to Feed Dog, Surrenders 'Devastated' Pet to Shelter

A homeless teenager who said he couldn't afford to feed his dog was left with no choice but to surrender his pet to a Mississippi animal shelter.

The 17-year-old was reportedly living under a bridge when he had to surrender Jada, a 4-month-old Rottweiler/Shepherd mix, "because he couldn't give her what she needs," the Senatobia Tate Animal Shelter said in a Facebook post.

The animal shelter shared a photograph of the dog lying on the floor after the teenager left her on Tuesday.

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"This is where she laid after her owner surrendered her today with her plastic bag of dog food and a blanket. She is devastated," the post read.

After the post garnered attention on social media, the shelter said many have asked what they can do to help the dog and the teenager.

The shelter said Friday that the 17-year-old now has a place to stay and "will be soon getting his dog back."

The shelter said it is hoping to get the animal spayed, and get enough flea, tick and heart worm prevention to last for at least one year.

"I know he would appreciate the help, both for him and for his dog. I will make sure everything gets to them—thanks everyone for your concern for both of them—the response from people everywhere has been touching," the post read.

The Senatobia Tate Animal Shelter said it was also accepting donations to help the teenager.

"You can also donate for the young man—monetarily or Walmart gift cards—I know he would appreciate the help, both for him and for his dog," the post said. "I will make sure everything gets to them - thanks everyone for your concern for both of them- the response from people everywhere has been touching."

"I hope his selfless actions have made people think about the animals in this community- they deserve a chance, they don't deserve to be dumped anywhere," the shelter said.

The shelter's Facebook post added: "Please consider donating to your local shelters to help them spay and neuter all the animals in their care—for their health and so that there are not as many unwanted litters of babies."

According to the non-profit organization American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), about 6.3 million companion animals are brought to animal shelters in the United States annually. Of this figure, approximately 3.2 million are cats and 3.1 million are dogs.

Newsweek has contacted the Senatobia Tate Animal Shelter for additional comment.

According to Fox13, the Senatobia Police Department said the teenager was located with the assistance of several community members, and that he is currently safe.

Mixed breed dog
Stock photo of a big mixed breed dog giving his paw to a man through the lattice while sitting in shelter kennel. A homeless teenager who said he couldn’t afford to feed his dog was forced to surrender his pet to a Mississippi animal shelter. Stock Photo/Getty Images

Update: 04/09/22, 11:05 a.m. ET: This article was updated with additional quotes and background information.