Jojo arrived at the Hillsborough County Animal Shelter in Florida with a grim prognosis. At 14 years of age, the little Pomeranian resembled a teddy bear but had been through a lot in her life.
She had fleas and ticks, severe pneumonia, was missing fur, and had seizures. On top of all that, she was paralyzed in the hind legs, had a heart murmur, and dental disease.
“In the past, a dog like this would have been euthanized,” stated Scott Trebatoski, director of the county’s Pet Resource Center. “I think five to seven years ago a dog as old as 14, dragging its hind legs, they would have just said there’s nothing we can do. Nobody will want it.”
The county shelter was not equipped to deal with a special needs dog, so they send an email out to a network of 125 animal rescues to share Jojo’s story and photo.
Lisa Letson, with True & Faithful Pet Rescue Mission decided to try to help sweet Jojo. As it turned out, the dog showed a will to survive and fight the good fight.
Eventually, little Jojo was going to be okay despite all her health issues but she needed a forever home. Thanks to professional actor and dancer Mayte Garcia, the little pooch was about to hit gold.
Mayte had a dog named Ziggy who was in rough shape, having been found in a box on the side of a road. Ziggy passed away but Mayte loves to adopt senior dogs.
“When I had Ziggy, there was just a connection,” Mayte said. “I don’t know if it’s because they know someone had given up on them, or because they’re older and they know how to tell you what they’re feeling, but it’s a sense of gratitude you feel.”