September 16, 2011

A "Less Adoptable" Pet Transforms His Owner's Life.

Rusty is a beautiful boxer whose family abandoned him.  We do not know what led to several characteristics that made him "less adoptable," but he suffered from a lame leg, and his tongue always stuck out of his mouth.  Other dogs at our no-kill shelter had a hard time "reading," his facial expression.  He was often bullied by the other dogs.

Benefactors David and Dottie Bonnett sponsored Rusty, and we expected him to become one of our "lifelong" residents at our spacious jungle property.  Despite his troubles, Rusty remained extremely affectionate.

One exciting day a family came to adopt a dog for their teenage son.  This sight impaired young man did not see any of Rusty's "imperfections."  The two bonded immediately, and Rusty was adopted!  We follow up with our adoptive families to see how the pets are being treated and if they are well integrated into their new home.  In this case, Rusty lived near the Amazon CARES Veterinary Clinic located in the city of Iquitos.  One of our Veterinarians passed by Rusty's home everyday while walking to work!

I will never forget the day this male Veterinarian came to the office with tears in his eyes.  He had just come from visiting Rusty.  Emotionally, he described his experience.  The teenager was alone in the family room with Rusty.  No training exists in Iquitos for Guide Dogs or Assistance Dogs (see "Assistance Dogs in the Amazon").  Yet Rusty was a natural.  The veterinarian explained that this dog and teenager communicated on human terms.  When the boy spoke, Rusty understood.  They behaved like brothers.

Dog abandonment is rampant in Iquitos, and the Amazon CARES Animal Refuge has a wonderful lifetime resident program.  We are forever appreciative to David and Dottie Bonnett for sponsoring Rusty as well as many other wonderful animals.  Between now and March 2012, a donor has challenged CARES to raise $12,000.  If we reach this goal, the Donor will donate $18,000 to CARES!  Please find it in your heart to support one of our less adoptable pets today.



  1. What a beautiful story about Rusty. We are so glad he has found his forever home, where he is so loved. Thank you for all that you do for these precious animals.

  2. OK now I'm in tears too. - Wendy, Victoria, BC Canada

  3. Thank you both for your comments. This is one of my favorite adoption success stories!

  4. What an awesome story!! Rusty is adorable, and how awesome that he's good at his "job" too! Rescue pets are the best.

  5. Thank you for taking the time to comment Stina. I agree with you!

  6. That match was meant to be. Lovely story.

  7. Wonderful story with a great happy ending
    Found you through the Pet Blogger Hop

  8. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I'm working my way through the great posts in today's blog hop now!


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