Cookie is a Cocker Spaniel estimated to be anywhere from 8 to 15 years old. She was picked up and brought to the San Bernardino City Shelter along with her younger Labrador sibling at the end of January. The family of the two escaped pooches was contacted, but what happened when they arrived shocked dog lovers across the world.
The family collected their Labrador from the shelter, then quickly sped off leaving Cookie behind. Shelter staff reported that the confused Cocker whimpered as her family fled. A heartbreaking photo of Cookie after her abandonment spread across the online community like wildfire, drawing sadness and support for the sweet girl. She was discarded by her family when she needed them most.
The rescue group, O.C. Small Paws Southern Utah division, heard Cookie’s story and placed her into their foster program with a loving foster mom. The family reports that Cookie is adjusting well to her new situation—she loves squeaky toys and is working on her potty training. After careful consideration, the shelter has decided not to pursue adoption for Cookie. Instead she will remain in permanent foster care so that the group can oversee her medical needs.
According to the group’s Facebook page, Cookie has already undergone surgery for cancer, is scheduled for a second procedure, and may have other age-related health concerns. They are grateful for the outpouring of support they have received on Cookie’s behalf and urge anyone previously interested in adopting her to consider one of the many other senior dogs who find themselves in the shelter system.
Sadly, Cookie’s story is a common one. Many families abandon their pets when they reach their senior years, and these pets have the hardest time finding their way back out of the shelter alive. We can all help reduce this heartbreaking trend by promoting senior dog awareness and opening our hearts and homes to these special, “pre-loved” pooches when we can.