For almost a decade, a dog named Rockland called the hallways of an apartment building his home. He was “no one’s dog” and depended on kind building residents to feed and watch out for him. Otherwise, the resilient pup was left to fend for himself.
When building tenants realized they could no longer care for Rockland, they called Animal Haven for help. After so many years, the sweet senior pup finally had safety and shelter. However, he was no closer to finding a family just sitting in his kennel.
Animal Haven volunteer Tedi Sarah worried it would be hard for the older dog to attract attention. To make matters worse, Rockland was diagnosed with cancer. His time was limited, but he still deserved to live out his golden years with a real family. And Sarah was determined to make that happen.
“As soon as I met him and heard his story, I knew I had to help him,” Sarah told The Dodo. “My immediate thought was, ‘He cannot die in the shelter. He cannot die without ever knowing the love and comfort of a family of his own.’”
Sarah posted a video on social media, urging potential adopters to consider Rockland. It was Christmas, and Rockland was spending yet another holiday alone. Sarah never wanted that to happen again.
“We all adore him at the shelter and would love nothing more than to see him find a forever family of his own while he still can,” Sarah wrote in the post.
It wasn’t long before interested applicants came pouring in. So many people empathized with Rockland’s story and wanted him to find happiness.
“Rockland was one of my favorite success stories because it worked so quickly!” Sarah said.
After reviewing the applications, Rockland’s new mom, Bessy Gatto, proved to be a perfect fit.
“[She] has a huge heart and has rescued many special needs dogs before,” Sarah said. “She’d seen me post him before, during my visits to the shelter, and then when the Christmas post of him went up, she stepped up right away and reached out to the shelter about adopting him.”
Not only does Rockland have a new mom, he also has lots of new siblings to hang with. It’s clear that from now on, the social dog will never have to worry about being alone.
“He’s a big brother now to little dog siblings and two human siblings, who he is so gentle with,” Sarah said. “They all adore him.”
To help other dogs like Rockland, make a donation to Animal Haven. And keep up with Sarah’s animal advocacy by following her on Instagram.