Is “Jake From State Farm” the World’s Unluckiest Dog?

Some say it’s a dog’s life, and depending on their luck, many dogs get to spend their first years through their last in the same cozy home where life is easy and the food, treats, and routine never varies to a significant degree. Other’s are not so fortunate, as is the case of Jake, who was found by animal services, locked in a crate, next to the body of its deceased owner. Jake was rescued by Burlington Animal Services, located approximately fifty miles outside of Raleigh, North Carolina. Confused, scared, and locked in his crate for a couple of days, Jake was not pleased to have strangers in the house. The dog was in rough shape, yet he waited to go outside to finally relieve himself. At first, the family of the prior pet parent tried to take Jake into their home. This would have been the best solution and often this works out well. Then Jake was taken in by a loving person; however, they lost their home so they could no longer provide shelter for themselves, or poor Jake,

Two foster attempts were arranged. Unfortunately, Jake is not a fan of cats! Seeing that this arrangement would not work for peaceful coexistence, both foster parents returned Jake to the shelter. Four times in three months Jake ended up back in the care of the shelter! Due to his frequent appearance, much like a popular commercial played over and over until it is well known, Jake has been dubbed “Jake From State Farm”. He has been pictured on social media wearing a red shirt bearing the State Farm Insurance. He is one of the featured pets pictured on the Burlington Animal Services Facebook page.

Jake’s story has been picked up by several media outlets such as the Charlotte Observer, as it is unusual for a dog to be boomeranged back to the shelter so many times in just three months! He has also gone viral on social media and other news sites in hopes that he will find a forever home with a “good neighbor”. So is Jake From State Farm the World’s Unluckiest Dog? Well, that depends on how you look at it. Yes, he suffered the trauma of being left in a cage next to his dead owner, and yes he was adopted, then brought back and then fostered twice to no avail, but through it all he has been under the protection of people who were trying to do their best for him, although unsuccessfully.

Pet owners do pass away and it’s sometimes impossible to know just when that will happen. Often a loyal dog is a senior citizen’s best friend, and in more cases than not, their only loyal friend. With best intentions the dog and human bond should be forever; however, nature might have other plans. A dog owner might not know that they are sick, they may have chronic conditions, they may be on medication that is risky to their health, and in some cases, like heart failure, death is swift and sudden. There is no way to always plan for these situations; however, most senior folks, being realistic about their own life span, choose to adopt or foster senior dogs. This makes sense for more reasons than sheer longevity. A senior dog is more likely to keep pace with a slow walking owner and demands less rigorous exercise. Puppies are cute; however, keeping pace with one and attending to the housebreaking and training takes a lot of stamina and is hard to do for senior citizens with health challenges. It’s not to say that a lively, vibrant senior can’t keep pace with a young pup, but it can be a challenge.

Also the size of the dog matters. A young, large dog can accidentally pull a frail or disabled person off of their feet in seconds. Big, powerful dogs need lots of activity and exercise, and keeping one shut up in a condo or apartment all day and night is not the answer. Conversely, a small senior dog may enjoy the life of a lap dog with a few daily short frisky walks with their elderly owner–a nice routine that complements both of their needs. Times are tough these days and good people are having to downsize, relocate with family, and/or live in temporary accommodation. These situations are never what the person or family hopes for or plans for and are heartbreaking for those forced to rehome a pet. Some who unfortunately lose a home with a yard and have to move into very small quarters do make the hard but unselfish choice to rehome their beloved dog who needs room to run. This is not the same as dumping it off or heartlessly leaving it at a shelter. To rehome a dog takes time and investigation into the new owner’s lifestyle to see if it is a good fit.

To give a loved dog away to a new owner, who has been vetted and who will have the time and accommodation for a pet is doing what is best for the dog. Yes, the dog will remember you but if it is given to a good, caring home it will make new memories. Most canines are quite adaptable once they feel secure. Although Jake has been through some trials lately with his owner passing (yes, dogs do grieve) and being shuffled back and forth, he is doing better than some dogs who don’t have a loving animal rescue organization and lots of social media exposure on his side. Jake from State Farm just needs a stable home with no cats and parents with some patience to help him settle down. So will Jake From State Farm finally find his forever home? Considering his cuteness and media exposure in no time at all he will hopefully go back to being just “Jake”. For more information about this marvelous dog and other pets for adoption, please contact Burlington Animal Services.

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