In Loving Memory
As a sanctuary, we aim to be a home to animals that may not be suitable for traditional adoption. We do not euthanize a dog for behavior, but when a dog's quality of life suffers due to a medical condition that is unmanageable, we will make the decision that is in that animal's best interest. This page is dedicated to those dogs we made the decision to euthanaize due to lack of quality of life. We miss them dearly and continue to rescue others in their honor.
1 Year Old Pit Bull Suffering from Unmanageable Epilepsy
Set Free On 12/16/16
Today was a sad day for all of us because today we euthanized our first dog as a rescue. When we met Socrates we had high hopes that we would be able to find a way to manage his epilepsy through medication. His previous home had already begun a great deal of trial and error but in five months had been unable to manage his seizures. When he came to us we began a new treatment for him once again, took him to a new doctor and a neurologist for a second and third opinion and we hoped for the best. Unfortunately Socrates’ epilepsy was just too severe. Without medication he would be looking at the possibly of 4+ seizures daily and weekly hospitalizations. With medication he only had 5-10 seizures a week, however the seizure medication had taken all of his quality of life from him. He had no appetite, he couldn’t focus or even recognize when his name was called, and his balance was off, regularly causing him to fall down the stairs or causing his back legs to just give out while he was standing still. This one year old playful pit bull puppy began losing weight, losing the ability to enjoy his life and was still having seizures. When the neurologist said our next option was to change his medication to something that would make him even more lethargic and uncoordinated just to get a handle on his seizures we knew that was not fair to him. We decided it was a kinder option to cut down his medication for a week so he could become the vibrant and full-loving puppy he was meant to be once again and then we would send him on his way. You can see in this video, that is exactly what he became once more. Socrates went back to running and playing, but there was the dangerous risk of him having a cluster of seizures we would not be able to stop due to the decrease in his medication. We were lucky and made it through the week without a single seizure, which considering his condition was a true miracle.
Today was a sad day for all of us, but today was a wonderful day for Socrates. He spent the morning doing whatever he wanted in any given second, with endless supplies of treats, love, toys, and friends. Then a new friend, a wonderful veterinarian who specializes in at-home euthanasia, came over to his foster home and played with him before he fell asleep, again surrounded by love. His last conscious moment was spent with his head in the lap of his foster dad with peanut butter on his nose and everyone telling him how much he was loved. That was our only goal this week: for Socrates to have fun and feel loved every single day.
Euthanasia is something that happens in most shelters and rescues across the country, but it is rarely discussed openly. When we started this sanctuary we intended to give every single dog that came into our care a full and wonderful life. If a dog is too aggressive for adoption we are committed to still giving them a place to call home for as long as they are healthy and happy. We had hoped not to have to face the euthanasia of one of our animals for years to come, and in that instance hoped it would be a dog that had lived a full and long life who was ready to pass from natural causes. In this case, Socrates was a very young, active, and upon a quick glance appeared to be a healthy dog, but his epilepsy was causing him to suffer. While we believe in providing lifelong care to every animal we take into our rescue, we will not keep them alive for our own sake when they do not have a quality of life. Socrates will be missed and honored every single day by the family that surrendered him to us, our board members who fell in love with that knucklehead, but especially by his foster dad who formed a bond with him in the short time they were together that he will hold for the rest of his life.
We appreciate your support in this difficult time, and tomorrow is a new day where we will continue to rescue dogs and provide them with the care they need to enjoy their lives and find loving forever homes.
Set Free On 6/9/17
16 Year Old Rottie/Lab Mix Suffering from a Life of Neglect
Set Free On 7/3/17
On Monday morning we said goodbye and let Rosie get her angel wings. This incredible dog was treated like garbage her whole life by the people who were supposed to love her. For 14 years they allowed her to drag her broken legs behind her without offering to help her once. Twice after she lost the use of her back legs they bred her to make money from her puppies. And as far as we know, for the entire 16 years of her life she had no name.
Well we named her Rosie. We loved every moment we had with her. We carried her back legs, spoiled her and made sure she was clean. We took her to see the world. We came running when she cried. It may have only been three weeks but we loved her for every second as our family. Below are photos from her bucket list. This past week she went to the beach, went to the lake, ate homemade pizza, licked the cake whisk, had a puppachino, had a spa/grooming day, and even ate chocolate!
Rosie girl you are so missed already.
Hospice fostering is painful, difficult, and emotional, but it is worth every single moment of difficulty to give these dogs a bit of peace. If you are interested in hospice fostering, please contact us and we can add you to our foster list for the next case like Rosie we take in.
Thank you to everyone who donated towards giving her the most comfortable care possible. Because of your donations we were able to provide her with pain medications, veterinary consultations, and a peaceful end with Gentle Goodbye.
10 Year Old Pekeignese Suffering from a Multiple Tumors
Set Free On 8/21/17
When his owner first contacted us to rehome Ozzy we were told he was a seven year old, perfectly healthy, dog, cat and kid friendly Pekingese that the owner could not keep due to suffering an injury that made it more difficult to care for Ozzy.
When we met Ozzy this morning we discovered the truth. It was obvious upon first seeing him that he was not "perfectly healthy." He was skinny, had yellow gunk in his eyes and seemed to be in a great deal of pain when he attempted to defecate. The owner assured us that all of this was normal for his breed and nothing to worry about.
Well rather than take his word for it, we called Ozzy's vet to get his records and discovered several very important things. First, he has a condition known as KCS, or dry eye, which has gone without treatment for many months. Second, he has a tumor in his prostrate that causes him to leak pee. Third, he has a second tumor in his abdomen that pushes on his colon making it very difficult for him to defecate. Finally, we learned he's actually 10 years old.
After spending the day with Ozzy it became very obvious the poor dog had no quality of life. He had no appetite, he was in pain, and he struggled to defecate in so much pain it was not fair. We came to the decision to let him go peacefully with whatever dignity he still could retain. We may have only known you 10 hours Ozzy man, but in that time we loved you and you will be missed.
Pit Mix of Unknown Age, Suffered a Lifetime of Unknown Abuse
Set Free On 11/17/17
On Friday we said goodbye to our girl Catie and allowed her to pass away peacefully with us at home. Catie was a strong and tough old lady, but he body was failing her. When we first heard about Catie, a dog that had been thrown from a car in terrible shape, we knew our journey with her would not be easy, but we are so glad we were her last home. At the end, Catie didn't want anyone near her but her "dad," one of our founders Adam, so he didn't leave her side for the last two days we had her. They barbecued and had steak for every meal, they relaxed in the back yard together, and they had sleepovers together on her big bed each night. When the time came for us to say goodbye to Catie, she lay her big head in Adams lap and as he held her paw and scratched her ear just the way she liked, she took a big peaceful sigh and was gone.
We, especially Adam, miss her already, but know that she is no longer in pain and that is the most important thing.
Pit Mix of Unknown Age, Neglected and in Heart Failure
Set Free On 7/28/18
Passed Away from Surgery Complications 12/27/18
Passed Away from Injury Complications 1/6/19
1 Week Old Piglet
Set Free On 4/9/19
It is hard to form the words, but Elsa has passed away. Shortly after we did the last live video, Elsa began to seize and after over an hour still continuing to seize, we made it to our vet and made the decision to humanely let her go.
We loved this little girl from the moment she was born and saw her personality shine through. She was definitely more interested in us than hanging with her siblings. Any stranger who came in to the piglet room would be greeted by the sound of her tiny hooves stomping over to say “hello” and demand to be picked up. Instantly, anyone who met her fell in love.
We have fought for days (especially our staff Adam and Sophie) to bottle feed this girl and try to save her. Piglets are so delicate and although yesterday she seemed to improve, today she went downhill very quickly. Elsa may only have lived seven days, but she lived a life and mattered. At night when Adam slept on a mattress in the piglet room to be able to bottle feed her every two hours, he would often wake up to Elsa curling into his neck or suckling on his nose. She claimed him as her “Papa” and it was in his arms that she took her last breath.
We are so grateful to the veterinarians at Catskill Veterinary Services, PLLC who go above and beyond for all of our animals, but especially did so for Elsa. Accepting our after hours phone calls, text messages, etc with as much drive to save her life as we had.
Remember Elsa, because she mattered, and she was loved. Thank you all for your support.
1 Month Old Piglet Born with a Collapsed Trachea
Set Free On 5/24/19
Grumpy was sadly born with the cards stacked against him. Although we fought to pursue any and all medical treatment options for his congenitally collapsed trachea, Grumpy struggled to breathe. We made the decision to humanely let him pass peacefully. Grumpy was loved as much as he could be in the short time he lived. For many people, he was the first pig belly rub they ever experienced, or the first piglet they ever held. He snorted his way into everyone's hearts, whether on social media or here on the farm. He will be missed. He will be remembered. He mattered.
10 Year Old Shih Tzu Suffering from Cancer
Set Free On 07/27/2019
Merlin came to us in bad shape. He had been found in the city with a ruptured mass on his back that was full of maggots. He was put on the euthanasia list, and we brought him to our rescue with the hope that we could either help him recover, or give him some peace and comfort in his last days. Merlin passed away a week later, but instead of dying in a scary city shelter, he passed in the arms of his hospice foster family. He was calm, loved, and as comfortable as possible. He mattered, and he is deeply missed.
2 Year Old Mouse Passed from Medical Concerns
Set Free On 08/01/2019
1 Year Old Cat Passed After a Lifetime of Pain
Set Free On 12/12/2019
13 Year Old Dog, who passed after battling cancer in his hospice foster home for over a year.
Set Free On 11/08/19
Mickey was so loved. Below is a video of how we choose to remember him, from when we first knew Mickey and he was happy and healthy. Here is what his hospice foster mom had to say upon his passing:
I will always remember the day I met Mickey. He was one of those dogs that was a turning point for me. He was terrified and hiding under a small bench, having been through a lot. His owner had passed away, leaving him in on the at risk list at the city shelter, and luckily his owner's friend saved his life and brought him home. When she got sick he found himself once again homeless, but this time he was lucky enough to wind up at Adopt-a-Dog where he would be safe.
I sat in the room with him and another staff member and we slowly approached him and I remember as soon as I pet him he bit me hard and then kissed my hand. He was so scared but he needed to trust someone and in the moment after he lashed out at me, he then chose to trust me. He latched on to me and the other staff would often tell me all the bad things my "son" would be up to, and I remember how much pride I had that he had chosen to love me of all people.
He was a tough dog to get to know, but he let people in if they asked him the right way. He was so loyal to me when he lived at Adopt-A-Dog and was my sidekick, helping me to (barely) pass my Physiology final, studying with me on my breaks at the shelter. It took a very long time but finally Mickey Carol came along and gave him what I couldn't: a home. For several years he lived a beautiful life with her, but when he began to get sick, we later found out due to Cushing's disease and Liver Cancer, he came to live the rest of his life out with me.
Mickey was one of my soul mates and having him in my house so strongly tied me to who I was when I fell in love with rescue. He kept my head on straight as I was starting to feel beaten down by rescue. He taught me that being blind, deaf, and having cancer wouldn't stop him from living life to its fullest. I didn't know if we would get a week, a month, or a year together. I knew we were near the end the last few months, he was slowing down, and his goofy spirit became tired, but this week when he stopped eating completely he told me it was time to say goodbye.
I am so grateful I met Mickey all of those years ago and that he taught me how rewarding it was to gain the trust of a small, broken dog. I am so grateful thatAdopt-a-Dog never gave up on him even though he was a brat, and trusted me that he just needed the right home. I am so grateful he found such a wonderful home to love him when I couldn't adopt him myself. I am so grateful that he came back to be with me at the end of his life, reminding me who I was at my core when I really needed it, and making me smile when everything seemed so hard. I am so grateful he gave me a year longer than I thought he would to love him and to be loved by him.
I am going to miss you, my shadow, my old friend, but I promise not to forget what you taught me bud. Say hi to everyone for me when you get to the bridge.