Rusty, a 13-year-old dog from North Carolina who became homeless after his previous owner was placed in a nursing home, has gotten a second chance with a loving new home. The dog, who had been neglected and had several unattended health problems, was rescued by Lisa Forgione and her boyfriend.
Since Rusty was an older dog and suffering so many health issues, his chances of being adopted weren’t very high. He was scheduled to be euthanized when Lisa Forgione, a volunteer from the Montgomery County Animal Control, saw a picture of him on an email the shelter had received. The dog was the only senior dog featured, and she knew his chances were slim.
Forgione knew that if she and her boyfriend didn’t help the dog, he had no chance of living, and even though adopting another dog was going to be tough, she couldn’t live with that. The couple only had 24 hours to get things ready for Rusty’s arrival.
Forgione made the two hour drive to see Rusty the next day, and upon seeing the dog she knew she had to adopt him.
“He looked utterly defeated, heartbroken and confused. He was surrounded by all these young pups and giving me a look of ‘I’m too old for this!'”
Once Rusty was adopted, Forgione found out the extent of his neglect. The dog had bacterial ear infections, a severe flea allergy, ticks, unexplained sores, missing and broken teeth, a swollen prostate and a bacterial illness called Ehrlichiosis that is transmitted through the ticks.
Forgione and her boyfriend already had a very full house with a 13-year-old Chihuahua named Sammy, a 12-year-old Beagle named Lady, a 2-year-old previous stray pup named Charlie, a rescue cat named Prudence and a rescue hamster named Fezzik, but knew they had enough love for one more.
“With three senior dogs, we like to think we have our own doggie nursing home,” Forgione said.
Rusty is getting the second chance he deserves, living life with a family who loves him very much. His health is also getting better, with the swollen prostate back to normal, and the fur he lost from his flea allergy growing back.