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Dog Who Harms Himself From Stress, Sits By Door Waiting For It To Open

Written by: Julie Hunt
Julie Hunt is an avid dog lover and writer for, and has a background as a veterinary technician. She rescued a beautiful former bait dog named Rory.Read more
| Published on May 23, 2024

It is often said that patience is rewarded, but this isn’t always the case. An eight-year-old dog named Rocky had waited for many years, yet his moments of joy never seemed to materialize. Instead, his life spiraled into greater hardship, leaving him struggling for survival. Rocky ended up in a shelter on the brink of being euthanized, with no one to rescue him. Despite the bleak outlook, Rocky held on. A TikTok channel, ‘Shelter Dogs of AZ,’ posted a touching video of Rocky, a black-and-white dog, waiting by the shelter door each day, hoping to be adopted.


Unfortunately, there seemed to be little interest in him, which deeply saddened him. Throughout his life, Rocky had faced continual disappointment with his owners. His first owner attempted to sell him on Facebook Marketplace, and his second owner handed him over to an Arizona-based animal shelter.

The effect on Rocky’s emotional well-being was profound. After being surrendered to Maricopa County Animal Care & Control in Phoenix, Arizona, Rocky began to self-harm within his kennel, resulting in injuries. The shelter’s environment caused him severe stress and made him difficult to handle. He reacted poorly to other dogs and developed a tendency to try to escape.


Katie Gerlach, creator of the viral TikTok video, told Newsweek: “Per shelter policies, Rocky was given a five-day deadline”. He was added to the euthanasia list and was at risk of being put down if not rescued within that period. This urgency led Gerlach to publicize Rocky’s plight on social media, hoping to find him a rescue home and save his life. “The shelter has changed Rocky’s status and he is no longer adoptable to the general public. He can ONLY be saved by a New Hope rescue. We need an only dog adopted or foster + funds for a rescue to save his life,” Gerlach detailed in her video.

New Hope rescues are designed for dogs that have significant medical or behavioral challenges, making them unsuitable for general adoption. Rocky required a dedicated and experienced person to advocate for him. As the days went by, hope dwindled. Rocky became more desperate, watching for a rescuer as his time dwindled. Miraculously, just before his scheduled euthanasia, a local rescue group called Rescue Street stepped in.


Ultimately, Rocky’s patience was rewarded. Despite overwhelming odds, his life took another unexpected turn—this time towards hope. A compassionate individual decided to end his long period of loneliness and despair. Rocky is currently in a boarding situation but is hopeful for a permanent home soon. The most important outcome is that he is now safe and has the prospect of brighter days ahead.

PUPDATE: Since the original publication of Rocky’s story, he has found his forever home! Rocky will enjoy a life full of love and acceptance, just as he deserves.

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♬ Somewhere only we know cover – Sofía

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