A moving image of a stray dog clutching a broken teddy bear captured the nation's attention, but it also divided animal lovers about the pup's future.
The abandoned teddy bear was used as a pillow for the stray dog as he dozed off while lying on the sidewalk.
The photographer, Yvette Holzbach, captioned this image: "Here is a stray dog finding comfort in an old, broken toy. How many of the canines that we see are similarly dumped on the street once they have served their purpose?
People were deeply moved by this terrible photograph and curious to know what had happened to the dog, which caused the image to go viral.
While many expressed their sympathies, some wondered why Yvette didn't intervene to save the puppy rather than just taking a picture and leaving.
Her comment exemplifies both the gravity of the problem nationwide and the sheer number of stray dogs in this particular area.
finds forever homes
Yvette spends her time rescuing abandoned puppies in one of Houston, Texas's most impoverished neighborhoods while working for a group called Forgotten Dogs of the 5th Ward.
She and her colleagues patrol the area, photograph abandoned dogs to help discover their owners, have them spayed or neutered, provide any necessary medical attention, and most importantly, find some of the dogs foster or permanent homes.
But the sheer number of stray dogs on the streets is too much for Yvette and her coworkers to handle. As a result, she issued the following response to everyone who condemned her on Facebook.
"We may feed up to 50 stray dogs on a single feeding trip. She wrote on the website for Forgotten Pets of the 5th Ward, "Of those 50 puppies, we are fortunate if we are able to rescue one because the sad reality is, there are not enough foster homes to place these dogs into.
a few volunteers
"Please don't condemn us; it's the hardest thing in the world for us to leave pets like him behind. We are a small team of volunteers doing the best we can with the resources we have.
Teddy, the dog in the photo, was later recognized as one of numerous canines that local homeowner Mr. Calvin had been feeding.
According to Yvette, the 87-year-old had taken in many dogs from the streets over the years and at one point had as many as 20 in his backyard.
"I hope that by posting the image, attention has been drawn to the suffering of the street dog. We know that the fight is tough, but we can only dream of the day when no dog will have to struggle to survive on the streets.
Mr. Calvin, an animal hero, passed away in 2018, and Yvette issued an update to this story last year with the terrible news. However, because to Yvette and her team, Mr. Calvin's kindness and care for these unfortunate pups will never be forgotten.
More people like Yvette are what the world needs. Please spread the word to show your support for the crucial work she does to protect our defenseless creatures.