This 9-year-old senior dog has been through a lot, but has lots of love to give

By People Staff
October 21, 2010 02:12 PM

At, we hear about – and sometimes are lucky enough to meet a few of – the many dogs and cats in need of a home. While we want very much to find loving families for them all, there’s one in particular who we’d like to help this Adopt-a-Dog Month, and we’d like to tell you a little about her now.

We first met beagle-Labrador mix Shea at Adoptapalooza in September, where more than a hundred of New York City’s shelter pets found their forever homes. At 9 years old, Shea is a senior, but we were sure that with her charming and ladylike demeanor, she would be adopted that day, too.

A month later, Shea is still living at the Picasso Veterinary Fund’s cageless boarding facility, where she’s been for the past four months. She gets plenty of love and attention, and even gets to go swimming twice a week, but it isn’t ideal.

It’s better than where she was last, which was in a crate in the dark basement of a hoarder. She wasn’t there long; the Picasso Fund thinks that Shea might have been surrendered to someone who they thought was offering her a new home. Because the stay is assumed to have been relatively short, Shea hasn’t suffered any negative emotional effects, and her health is still in good shape.

“For all that she’s been through, she’s amazingly sweet,” says the Picasso Fund’s Siobhan Healy. “I would kill to find her a home.”

Shea’s age has been a barrier; Healy says that prospective adopters fear losing an animal, and want to have a decade a more to spend with their new pet. But Shea, despite her age – and with that, her arthritis and occasional tendency to “wander around” – is an amazing dog.

“She’s a senior, so she moves slowly and she bonds slowly, but once she’s bonded to you, she’s your best friend,” Healy says. “She won’t run up to people she doesn’t know and lick them in the face, but once she gets to know you, she’ll lick you in the face all day long.”

Because she’s trained and very well-behaved, Shea could be placed in any home. She doesn’t mind other dogs or pets, and she loves children.

“She adores them,” Healy says. “She loses 10 years when she sees kids.”

For more information about Shea, or to put in an application to adopt her, contact the Picasso Veterinary Fund via their Petfinder page.