Senior German shepherd, Toby was brought into the Carson Animal Care Center in California by a person who stated, “I found this dog.” When shelter personnel scanned Toby for a microchip, sadly the person who brought the dog in as a “stray” was the dog’s registered owner. Shelter personnel reached out to the family by phone, but all they did was hang up.
The shelter staff had hoped to reunite the ailing shepherd with his family; animal control even went to their house. And in the end, the family willingly relinquished all rights to Toby – the kind and gentle German shepherd who always loved his family and couldn’t understand why he was left alone in a cage.
Tragically Toby is presumed to the have Osteosarcoma, the most common bone tumor found in dogs. The disease is extremely aggressive and has a tendency to rapidly spread to other parts of the dog’s body. And so a plan had to be formulated quickly to save a dog so bitterly betrayed by his family.
Grand-Paws Senior Sanctuary agreed to help with Toby and offered Toby a home and with the help of Shawn Hamon of Harlee’s Angels, the joint effort would save an ailing dog from dying alone in the back of a shelter.
“I pulled Toby from Carson shelter today.” stated Sal Valdepena, a volunteer for the shelter. “His body clearly failing him. His kisses a true indication that he understood that he was safe. I can’t help but tear up because he’s so special, his heart so pure. The definition of man’s best friend.”
So Toby’s first stop was In-N-Out Burger for treats for all the senior dogs at Grand Paws. Toby was gently carried inside to his own bedroom with a private backyard for sniffs and exploring. He ate his burgers and then with a little German shepherd grin, laid down on his own soft bed.
“He might not have a lot of time left. What he will have is love, safety and dignity,” Sal whispered. “When the time comes he will have arms wrapped around him so he’s not afraid. I pray his final time on earth shows him that not all humans are bad, and that he’s so beyond loved.”
May every dog dumped off at a shelter by callous humans be as fortunate as Toby. Go gently into the night sweet dog; your life matters.
(All photos by Sal)
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