Family Adopts Dog They Found Abandoned With The Words 'Free' And 'I Need A Home' Written On Her (Photos)

| by Jonathan Wolfe

California resident Shannon Bettencourt gave a home to a dog in desperate need of one last week.

Bettencourt found the pup, now named Libby, whimpering under a tree on the fourth of July. When she walked closer to the dog, she saw something that made her heart sink. Someone had scribbled the words “Free” and “I need a home” on her with a permanent marker.

“She was scared, shaking and kind of whimpering,” Bettencourt told NBC Los Angeles. “I was heartbroken, it was really sad. Nobody wants to see an animal like that ever.”

Here’s how Libby looked when Bettencourt found her:

Heartbreaking: This abandoned dog was found with the words 'free' and 'I need a home' scrawled on it in permanent marker in downtown Benicia, California, last week.

Bettencourt worried that Animal Control officers would put Libby in a shelter if she called police, so she decided to take the dog into her home for the night instead. Her plan was to house Libby temporarily while trying to track down her original owner. Libby had other ideas.

“The first night I let her sleep in the bed with me because I knew she needed something and she just slept on my stomach the whole night,” Bettencourt said.

After the two bonded, Bettencourt and her fiancé decided they would be the family Libby needed. They plan to formally adopt her this week.

"Somebody just kind of treated her like trash but she ended up being my treasure," Bettencourt said. "It was actually kind of a blessing in disguise, even though it was very sad to start with.”

Here Libby is now:

Well-trained: Shannon Bettencourt who found the abandoned dog (pictured) named her Libby and said she was well-mannered and liked to play with other dogs

The Benecia Police Department says the original owner could face dog abandonment charges. They are asking any witnesses to come forward. 

Sources: NBC Los Angeles, KTVU