“The day we were reunited I just cried and cried,” Jimenez said. “When we were able to hug for the first time, he whined and made a lot of noises in his throat I’ve never heard before. We were both so emotional.”
Lewis Jimenez adopted Titus from the Austin Animal Center, the city animal shelter in Austin, Texas, back in 2013. Titus was just a puppy, then.
In November of 2017, Jimenez brought Titus back.
This wasn’t a choice the 53-year-old wanted to make. In fact, Jimenez loves Titus so much that he calls the dog “my other half.”
But Titus is a pit bull mix and that comes with a lot of stigmatization.
Here’s the scoop from Today:
Jimenez said that a neighbor had complained to Jimenez and to management for three years about living in the same complex as Titus because of his breed. It reached the point where Jimenez would try to walk his dog only when no one was around, like at 4 a.m.
Then one afternoon in November, while Jimenez was at work as a residential housepainter, one of his daughters and her 10-year-old son came to his apartment. The grandson went to take Titus for a walk, and encountered the neighbor in a stairwell. Jimenez isn’t sure of the details about what happened next — he believes Titus may have been trying to protect his grandson — except that Titus nipped the neighbor’s finger.
“I had to give Titus up,” he told TODAY.
Jimenez spent 20 years in prison when he was younger. He describes himself as having “lived a rough life.” He got out a decade ago, and says that ever since, he has felt committed to “do right, do good, help people out.”
Part of why Jimenez wanted to adopt a pit bull in the first place is because he knows they face so much discrimination. He wanted to give a dog like that a great life.
Even after giving Titus up to the Austin Animal Center, Jimenez came to the shelter often to see him. Jimenez promised the dog that he would find a new place to live, where Titus would be able to join him. But there were no guarantees it would happen in time.
There was little risk of Titus being euthanized, given that Austin Animal Center has a “live release rate” of 97.9 percent, meaning that nearly all of the animals coming into the shelter will make it out alive.
Luckily, Jimenez and his girlfriend found another rental property in February of this year. It’s a little house in East Austin that needs some remodeling, and “I do remodeling,” Jimenez said.
He went to pick Titus up from the shelter on Feb. 25.
Their joyous reunion deeply moved all the volunteers there who had gotten attached to the dog… they were so glad to see him back with his person!
Have you ever adopted a dog and then had to give him or her back?