'Are you nuts?' asked her husband. Christina Morgan, founder ofPaw Works, an animal shelter in California, had just learnt the story of the old dog Jaripo, put on her shoes and picked up her car keys. It was late, it was raining - but that did not stop her. She was determined to save a life.
On Facebook, several people had tagged this animal lover in a post talking about Jaripo's story. Everyone was asking her to do something. The 18-year-old dog was terminally ill after his owner had given him up toLancaster County Animal Shelter, where he was to be euthanized as he was suffering from cancer.
Luckily, the shelter volunteers decided to wait in case someone showed up and offered to take care of Jaripo for the rest of his days. They planned to spread his photo in the hopes of it going viral - which it did, with thousands of internet users being touched by the senior pup's situation.Christina Morgan toldThe Dodo :
I get tagged in a lot of stuff on Facebook and I saw that this little (dog) was breaking the internet. Lots of people were tagging me. All the rescues were looking at it. But no one was really taking action — and that's a high-kill shelter. So I just said, 'To hell with it".
Just before leaving home, Christina phoned the shelter telling them she was coming to get the dog. Despite this, it was not guaranteed that Jaripo would not have been euthanized before she arrived, she was informed. After two hours on the road, she finally arrived at the shelter where the old pup was waiting. A few minutes later, she left with Jaripo in her arms.
When he was examined, a while later, by a veterinarian, Jaripo's condition caused shock. He was suffering from rheumatisms in his vertebral column and hips, and there was no trace of cancer in his blood work. It became clear: his former owner had used this as an excuse to abandon his pet.
Listening to her intuition, Christina also saved Jaripo's life, and was taking home where he could "just live his days out." The young woman could not help herself that evening and ended up adopting four other dogs, too! So Jaripo and his new friends would be able to enjoy each other's company at her loving, animal-friendly home. They would never again be abandoned at a shelter.
Sadly, not all shelter pets have such a happy ending. There are still many waiting for forever homes, who risk being euthanized at high-kill shelters if no-one decides to adopt them. VisitPaw Works, Christina's association, to find out more about dogs available for adoption.