Pets arriving at the Baldwin Park Animal Care Center come in all shapes, sizes and states.
On April 19, A4419212, an eight-year-old (possibly older) Westie-Maltese mix, was brought into the shelter having been found as a stray. Knowing that senior pets often need extra networking to find a new home, we added him to our list for Glamour Shot Day that weekend. As a result, A4419212 became “Tommy,” and our volunteers soon realized what an amazing personality he had. Sociable, sweet, gracious and calm, he quickly bonded with his handler during the shoot. We also discovered that his teeth had been very neglected (he cried when we tried to look) and he badly needed dental work – another strike against this senior’s chances of adoption.
Once the shoot wrapped up, one volunteer couldn’t stop thinking about Tommy, and very generously offered to sponsor his dental work if a good adopter could be found. Incredibly, that is exactly what happened!
Tommy was adopted just a few days later, thanks to the help of everyone who touched Tommy’s life once he was at the shelter: the photographers who captured his image, the volunteers who spent time getting to know him during the shoot, the posters who put his profile on Petfinder.com, where his new mom found him, the adoption coordinator who answered the potential adopter’s call and facilitated a meet and greet at the shelter, and, of course, the volunteer whose generous donation of dental work helped make this possible.
Here is Tommy (right) three days after his adoption, out for a walk with his new sister, Sasha. He has been groomed and had his dental work done, and while he is down to just two teeth, we think he’s looking great! Congratulations to Tommy and thanks to all those involved.
Tommy’s story is just one example of how our team of dedicated volunteers rallies round when needed. Without them, we wouldn’t be able to save nearly as many lives. We’re always on the lookout for more volunteers, in all kinds of roles, so if you’re interested in helping us continue our vital Shelter Support Program with Baldwin Park, please fill out an application on our website.
We recently received an update from Tommy’s new mom, Susie. She told us that she realized she kept referring to him as “My Little Trooper”… so “Tommy” is now “Trooper”! Susie’s vet thinks that Trooper is closer in age to 12, and that, while he’s lost most of his sight and hearing, his heart and lungs are strong. Sasha has welcomed him into the house, and he enjoys his soft treats and his walks. As Susie summarizes, “He is a happy little dog and, I think, very much enjoying his retirement home.”
Update: We are extremely sad to report that Tommy passed away last week, following several fairly serious health problems and increasing dementia. Susie reports, “He greatly enjoyed his meals and treats, his two beds, a warm house and neighborhood walks. Sasha and I were happy to spoil him, and we will miss him.”
While we are so sorry that Tommy is no longer with us, we are very glad that he enjoyed an extra year of quality life that otherwise he wouldn’t have had – thanks to Susie, Holly, Susan, Janette, Viri and all the UHA volunteers who made it happen.
Rest in peace, dear boy.