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Dog abandoned near middle school to find new home through shelter lottery

Max, an 18-month old maltipoo, will be put up for adoption on Wednesday at the Burbank Animal Shelter.
(Courtesy of Samantha Harmon)

An abandoned dog found wandering the streets of Burbank may have a new home for the holidays.

His name is Max, at least according to a note attached to his collar when he was found Thursday afternoon near John Muir Middle School by resident Samantha Harmon.

“Hi I’m Max/I’m 18 months/I’m alone/Take me,” the note read.

Harmon said she heard barking outside her house Thursday and, when she stepped outside, she found a little black dog running around and dragging a harness behind him.


As she and her neighbor approached Max, he did his best to avoid being captured. In the midst of running around, the note fell off him, and Harmon read the few words that were written on it.

“I read the note and realized that I couldn’t let the dog just stay in the street,” Harmon said.

Harmon said she called the dog by his name, and, to her surprise, he ran over to her and allowed her to pick him up.

“He’s just the sweetest little dog,” she said.


Harmon, who is raising a 6-month-old puppy herself, said she had never seen Max being walked in the neighborhood. Because of the harness, she thought at first the dog was lost, but the note changed her mind.

Soon after she found him, Harmon’s father dropped off Max at the Burbank Animal Shelter.

Abandoned pets being found is a familiar scenario to Stacie Levin, an officer with the shelter. Though not commonplace, Levin said she’s seen her fair share of pets abandoned with a note attached to them.

“It’s really sad because we’re available,” Levin said. “We’re here and open, and they could have just dropped [Max] off and relinquished him. That would have been fine, but just let him go — if that’s the case — with a note is just really sad.”

She said Max looked like he was well-fed before he was abandoned and was deemed healthy by the veterinarians at the animal shelter.

Based on his health, Levin said she thinks Max was recently let go and would not have survived had he not been found.

“He’s been getting a lot of attention right now,” Levin said. “He’s a nice little dog.”

Because no tags or chip were found on Max, the animal shelter will hold a lottery at 10 a.m. Wednesday to see who will get the chance to adopt the maltipoo.


The shelter will randomly pick someone after all of the entries are received. However, Levin said winning the lottery does not guarantee Max will leave with the winner.

“Whoever gets picked will go through a screening process to make sure that he goes to a good home and a permanent home,” she said. “We want to make sure that he’s not just a Christmas present or an adoption being made on a whim. We want to make sure that whoever is going to be adopting him is going to be able to keep him for the next 15 to 16 years of his life.”

To enter the lottery, participants must be at the animal shelter at 10 a.m. with identification. Entrants will receive a ticket with a number, which will be randomly drawn by officials.

The Burbank Animal Shelter is at 1150 N. Victory Place, Burbank.

Twitter: @acocarpio