Ralph is a 14-year old Shepard mix who had been languishing in an animal shelter in southeastern Texas. Due to his advanced age and challenging health conditions, his chances to be rescued from euthanasia were already poor, even before Hurricane Harvey pummeled Texas. But he still had plenty of love to give to a family.
Then, amidst the chaos, something truly remarkable happened!
An impassioned volunteer traveled all the way from Maryland to help with animals affected by the disaster. She found Ralph and knowing the overwhelming influx of storm-displaced dogs would seal his fate, took him to a safer place where other rescues – including Muttville – might save him. In this way, the storm-zone shelters could focus on helping all the displaced dogs make it back to their own distraught families.
Although her time with Ralph was relatively brief, this wonderful mutt made a lasting impression and left her haunted by what might have happened to him. "Surrounded by hundreds of 'more desirable' dogs, who will want to take him?" she lamented.
What she didn't know was that Muttville had arrived. And we brought him to San Francisco for a new beginning.
Ralph made the journey to Muttville and was immediately pampered by volunteers who lovingly bathed him, fed him and eased him into a more relaxing, home-like environment. He also got to see our in-house veterinarian who performed a thorough exam, provided medication and started him on the road to recovery. The vet found that Ralph suffered from heartworm, advanced arthritis, dental disease and several skin masses.
In many shelter environments, a dog this old and having all of these medical problems might have been given up on. However, because he was in extremely good spirits and still had the potential for a good quality of life, Ralph joined Muttville's Hospice Adoption program.
The Hospice Adoption program offers dogs with terminal illnesses but still loving life, a new leash on life! We offer them a last chapter, a "bark-it" list, providing a happy and caring ending where families bring these dogs, like Ralph, into their homes and provide a loving environment for their remaining days. During this time, Muttville pays for palliative care until there is no longer the possibility of a good quality of life.
And remember the transport volunteer from Maryland? Upon returning home, she frantically searched the internet to learn of Ralph's fate. As luck would have it, she discovered that this special boy was saved and now "living the good life" with a new, loving family.