Freon, a 2-year-old boxer mix, was unsure how to respond when he spotted Donna Lochmann, the rescuer, waiting at the top of the stairway. It was the first time he was seeing anyone in over two weeks.

When a local landlord called the Stray Rescue of St. Louis animal shelter to report a dog abandoned in one of his homes, Lochmann first became aware of Freon.


The landlord disclosed to the personnel at the animal shelter that Freon’s family had relocated to a house without a pet policy and that they had kept Freon locked in a stairway for more than a week before alerting authorities. When Lochmann heard this, she immediately got in her car and headed to the residence.

In the foyer, where Freon was allegedly residing, was a closed door when Lochmann came on the scene.



Chief life-saving officer at the shelter Lochmann said, “When I cracked the door [open], I saw him huddling on one of the landings.”

Watch Lochmann find Freon here:



The food bowls that someone had left behind allowed Freon, who was alone himself, to last for over two weeks on the stairs. To stay cool during the sweltering summer days, he also kept a supply of water.

To Lochmann’s astonishment, the frightened dog did not object when she tried to place a leash on him as she descended the steps to Freon’s landing.


“He was a little hesitant to come with me,” Lochmann said. “But after just a little bit of coaxing with Vienna sausages, he walked up the steps and right out the front door.”

They then left.



Freon, who did not yet have a name, did something that drew Lochmann’s eye as soon as they got into the automobile.

“He kind of stood up front with us and pushed his face against the air conditioner vents,” Lochmann said. “That’s why he got the name Freon because he liked the cold air on his face.”


Freon won everyone’s hearts the moment he arrived at the shelter.

The dog “kissed everyone in [the] clinic, even when he got his shots!” according to a Facebook post. No other dog has ever behaved that way before, the post continues.



After being left alone for such a long time, Freon spent a little time at the shelter’s clinic where he received the treatment he needed.

As soon as he was in good health again, Freon was qualified for adoption, but he was removed from the adoption listing as soon as he was in good health again.


“He’s got his forever family now,” according to Lochmann. “He has a dog sibling, too! ”

Freon is thriving in his forever home right now, and the staff at Stray Rescue of St. Louis is happy that he can put his traumatic history behind him.


“We love you, buddy,” the shelter wrote in a post announcing Freon’s adoption. “[There’s] no looking back.”



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