A heartwarming moment as a shelter dog’s life is on the line forces immediate action

“We had to pull her, we had to save her!”

A local shelter in Texas was over capacity and had to make the tough decision to start putting down animals who would have a hard time getting adopted. A painfully shy golden retriever named Darla was on that list.

When employees at the shelter tried to take Darla to be put down, she was too scared to walk — so they loaded her into a wheelbarrow and began wheeling her down the hallway.

At that moment, members of Austin Pets Alive! (APA!) were walking through the shelter. They were there to help the overworked and overcrowded shelter by taking some of the shelter’s animals into their care. They took one look at Darla cowering in the wheelbarrow and knew she was leaving with them.

“We had to pull her, we had to save her,” Jordana Moerbe, APA!’s national shelter support director, said in a press release. “We hope that she’s able to come out of her shell and be the happy puppy she deserves to be. It’s what every one of the pets in the shelter deserves, and that’s what we’re working so hard for.”

No one ever wants to have to put down animals due to overcrowding, and that’s why APA! uses their resources to step in and help save lives that would otherwise be lost.


Once Darla was safely in the care of APA!, she received a full medical checkup to make sure she was doing OK. They realized she was only 8 months old and still had her whole life ahead of her. They sent word about Darla to their rescue partners across the country and found her a place with Mile High Lab Rescue in Denver, Colorado. Even though she was still so scared, they knew that with time and love, anything was possible.

Darla is now safe and sound in the care of her foster family and learning how to be a dog. She almost lost her life that day, and instead she gets to live out the rest of her life knowing what true love is.

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