Some stories “break the internet,” and others only break its heart.
An 18-year-old senior dog named Jaripo was well on his way to doing just that when his story exploded on social media.
His former owner had told the staff at the bustling Lancaster County Animal Shelter that Jaripo had a terminal illness and needed to be put down.
They decided to wait — hoping a plea over social media might move someone to rescue Jaripo.
But as is often the case, many people share a story and far fewer get in the car.
Christina Morgan, founder of Paw Works in Ventura County, California, couldn’t help but see the widely shared Facebook post. “I get tagged in a lot of stuff on Facebook and I saw that this little (dog) was breaking the internet,” she tells The Dodo.
“Lots of people were tagging me. All the rescues were looking at it. But no one was really taking action — and that’s a high-kill shelter.”
She figured for all the social media outcry, Jaripo wasn’t long for this world. “So I just said, ‘To hell with it,'” she recalls. “It’s pouring rain. My husband’s like, ‘Are you nuts?'”
Morgan loaded up her car and drove nearly two hours to meet Jaripo. She tried calling the shelter to tell them she was on her way. But staff said they couldn’t guarantee the dog would be there when she arrived.
“They said, ‘If he needs to be put to sleep, we will do that,'” she says. So Morgan drove faster.
“I got there in time and they were like, ‘Oh my god, we’re so excited that you’re here.‘” No one more so than a bedraggled old dog named Jaripo.
Morgan took Jaripo home that day. Later, a veterinarian confirmed that he had some pain in his spine and hips, as well as some teeth that needed work.
But Jairpo’s blood tests came back strong. It turned out the only terminal condition Jaripo faced was abandonment at a busy animal shelter. And with help from Morgan, he beat that.
The senior dog has already found a foster family where. Morgan says he will “just live his days out.” “He’s a happy camper,” she notes.
Of course, Morgan brought some extra crates with her, knowing it’s hard to take just one animal home from the shelter.
“I ended up leaving with a cat with a bullet in him, this old dog and four other dogs,” she says.