Among our animals at Home for Life are several bonded pairs of friends who were fortunately able to remain together when their owners gave them up.
Batman is a Boston terrier/pug/Chihuahua cross (our best guess) and Pumpkin, who suffers from pemphigus foliaceus, is a small mixed breed of unknown origin. They were confiscated from an owner who was driving through Western Minnesota from Las Vegas. The woman and her companion also had two small kids in the car. They were on their way to Chicago when arrested for trafficking child pornography. The sheriffs took the children into protective custody, and the dogs to animal control.
The animal control officer called Home for Life, shocked at Pumpkin's condition, knowing she would never make it out alive of the shelter. Batman was arguably "adoptable" but the sheriffs and animal control did not want to separate the two dogs who were frightened and traumatized. Pumpkin's condition needed intensive treatment including medications, food supplements and regular therapeutic baths, while the impact to Batman was more of a mental injury. The sheriffs elected to send both dogs to Home for Life where they could heal in body and spirit while supporting each other. After several months with us, at last, Batman's true spunky and happy go lucky personality has emerged. Pumpkin's health has been restored with the conscientious care she has received. Her fur has grown back as her skin has healed but the hair follicles on her face are permanently scarred and so in these areas, she will likely remain bald.
Animals who come into a rescue or shelter from the same household are often separated to make them more "adoptable”, where one of the individuals seems like an easier placement. This tactic disregards the friendships between these family members. Now an animal has not only lost their home but their best friend as well, a blow they may never recover from, whether they find a new home or remain behind, unwanted.
Sanctuaries, as true homes to their wards, honor the bonds and friendships among their animals. Certainly having the opportunity to observe our dogs and cats over time has confirmed that animals form strong alliances and close friendships just as we do, mourn when their treasured friends pass away and rejoice when they are reunited with a long lost comrade. We feel fortunate that, as a care for life sanctuary, we can provide a rich social life for our dogs and cats and the opportunity to foster the touching bonds between pairs of animals that have found their way to us.
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