Senior dogs with special needs are some of the hardest dogs for shelters to find homes for. Although their muzzles may be gray and they enjoy lot of naps, these dogs still have a lot of love to give. Thankfully, there are people who realize how amazing senior pets are and only adopt them.
Leslie walked into Asheville Humane Society and asked, “Which two dogs have been here the longest, with the most special needs? I’m here to take them both home with me.” The staff was shocked but delighted and immediately two dogs came to mind – Brutus and Samantha.
Brutus was surrendered by his family to be euthanized, but instead the shelter took him in. He has been patiently waiting since March for someone to see how special he is. He is 13-years-old and has severe separation anxiety, which may stem from his family abandoning him.
“One of our staff members let him have a little vacation in her office, so he would have someone to be around instead of being in his kennel,” Meredith Pitcairn, the shelter’s communications and digital fundraising manager, told Today. “She had a hankering for something out of the vending machine, so she took him with her — and that’s when Leslie walked in the door! She came in saying that she wanted to adopt the two longest-staying dogs that had special needs, and the staff member was like ‘Here you go! Here’s Brutus!'”
Samantha, known as Sam, was also surrendered in poor health back in December 2018. The staff treated her masses on her skin and with a special diet her hair started to grow back. A family came forward to adopt her but sadly it did not work out. She returned to the shelter in June.
Leslie has a heart of gold and has taken in over 50 senior and special needs dogs. Her three-story home and 2-acre fenced in yard has been home to many senior dogs. While she understands that she may not have years with the dogs, she wants each to feel loved and spend their last days in a loving home. She adopted both Brutus and Sam that day.
“As she walked them to the car, Leslie talked softly to these two sweet souls, with their creaky joints and grey muzzles, who have been through so much hardship. She told both Sam and Brutus that they now had a family to love them for the rest of their days. And Leslie assured Brutus especially, who panics when left behind, that he would never spend another moment alone ever again,” posted the shelter.
Everyone was crying tears of joy. The staff said goodbye to the sweet dogs and wished them well. Leslie was fighting back tears as she said, “I am glad to give them a home for the last couple years of their lives. They give so much love back.”
The family is still grieving the loss of seven senior pets that they adopted and each loss is heartbreaking. However, they know that other senior dogs are in need of a loving home, so they continue to adopt.
Leslie updated the shelter that Brutus and Sam were settling in nicely and are best friends. She returned to the shelter to give an update and to adopt another senior dog, 13-year-old Schnauzer mix named Lily. “The summer months are so stressful for our staff because we have so many animals coming in … something like this happening, especially this time of year, really gave all of us a boost that there are good people out there,” said Heather Hayes, marketing manager for the shelter.
Watch the touching moment the two dogs are loaded into the van headed to their forever home in the video below.
Remember to adopt not shop! Share this story with your friends to encourage them to adopt senior dogs and cats.
Andrea Powell is an animal enthusiast that resides in West Michigan. When not writing, she is exploring the great outdoors with her dogs and horses.
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