“He kept getting passed over again and again…”
Meet Martin, a senior dog who was abandoned by his aging family and was in desperate need of a home.
When Martin first arrived at the SPCA of Wake County, he was perhaps ten years old. Martin’s father loved him so much, but he was no longer able to take care of him. According to Samantha Ranlet, marketing communications specialist at SPCA, “His [dad] was 89 years old and reached a point where he couldn’t provide the life that he felt Martin deserved.” Samantha Ranlet told The Dodo. “He desired for him a better life.”
Martin’s father brought the elderly dog to the animal shelter in the hopes that they could assist Martin in finding a home where he could spend his later years comfortably. He did a good job of adjusting, Ranlet said. “I don’t know if he understood what was happening, but even from day one, he was just this happy, easy-going, really sweet old man with a teddy bear face,” said one observer. But finding a suitable adopter proved to be more difficult than anticipated due to Martin’s age.
Ranlet complained that “he kept getting passed over time and time again.” Seven adoptions failed in the space of two months for various reasons. However, Martin’s adoption was influenced by a number of other factors as well. He also tested positive for heartworms, which put prospective adopters on edge. The SPCA staff made the decision to try something new to spread the word about Martin after the seventh adoption fell through. We came to the conclusion that we needed to use the internet to ask our community to help us share him and place him in a home, according to Ranlet.
Indeed, Martin received the visibility he required with just one Facebook post outlining his tale and two images of his adorable teddy bear face. Ranlet claimed that “posting on Facebook made all the difference.” “Thousands of people shared his post, and all of a sudden we had people calling, emailing, etc. about it.
” After Martin’s post went viral, the senior dog’s adoption applications were fully booked in less than 48 hours. One of the applications was submitted by a couple with knowledge of senior dogs. Ranlet said, “They weren’t afraid of his age, and they weren’t afraid of the heartworm disease he had. They were instantly enamored by him and his cuddly energy. Martin has been living at the couple’s house for a few weeks now.
Since he continues to receive heartworm medication at the SPCA of Wake County on the weekends, his adoption hasn’t been finalized yet, but it will be soon. They’re going to make the adoption official as soon as he finishes his treatment, Ranlet said. He still has one or two months to go.
Martin is the only dog in his new family, but he gets along well with Hilltop, his younger cat sister. The SPCA staff miss Martin every day even though they get to see him during his routine heartworm visits. However, they are overjoyed that he managed to find the ideal family in spite of all the odds, and they hope that his story will encourage others to adopt older dogs. Ranlet remarked that it was nice to pay senior dogs more attention.
“It helps people remember that adopting them is worthwhile, too.”