Welcome to the Good Life, Pax!

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Pax

Friends, I want to tell you a story, and I will let you know right off the bat that it will upset you. It is a true story, one where we don't get many of the details of the how or the why, but nonetheless it is one that together we can change the ending to.

This is Pax. He's one of our newest rescues. He's adorable, right? Not only that, he's incredibly sweet and wiggly and loving. He adores people and loves other dogs. He's an 11 year old Yorkie, and will instantly win you over with the joy that radiates from his little body when he is loved on. Pax also happens to have a huge mass on his side, in addition to a couple smaller ones elsewhere. If you look closely at the photo, you can see it to the right of his tummy, the size of a baseball. Maybe that's why he was dumped - literally dumped - in a dumpster. There's no way he got in there himself. Someone put him in there. And to make matters worse, he was placed in there with a bark collar on, so that he couldn't bark for help.

I am trembling as I write this, because I can't help but imagine how scared Pax must have been, or how hot or how thirsty. Wondering where his people were, not being able to make a sound in a dark, dank dumpster without being punished for it by the collar around his neck. And I can't help but imagine the awful way his life could have ended had he not been discovered in time by a Good Samaritan and rushed to the vet.

There are very few resources for senior pets when their people cannot care for them anymore. We get multiple calls a day from the public asking for our help with their senior pets, only to have to turn them away because we don't have the capacity to help the public directly yet. And while I will never know if Pax's people reached out to shelter after shelter, asking for help with their senior dog with a huge mass on his side, only to be turned away over and over, I can't help but wonder if they thought that they had run out of options. Maybe they didn't know about open-admission shelters that will accept any pet because there are so few in our area. Maybe they didn't have the financial means to euthanize him. Maybe they didn't have a vehicle to get him to a shelter or a vet. Maybe there was a language barrier. Maybe someone told them they'd give Pax a home and then they maliciously put him in that dumpster, and his original family thinks he's being taken care of and loved. I want to think his family didn't do this to him. His microchip was a dead end and no one came looking for him during his time at animal control during his stray hold, so we don't have any answers.

My mind goes over different scenarios, and each time I come to the same conclusion: pet guardians need to have more options for senior pets when they can no longer care for them. And Young at Heart's plans for the future are needed now, not later.

I'm asking you to please join us in building a brighter future for senior pets in need. Together we can offer more solutions for senior pets with no where left to go and for senior pet guardians who need a place to turn to when they need help, too. Together we can open the doors to the Chicago area's first adoption center and sanctuary just for senior pets. The eight acres of land is bought and paid for and zoned for what we want to do. The front 4 acres have been cleared for construction. The plans for a home-like senior pet facility are drawn up and being submitted to the county. But the opening of the front doors is up to you. You hold the key. This is something we have to do together. We can't do this without you.

We don't know the how, or the why, or the who to this story, but we do know one thing with 100% certainty: Pax is now safe with Young at Heart. He is now in the care of our vet, and will have his masses biopsied and removed. We don't know if they are cancerous or not. It doesn't make a lick of difference. Pax's story now has a happy ending. Because whether he has months or years ahead of him, he will get what every senior pet deserves: nothing but love and comfort in the twilight of his life. It's what we want for every senior pet.

Please help us open the doors to Young at Heart's senior pet adoption center and sanctuary. Make a donation today, and spread the word.

Thank you for being there for Pax and for other senior pets just like him.

Dawn Kemper
Executive Director
Young at Heart - Senior Pet Adoptions
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