A senior dog returned to a shelter in Texas for a heartbreaking reason is searching for a new home to avoid euthanasia.

Star, a 10-year-old female boxer and treeing Tennessee brindle mix, was adopted at nine years old, but just a year later she was returned to Fort Worth Animal Control after she was “peeing blood.”

“Star is the sweetest girl,” The Foster Adopt Rescue (FAR) Network, which helps spread the word about animals listed for euthanasia in the U.S., told Newsweek. “The volunteer that met her was so happy she was adopted and absolutely devastated when she learned she was returned.”

Despite her age, Star remains a gentle and loving companion, known for her low energy, compatibility with children and easy-going nature.

Star the dog
Pictures of Star, back in the shelter in Fort Worth, Texas. At 10 years old, without an adopter soon she will be euthanized.
The FAR Network

Shelter volunteer DeeAnn Skinner described Star on Facebook as a dog that is “content sitting next to you, enjoying short walks, or simply soaking up the sun with some fresh air.”

“When I noticed her back in the website, my heart was shattered,” Skinner told Newsweek. “I went to see her on my lunch break—she was terrified and just wanted to hide behind me when I brought her out of the kennel. There was a lot of blood in her urine on her kennel floor. She had a medical sheet on her kennel card and was put on antibiotics. I checked on her last on Saturday and she seems to be doing better. She was excited to see me and doing her happy dance again.”

Each year, 6.3 million pets are surrendered to U.S. shelters, which is an average of 17,260 a day, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The number of dogs and cats taken in by pet shelters hit 46,807 during January 2023, an increase of 1,744 compared with January 2022, the 24Pet ‘Shelter Watch Report’ found.

Around 920,000 surrendered animals are euthanized every year. Shelters are striving to minimize euthanasia rates by promoting adoption campaigns, spaying and neutering programs, and behavior rehabilitation.

The reasons for euthanasia in shelters often include running out of space, staffing issues and a lack of resources to care for the volume of animals needing help.

Star’s fate now hangs in the balance as she faces the “Code Red” status, indicating that her time in the shelter is running out.

“There is no interest that I know of yet. If she’s not adopted, she will most likely become code red,” said The FAR Network.

Without a loving home soon, the shelter may have to make the difficult decision to euthanize her.

The FAR Network shared a video of Star on TikTok, where she has captured some attention, with many sharing their heartbreak at her story.

Dawn Hadley said: “God forbid they take her to a Dr. instead of a shelter!”

While TikTok user sublime377 said: “This is extremely sad.”

“This poor soul deserves so much better than this,” said another commenter. “I hope she gets the care she needs and the love she deserves.”

Star is currently at Fort Worth Animal Control North in Fort Worth, Texas.

“Star’s ideal home would be an only dog home,” Skinner said. “She’s a calm senior and loves humans so much, she wants them all to herself. And a nice cozy bed close to her human to live out her golden years.

“Star is on borrowed time. She was once a last call dog for ‘time at the shelter’ and ‘space’ so her status will go back to last call at any time. Once her status goes last call, that means her euthanasia day is set. We are praying we can find her a home before that happens.”

Update 11/06/2023 at 6:58 a.m. ET: This article was updated with additional comments.