Cletus is everything a dog should be.

He catches tennis balls with gusto, approaches strangers like best friends, and treats every day like it's his best day. Even if it's the day after he was abandoned next to a heartbreaking note and a box of toys.

A spokesperson with the Gwinnett County Animal Shelter told 11Alive News Cletus was left at the playground at Norris Lake park in Snellville. There was a note with him:

My name is Cletus!!
My owner decided she could not keep me anymore because she does not have a place to stay.
I am a very good dog. I'm 11 years old, but I still play like a puppy.
I don't chew anything but food. I'm house broken. I'm great with kids.
I play ball, catch Frisbees, and love to give hugs.
Can you please find me a home? I don't want to go to the shelter.


Jan Grissom is a volunteer at the shelter and posted video of Cletus and his sign.

"He's so sweet," Grissom said. "He's energetic for an old fella. He's just so loving!"

His age is working against him. Owner-surrendered dogs, especially at that age, face big challenges getting adopted.

"Most people don't want older dogs. It's very rare. We usually have to save them through a rescue," Grissom said.

Gwinnett is not a no-kill shelter. Cletus, like all dogs that aren't placed in a home, eventually faces the possibility euthanasia. His abandonment comes at an especially crowded time at the shelter. Dogs frightened by fireworks ran away from their homes in fear, and have left the shelter crowded. While shelter workers and volunteers work frantically to reunite pets with owners, Cletus waits.

He's on hold until July 9th. That "stray hold" gives his owner time to claim him. After that time, he'll be available for adoption. Grissom urges anyone who wants to adopt Cletus to call the shelter and let them know. That way, Cletus will be put "on hold".

Meanwhile, volunteers are also trying to track down the woman who left Cletus, the note, and that box of toys. Because of some child-like doodles on the back of the note, they believe she may have a child. They want to help her get back on her feet.

You can reach out to the volunteer group on their Facebook page if you have any information about Cletus's owner.