Tri-Cities Voice Newspaper - What's Happening - Fremont, Union City, Newark California

August 23, 2005 > For Love of Joe

For Love of Joe

by Nancy Lyon

All of us that work with or at the Tri-City Animal Shelter carry in our hearts and minds the many faces of innocent animals who have looked to us to save them. All too often all we can offer is our compassion and hope for a miracle, miracles that sometimes do occur. When they don't happen, those of us who have stayed on for any length of time have learned to let go but we will never forget those eyes that looked to us for help and understanding.

The public seldom sees the time and caring that goes into trying to save the shelter animals. While facing overwhelming numbers the staff, volunteers, rescue individuals and organizations work very hard to find responsible options. All of us know that not all adoptable animals will be re-homed. Yet there are those special animals that touch a deep place in our hearts - such a wonderful being is Joe.

Joe is a large and gentle, neutered male Rottweiler, who came to the Tri-City Animal Shelter in early June. He had been a ranch dog for all of his five years and now his human family had to leave the property - and Joe. He was surrendered with hope that he might find a new family, not an easy task for a dog from a breed that too often crowds shelters.

A gentle giant, tolerant of other dogs and cats, Joe definitely does not fit the "muscle dog" image that often accompanies his breed. He loves adults and children, he allows puppies to pounce on his stomach without fear of retribution, and smaller animals do not have to worry that their actions will trigger a prey drive. Joe has passed every temperament evaluation with flying colors and has handled an extended shelter stay with balance and good grace.

The problem is that Joe is a special needs dog. While he may be perfect in heart and soul, he was born with a facial deformity that has labelled him "less adoptable." This partial paralysis on one side of his face makes it necessary for eye drops to be administered daily for the rest of his life as his right eye does not produce tears. He allows this with his usual benevolence.

He has been turned down by all-breed rescues because of lack of foster space and Rottweiler rescue is inundated as always with requests from other shelters for help. Unfortunately, local low-kill shelters turned down a request for a shelter transfer as he did not meet their criteria.

Joe has been held since the beginning of June but his time is running out. With the increased number of animals being sheltered from Fremont, Newark, Union City and now San Leandro, kennel space is at a premium. This means that a number of longer-hold adoptable animals must die.

To say that everyone at the shelter loves Joe is an understatement. We hope for that miracle but we want someone who will act not only out of kindness but who will commit to this great dog for the rest of his life. Dogs are wonderful...but Joe...Joe is special.

If you are interested in adopting Joe, or might consider fostering him for the shelter until further options are found please contact the Tri-City Animal Shelter at (510) 790-4300 or 3400 between 1-4 p.m., Tuesday-Saturday ASAP. Joe's file number is A053270.

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