Lifestyle & Human Interest

Woman Asks Animal Shelter for Two Oldest Dogs with the 'Most Special Needs' and Brings Them Home


When people go to a shelter for a new pet, they generally have specifics in mind. Size, breed, color and temperament are a few of the crucial factors that will help ensure an adopted pet is a good fit for the adoptive family.

There are those, too, who simply browse, waiting to see if a certain pet catches their eye.

And there’s an even smaller group of precious souls who have requirements that, for most people, would be deal-breakers.

“Which two dogs have been here the longest, with the most special needs?” a woman named Leslie asked shelter staff at the Asheville Humane Society. “I’m here to take them both home with me.”

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July 24 was a wonderful day for two elderly canines named Brutus and Sam. They both had a rough go of life recently, but Leslie was there to provide them with nothing but love and comfort for their last few years.

“Today is the kind of day that every person who works in an animal shelter dreams about!!!” the shelter posted.

“We couldn’t believe it! We introduced Leslie to Sam (who had extensive medical issues, was with us for 6 months, adopted then returned) and Brutus (who has severe separation anxiety, was with us for 5 months, and was originally surrendered to be euthanized at 13 years old).

“We vowed to find these two amazing dogs their second chance, no matter how long it took, and TODAY was their special day TOGETHER!”

While adopting older dogs with known health conditions can be heartbreaking and expensive, Leslie was no first-time adopter. She has been at this for a while, and knew the kind of love and care these two would take.

With a large house and two acres of fenced yard, she had the perfect setup to give these two the best years of their lives.

“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,” the shelter posted.

“And Leslie assured Brutus especially, who panics when left behind, that he would never spend another moment alone ever again (Leslie, you have a heart of gold!!!) There wasn’t a dry eye in sight as staff, board members and volunteers gathered to say a bittersweet goodbye to two of our favorite furry friends!”

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There are certain times of the year when shelters are pushed to max capacity, and many times those shelters will waive adoption fees in a bid to get pets out of kennels and into hearts and homes.

Sam and Brutus went to Leslie free of charge since the Asheville shelter waived fees through July 31.

There’s also an event in August called “Clear the Shelters,” where lots of groups team up to try to adopt out as many of their residents as possible, often offering reduced or waived adoption fees.

If you’ve already been seriously considering adopting a pet, you may want to participate in this year’s Clear the Shelters event, which will be held on the weekend of August 18.

You can find a list of participating shelters across the country with this map. And who knows? Maybe you’ll find your new best friend or offer an elderly pup a comfy last few years.

“This is what PRICELESS love looks like!” the Asheville shelter’s post concluded. “If their story has touched your heart, PLEASE consider adopting or spreading the word to help the homeless animals who desperately need our support!”

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