Canela Is Not Too Old For Us

The heartbreaking video above was shot by and shared with permission from Laura Garrick. It shows a gentleman dumping off his dog at the North Central shelter in the Los Angeles area for no other reason than she's old, can't hear so good, and just lays down all the time. Canela was initially adopted from the same shelter in 2004, so as near as we can tell, she is at least 13, and possibly as old as 18 right now.
This video is heartbreaking on so many levels, but one aspect of it hits me harder than anything else. The fact that the person turning her in is a senior himself. There are many reasons people have for turning in their pets. Moving, a new baby, the animal has an illness the owner can't afford to care for, the list is long, and in the rescue world, the legitimacy of any reason to give up a pet are debated often and end in arguments. Being dumped solely because a pet is a senior, and isn't moving as well as they used to, well, that should never happen. A pet in it's senior years should be allowed to live out their life comfortably with the people they have known and loved all their lives.

There is no guarantee that ANY animal makes it out of a shelter, whether an adorable puppy or a purebred. For a dog at the age of 14-18 the odds are even worse. Even if the dog does make it out, having to give up everything it has known all it's life, and expect it to get comfortable in a new home, in a different environment, learn to trust, all the while dealing with the affects of getting older, like hearing and sight loss, dental issues, arthritis, etc. is a lot to ask.

As soon as we saw this video, we jumped to help Canela. Watching her get pulled away, tail between her legs broke our hearts. We rescued her on 1/27/18 and took her straight to our vets office, The Pet Doctors of Sherman Oaks, to have her checked out. Canela has arthritis, hip dysplasia, and is deaf.  Here is her freedom video as our puller/transporter Cathi Perez got her out of the shelter:

She was pretty stressed when we first brought her in. Confused, scared, in pain, left on a cold shelter floor, surrounded by a bunch of unfamiliar faces. It is a whirlwind of very unpleasant changes that happen in an instant when a pet is left at the shelter. I met her yesterday and took her for a walk. Under the loving care of our vet's office, she is getting more comfortable, and is feeling better. You can tell just by looking at her photos that she is feeling better, and I think she looks amazing for a senior, larger dog!

We are currently accepting applications for a foster or possible forever home for Canela in the Los Angeles area. We think that she will make an amazing companion for someone looking for the love and gratitude that comes from a grateful rescued senior pet. She may not hear so good anymore, and she may just lie around all day, but her heart is big and she has a lot of love to give.

If you are in the Los Angeles area and are interested in Canela (or in being a foster for Leave No Paws Behind) please email