Caring Family Changes the World for Two Long-Time Shelter Dogs

In every shelter across the country, there are dogs that get overlooked. These are the ones far past their puppyhood prime with medical issues or potential behavioral challenges. Humans have failed them at one time or another, and they spend months, sometimes even years, waiting behind chain link fences with no families to call their own. It's enough to break the heart of any animal lover, but still, few people step up to offer these dogs a home. 

At the Asheville Humane Society in North Carolina, the two dogs that had been overlooked the most were Brutus and Sam. Well into his senior years, Brutus had been at the shelter for five months after being surrendered to be euthanized. A female dog named Sam was there for a month longer and had been returned by a potential family. While other dogs spent only a few days or weeks waiting to be adopted, Brutus and Sam were running out of time.

But then Leslie Sacks walked through the shelter's doors. With a heart for senior animals, Leslie has adopted around 50 dogs in her lifetime. And instead of gravitating toward the playful puppies like most adopters, her dogs always have something else in common--they're the ones no one else wants.

When Leslie came to the shelter, she said,

"Who's the oldest that you have, the longest that has been here, who has been overlooked? I need that dog."

More than a little surprised, shelter staff immediately thought of both Brutus and Sam. Both dogs have had rough lives, and their chances of finding good homes were looking slim. But that was before they met Leslie and her family.

Leslie knew right away that Brutus and Sam would be the perfect additions to her family. She was ready to take home the seniors, but first, she needed approval from her 10-year-old daughter, Siena. A dog lover herself, Siena has always been on board with adopting. But after losing multiple senior dogs, she was worried about the reality of only having a few years with Brutus and Sam. She told,

"It was really hard for me to lose the dogs. I thought my mom would be strong, but that's actually the first time I've seen her cry before."

It was a big decision, but after thinking it over, Siena knew she would never turn down a dog (or two) in need.

"I realized that giving these dogs the last part of their life was so wonderful because then you just know that you've completed them."

With the whole family on board, Brutus and Sam were officially adopted. Shelter volunteers and staff gave them a heartfelt send-off as they walked the dogs out to their new lives.

With comfy beds and a family that loves them, Brutus and Sam have been renamed Bruno and Bella. They're leaving the shelter life behind and taking advantage of every day they have left. 



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