Most people think of their pets as part of the family, but local animal shelters are seeing an increase in older dogs, turned in by their owners.
The reasons vary, but the chances for those senior dogs getting adopted are slim which makes the story of Tiger so special.
Tiger is a dog getting a second chance at love.
The 9-year-old still has some pep in his step, but last month, the elderly mastiff ended up at Kern County Animal Services with an uncertain future but with strike already against him.
“Not many people are looking for an aged dog. They’re looking for puppies. They’re looking for adolescent dogs with a lot of energy,” Nick Cullen of Kern County Animal Services said.
Fortunately for Tiger, it was his smile that caught the attention of Gloria and Wes McMackin.
“Just his age and everything we were just like somebody has to do something for this guy. He can’t just sit there. And, he had another strike for being his size,” Gloria McMackin said.
The McMackins adopted Tiger on Jan. 20 and quickly settled into their home and their hearts.
“A lot of people don’t realize you can adopt a senior dog, or a dog this big and it could be just a perfect dog. Of course he’s not perfect 100 percent, but he’s a fast learner and he just came into our hearts and our lives and we love him.”
The McMackins hope Tiger’s story will encourage other animal lovers to consider adopting a senior, like “Sissie.” The 11-year-old blue Queensland heeler was brought to the shelter by her owner.
Nick Cullen says the saddest thing they encounter is older dogs being surrendered.
“They come here and their whole world is turned upside down.”
Tiger was lucky, but if you ask the McMackins, they’ll tell you they all hit the jackpot.
“he’s just an all around good boy. You can just tell he’s thankful to be out and free from being in the shelter,” Gloria McMackin said.
Right now it’s just $50 to adopt a dog from Kern County Animal Services.
You can follow Tiger on a Facebook page dedicated to encourage people to adopt older dogs.