Happily ever after doesn’t begin with
Once upon a time: it begins with Now.
– The Frog Prince by Stephen Mitchell
America’s abandoned dogs crisis pushed rescue and shelter organizations to the brink this year, and Peppertree was no exception. We received a record number of intake requests from owners, animal control officers and shelters from as far away as Texas. Families have found it harder to keep pets for economic reasons, stray rates increased and more animals entered shelters than left them. We are so grateful for our supporters who adopt, foster, volunteer and donate. You allow us to continue providing the best care possible to the many dogs in our program, like the ones below.
We recognize that not all are able to make a large donation, and while we greatly appreciate those who are, we also appreciate small gifts over time – so this year we are adding a monthly donation component to our holiday appeal. You can donate once or set up recurring monthly donations in any amount using PayPal this year- no amount is too small – all add up to help us do great things.
Because of Alicia.
Alicia came to us from an overcrowded southern shelter after being found as a stray. She was a middle-aged dog and her time was up because they had to make room for new pups. A trusted associate at the shelter handpicked this reserved, sweet girl for Peppertree based on her temperament, and she luckily avoided euthanasia.
Like too many dogs coming from southern shelters, Alicia tested positive for Lyme disease and heartworms. She started her heartworm treatment at the shelter after Peppertree committed to taking her, arriving in her foster home in October 2022.
We knew nothing about her background, but it soon became apparent to her foster mom that Alicia’s world had been very small. Car rides, leash walks, squeak toys and belly rubs were all new to her. She was cautious around new people and easily startled by sudden movements, and also needed to be an only pet. This made it tricky to find her forever home. She had many meet and greets along the way, but the “magic” never happened.
While we waited to find the perfect spot, Alicia quickly gained confidence and embraced her new life. She became an enthusiastic backseat driver who enjoyed daily four-mile walks and happily played with her squeak toys. And she became quite a ham, charming Steve Caporizzo on Pet Connection by sitting on his lap and doling out kisses. What a joy it was to see this diamond in the rough come out of her shell and learn to trust people.
Last summer a lovely woman applied to adopt Alicia and it was clear that she had finally met her match. We are delighted that her new mom reports that our happy girl is a now cherished family member.
Giving a dog like Alicia an opportunity to shine can’t happen without caring foster homes and resources to pay for veterinary care. Our average veterinary expense per dog far exceeds our $300 adoption fee. Donations from our Peppertree community allow us to provide necessary medical care for dogs in our program while continuing to charge an affordable adoption fee.
Because of Nina and Lily.
Nina and Lily’s future looked bleak after the senior bonded pair was surrendered to an overcrowded shelter and slated for euthanasia due to their age and perceived poor health. Instead, these cheeky girls landed in a Peppertree foster home, and a veterinarian determined that they simply needed extensive dentals. With one tooth between them, they discovered the good life with their foster mom – high fashion, Netflix, toys and car rides.
Senior pairs typically face an uphill battle to be adopted, but Nina and Lily were in the right place at the right time. Their new moms Paula and Janine found them online shortly after the loss of their beloved Chihuahua. Adopting a bonded pair had long been on Paula’s bucket list. After a meet and greet with their three other sassy rescue dogs (and a few cats and horses), Nina and Lily went on trial placement and became what they call an incredible addition to their family. When the confident pair isn’t busy bossing their canine brother Gary around, they enjoy snuggling, dinnertime and protecting the house with their little barks.
The girls are amazing joy-bringers, according to Paula and Janine, who said they want to ensure that they have 1,000 good days every day. We’re thrilled for these two endearing elders and their rock star family.
Because of Mikey.
Sweet and goofy Mikey had his world turned upside down when his elderly owner could no longer care for him. After living his entire life in one home, this senior Golden Retriever was surrendered to a local shelter which contacted Peppertree. At first he really struggled because he missed his dad, but as he warmed up to his wonderful foster mom, he also showed his comical stubborn streak by refusing to respond to his original name. She tried several different names and settled on Mike, the only one that he answered to.
Mike’s next order of business was gaining some much-needed weight, mastering household skills like climbing stairs, and gaining confidence in his new environment. After a short period of time, he was ready to find a forever home. Mike wouldn’t have to wait for long.
When it comes to adopting a new family member, the spotlight often falls on puppies, but there is a special place in the hearts of many, including Peppertree, for senior dogs. Previous Peppertree adopters Janet and Jim were looking for a dog and had a spot in their hearts and homes for Mike (now Mikey). This lucky guy now travels between the Albany area and Martha’s Vineyard (he enjoys the ferry ride!) where his new mom says he’s an agile and active boy who loves to play with Frisbees and balls on the beach. And as a friendly and affectionate dog, he’s popular with neighborhood children (aka the “Mikey Fan Club”) who love to greet him on walks. We couldn’t be happier for this sweet senior and his new family who appreciate that age does not diminish the capacity for joy, loyalty and companionship.