All animal lovers would like to believe that at the very least, every dog had somewhere warm and comfortable to sleep during cold weather. Sadly, that is not the case at this time of year as it is very busy for animal shelters, and there are not enough places in the shelter for all the pups that are left outside in the winter months. In some cases, there are pups that are lucky enough to make it into a foster home for the winter so that they are not cold and alone. It is these generous foster families that give dogs a second chance at the time when they need it most. I Heart Dogs tells the story of a pup called Joseph who set to spend the winter holidays on the streets. The poor pup was cold, badly malnourished, and did not have a comfortable place to stay. Thankfully, Joseph was one of the lucky few who made it off the streets in time for Christmas.
Poor little Joseph had been wandering through some woods at the local park late one night in December. He was discovered by rescuers from the Noah’s Ark Rescue Project and Sanctuary (NARPS), which is based in Philadelphia. The rescuers were shocked by what they saw. When they found him, he was severely malnourished, carrying parasites, and badly dehydrated. A photograph of the dog was shared on Facebook that showed the terrible state the dog was in when he was found. This image was a heartbreaking sight for all those who saw it. The rescuers decided to call him Joseph because the name means ‘God will add another’. Were no more places for strays, and they had not intended to take on another stray dog. However, they decided to show some Christmas spirit and take him back with them anyway. It was this act of kindness that has completely changed Joseph’s life forever.
Noah’s Ark Rescue Project and Sanctuary do not currently have a facility, so they operate predominantly as a foster-based program. That meant that they had to find a foster who was willing to take on an extra dog over the holiday period. They also needed to find additional funds for his care. Thankfully, the rescuers were able to resolve both issues as a generous foster carer stepped up for the job, and a plea on Facebook for donations to fund his care was successful. The plea posted on Facebook described how Joseph was strong enough and showed enough tenacity to get himself out of the woods to find help, despite his poor physical condition. The rescuers said that he had shown a lot of fight, and now they wanted to fight on his behalf. He needed all the help he could get to improve his circumstances and go on to enjoy a happy life in a loving environment.
Not only was the plea so successful that it easily funded Joseph’s care, but it was also successful enough to provide funding for the care of other dogs in need. It seemed that the plea had evoked the Christmas spirit in animal lovers who had seen the social media post and inspired them to do what they could to help the little dog. One of the other dogs that benefited from the donations was Diamond, a 15-year-old dog who had been surrendered to the project on Christmas Eve. Without the funds raised from donations, they would not have been able to offer this elderly dog a place to live for the holidays. The social media post had attracted a lot of attention to Joseph, so his foster mom set him up with his own Instagram account. This was a fantastic way of letting people know how he was getting on following his ordeal.
Since he has been living in his foster home, Joseph’s health has improved dramatically. Although he is still very skinny, the photograph on Instagram clearly shows that he has put on weight since he was rescued, so he is looking much healthier now. Joseph also looks well cared for and happy as his eyes look bright and his expression is content. Compared to what he looked like before, it is nothing short of a Christmas miracle. The Noah’s Ark Rescue Project and Sanctuary arranged for all the medical help that Joseph needed, so he is now free of parasites and healthy other than needing to put on a little more weight. Now that he has been given a clean bill of health, Joseph is ready for the next stage of his journey.
He is now ready for a home he can call his own. Although he has had a happy time with his foster mom, he needs someone to come forward to adopt him and give him his forever home. The project is ready to help him achieve his dreams so that he can go on to live a happy and fulfilled life. Hopefully, his Instagram page will also attract some attention to him so that he will not have too long to wait. Sadly, not all dogs are as lucky as Joseph. There are thousands of stray dogs across the United States, and many more across the world, that were not lucky enough to have a place to stay over the Christmas period. They would have been cold, frightened, hungry, and alone during the coldest months. This is an awful situation for any animal.
Projects like Noah’s Ark Rescue Project and Sanctuary need more volunteers, foster carers, and funds to enable them to improve the lives of the dogs in greatest need. Without this ongoing support, there is little they can do to change the lives of the cold, malnourished, and unloved strays living in desperate conditions. As much help as possible is needed to make a difference in the lives of dogs who have been abandoned and give them the lives they need and deserve.