BY JANET McAFEE

This trio of senior dogs were relinquished to our county shelter by relatives when their humans died.  Sadly, this is a frequent occurrence when folks have no “plan” for their animals.  At ages 12, 15, and 17 years of age, these dogs had little chance of being adopted.  Many potential adopters want a puppy or a young dog for a variety of reasons, overlooking the special seniors who are truly special souls.  The three dogs were placed in separate kennels at the shelter, and their future looked grim.

The staff at Barkingham Pet Hotel, home to California Paws Rescue, spotted the dogs on the Riverside County Department of Animal Services website, www.rcdas.org, where they were listed as “Needs Rescue”.  Lori Weiner, director of California Paws Rescue, contacted the shelter’s rescue coordinator, Michelle Bergeron.  Lori and Michelle are two of my favorite animal heroines who work tirelessly to save and adopt shelter dogs and cats into “second chance” homes.  

Lori Weiner describes the mission of California Paws Rescue, “Our mission is to save one life at a time.  We like to take in dogs that are disabled, blind, or elderly because they are not as easily adopted.  They are special animals who truly deserve a second chance.  With our networking and the special attention they receive while with us, they get great homes as well.  When these three dogs were reunited in the shelter lobby, it was a joyful reunion with them jumping with sheer joy at being together again.  Dogs raised together are like family, and they can become very bonded to each other.”

Pictured here is Lori with the three pups.  On the left is Precious, the 15-yr-old female brindle Bull Terrier.  In the center is Stevie, a 17-yr-old partially blind chihuahua.  On the right is Zorro, a black and white Bull Terrier, the youngster of the group at age 12.    These lucky seniors are living with Lori who is committed to ensure they get the love and special care they require.  The Terriers have a very strong bond.  The dogs were overweight when they arrived at the shelter.  Lori, a certified pet nutritionist, serves them Honest Kitchen dog food, a soft raw food, and the pups are already losing weight and thriving on this plan.

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You can view all the animals seeking homes at California Paws Rescue at www.californiapawsrescue.com.  Call (760) 656-3833 if you would like to meet one of them.  The Barkingham Pet Hotel, where all the rescue dogs are housed, is located at 73650 Dinah Shore Drive, Palm Desert.  The dogs in this rescue enjoy the amenities of a doggie swimming pool, lovely indoor and outdoor dog parks, and frequent walks by caring staff.

Is December, with all the busy parties and family gatherings, a good time to adopt a rescue pet?  Studies show that pet adoptions during December are as successful as any other time. “Home 4 the Holidays” pet adoption events, now in their 19th year across our nation, seek homes for the millions of homeless animals in our shelters.  December is about the celebration of new life and giving, and there is no better time than now to share your heart and home with a rescue dog or cat.  The crisis for shelter animals never ends, but for three adorable senior dogs’ life it is good and the future is bright.

Merry Christmas to you and your 4-legged family members!

Janetmcafee8@gmail.com