While United Hope for Animals volunteers fall in love many times over with the adorable, affectionate, and comical sheltered dogs we work with on our Glamour Shot Days, each event brings one story that especially touches the hearts of volunteers.
On our May 26th event at the Baldwin Park Animal Care Center, UHA volunteers met Milo and Shep, 13-year-old Lab brothers who had been surrendered by their former owner because they were too old.
UHA volunteer Jana describes meeting Milo and Shep: “When my fellow volunteer and I entered the kennel to take them out, we were deeply saddened. When they tried to stand, they would slip [due to arthritis] and it took about four of us to get them out.”
In spite of their difficulty walking, the brothers exuded sweetness and affection and mustered the strength to walk over to be photographed. Not deterred by the sadness of the situation, Jana set to work the next day with the help of the gentle brothers’ Glamour Shots and video to find a loving place for them to land.
Milo and Shep have beaten the odds faced by most senior pets surrendered to shelters, and have found a foster home with Labradors and Friends in San Diego, where they are being showered with love and cheese burgers.
Jana spoke with Milo and Shep’s foster parents this week and reports, “Milo and Shep are both very old and not in the best shape, so we are not sure how long they are for this world. But be assured that they will be loved until it is time for them to go and in that moment there will be someone to hold and comfort them.”
Advocacy for homeless senior pets is never easy. In addition to being emotionally difficult, rescuing senior pets brings the challenges of higher medical costs and concerns that older pets may not be adoptable.
“While these are valid concerns,” Jana says, “I have come to believe that rescuing senior and ill dogs, no matter how close to the end they are, is one of the most important things we can do. We don’t know what their lives were before the shelter. Hopefully they had love, but if not and they perish at the shelter then it is a total loss. If we are able to rescue these animals and give them love, if even for a day, it is well worth it.”