It starts out with five friendly words that almost mask the sadness of his situation: “Hi, my name is Buddy.”
That’s how a note left with a dog abandoned at the Henry County Humane Society in Geneseo, Illinois, begins, and the message that follows breaks the heart.
According to the Geneseo Republic, who reported the story and first shared the text of the letter, Buddy was discovered in a small cage on May 21 outside a new shelter that is currently under construction. There was no telling, officials told the newspaper, how long the fluffy pooch had been there.
“Hi, my name is Buddy. I have all my shots. I took flea medication today. I have outgrown the apartment I live in and [I am] in need of a new home with a big yard to run in and [I] am amazing with children. It is very hard for me to leave a home where I am very loved and cherished, but I hope I can bring joy to my new family.”
In a Facebook post shared on Saturday, the shelter said that it hoped the dog’s story, which had gotten quite a bit of attention, likely due to Buddy’s adorable face, would shine a light on other animals in need there.
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“As you have seen by now, Buddy the Labradoodle is quite the star. For the wrong reasons of course, but a star just the same. If you don’t know what I am talking about, check out his story here on our Facebook page,” it said, introducing a handful of other pets who need homes.
“While excitement of saving that Labradoodle’s life is a full steam, maybe those who do not get him, will take a moment to check out the others. Listen to their stories. And find that those other dogs are souls searching as well,” it reads.
The shelter tells PEOPLE in an email that Buddy is going to the vet on Tuesday to get vaccinations and that no more adoption applications are being accepted at this time. The shelter manager is currently “wading through” all of the applications it has already received.
To see other animals available at the shelter, visit its website. To give funds to a dog yard now being named after Buddy, visit their donation page and select “New Shelter Fund.”