'So hopeful': Connecticut rescue’s social media post goes viral, saves dog’s life

Last week, BARC CT relayed some heartbreaking news on Facebook about Leo, who’d been ignored by every potential adopter for three years.

Marissa Alter

Apr 19, 2023, 7:03 AM

Updated 366 days ago


Sometimes, all it takes for an overlooked dog to get some much-deserved love is a little social media fame. Just look at Leo, a longtime dog with Bridgeport Animal Rescue Crew of Connecticut, whose rescue journey may end as a happy tale.
Last week, BARC CT relayed some heartbreaking news on Facebook about Leo, who’d been ignored by every potential adopter for three years. The animal advocacy and rescue organization posted:
"After three excruciating years of begging and pleading, this dog has remained homeless, without a family. We have tried everything. We spared no effort, cost, or amount of time. But after three years, Leo has become so depressed living this way that we've been advised it might be best to put him at rest. Yes, that means euthanasia."
It was a last-ditch effort, according to BARC CT co-founder Jocelyn Baum.
“Leo is a fantastic dog. He loves kids. He loves people. He loves his tennis balls. He loves to play outside. He's a great dog, but here's the issue. He’s what we call the trifecta,” Baum explained. “Unfortunately, within shelters and rescues, dogs with all black fur tend to have less interest than other dogs, so that’s one. He's a pit bull so unfortunately with all the misinformation about pit bulls, they tend to bear the brunt of that type of ignorance, so that’s two.” The third, according to Baum, is Leo cannot be around other dogs.
BARC CT’s post also talked about Leo’s lack of quality of life and explained why the rescue was looking at putting Leo down:
“Living a life locked up in a cage without proper love or care or stability is the opposite of rescue. Living that way for over 36 long, lonely months and 27,000 hours of near solitary confinement is simply cruel. Could you live this way? More importantly, could you, in good conscience, sit by and watch someone suffer in this way? The truth is, there is no end in sight for the suffering for Leo because not a single soul in the last three years has wanted to adopt this dog."
That is, until the post about Leo went viral. Within a day, it was shared 23,000 times. Baum said the nonprofit received 70-80 applications, including ones from Canada and Australia.
“We see so many unfortunate things when we're dealing with animal rescue and how these poor voiceless beings are treated and handled, so when we do a post and it reaches, and it speaks to the heart of so many people, it gives us new hope, right? So, we're just grateful,” Baum told News 12.
Leo is no longer at risk for being put down, according to Baum. She said BARC has narrowed the applications to two families in the tri-state and is working to determine who will be the best match for a forever family.
“We are so hopeful that this will be—that this is his chance, this is it for him. We are so hopeful,” Baum said.
Baum told News 12 BARC CT has about 20 dogs right now up for adoption. She also reminded people to check with their local shelters since so many are overwhelmed with animals right now.
“It’s unfortunate that dogs need a viral post to get the attention they deserve to find the home they deserve,” said Baum.

More from News 12