Niagara Gazette — If people don't get hooked on the photos, they won't come in to the shelter to see any pets, Selder said.
Abby was an old, blind cocker spaniel when animal control found her on the streets of New York seven years ago. At the shelter, she just stood in a corner and barked. She was deemed unadoptable and put on the euthanasia list. An adoption organization took her from the rescue and called foster worker Val Sorensen in Stratford, Conn.
At home, Abby stood in place and barked because she didn't know where to go. It took three weeks of bumping into walls and doors to learn her way around, find her food, how to get to the backyard and how to get petted. Sorensen said she had to remember not to leave anything in her path.
"After three weeks, she started wagging her tail. If you open a jar of peanut butter she will come running from the other room," Sorensen said.
Sorensen jokingly refers to the dog these days as Ancient Abby since she's between 16 and 17 now. She's slowly going deaf but she's yet to miss any peanut butter.
Sorensen is co-founder of Wigglebutt Warriors, a fundraiser for rescues. The group's primary fundraiser in 2014 will benefit Oldies But Goodies Cocker Spaniel Rescue in Newington, Va., which helps old and special needs cocker spaniels.
"Adopting a dog that is deaf or blind doesn't mean they won't still have a great quality of life. I wish more people would adopt older or special needs dogs," Sorensen said.
Patrice deAvila of Portand, Ore., has always adopted older and medically needy cats
Persian cats Murphy and Newton were 6 when she got them two years ago. They came from an abusive home. Murphy had half his tail cut off, which caused neurological and hip problems. Newton, a feral cat, lived behind the stove for nearly three months before he decided to come out. "We are still taking baby steps, but last week, he allowed me to pet him. I hope he can be a lap cat in six months," she said.