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Face of Puppy Adopted Then Returned for Not Being Potty Trained: ‘Teach Me’


A newly adopted rescue puppy was left devastated after being returned to the shelter in the most infuriating of circumstances.

In a video posted to TikTok, staff at Animal House Shelter, a no-kill shelter located in Huntley, Illinois, revealed how Lilah the puppy was “returned for not being potty trained.”

“I’m just a puppy,” an onscreen caption reads over footage of Lilah looking on, heartbroken, from her enclosure. “I’m just a puppy,” it continues. “I thought I found my forever. Why didn’t you teach me?”

Tabitha, a member of staff at Animal House Shelter, confirmed the heartbreaking circumstances surrounding Lilah’s return.

“The family that adopted Lilah returned her after because they stated they had difficulty potty training her,” Tabitha told Newsweek.

“They were aware at time of adoption that she was not yet potty trained and her foster had reported that she was having accidents in the home about twice a day. But of course, she is still a puppy so needs training, patience and consistency.”

News of Lilah’s return was greeted with consternation on social media.

Commenting on the Animal House Shelter TikTok video, one viewer wrote: “What is wrong with people? He’s a baby.” A second said: “I volunteer for a rescue and the amount of times I’ve been asked ‘are they potty trained?’ Like that’s your job!” A third, meanwhile, asked: “HOW does one return an animal to the shelter…my heart couldn’t.”

Sadly, this is just the latest setback Lilah has suffered in her short life.

Lilah first arrived at Animal House Shelter back in February as part of a litter rescued from a pound in southern Illinois. “All of her brothers and sisters were adopted,” Tabitha said.

“When she didn’t initially get adopted she went to a foster home where she got to be with a family for about a month but unfortunately came back due to a child’s allergy to her.”

Despite this, the odds of Lilah being adopted were good. A study by the website Priceonomics based on adoption data from the Petfinder website found 95 percent of puppies entering shelters over the given period found a forever home.

Lilah was returned to the shelter.
Lilah was adopted and then returned. The shelter pup struggled after being brought back to the shelter.

Animal House Shelter

Despite experiencing rejection twice already, Lilah soon found herself attracting concrete adoption interest.

“Lilah was sad when she came back from her foster home but was so excited when she was chosen to be a part of a family again and get out of the shelter,” Tabitha said. “She absolutely loves kids and she seemed to be the perfect fit.”

Unfortunately, for reasons largely beyond her control, Lilah ended up back at the shelter where she initially struggled to comprehend what had unfolded.

“She was very confused her first night back at the shelter and just sat in her cage with her favorite toy in her mouth, whining,” Tabitha said. “But, she has settled back in and made some doggy friends to play with while she waits for her perfect family.”

Despite everything she has been through, Tabitha and staff at the shelter remain confident that the rescue pup will find the right owner and home soon.

“Lilah would love a home with kids and other dogs or just doggy friends to play with! She also gets along great with cats,” they said. “A family that is home often would also be great. She is such a loving and cuddly dog!”