The sweet tale of JoJo’s salvation


Pets Alive gets hundreds of rescue requests every month. From owner surrenders, to other shelters, to mass mailings, to just about any method of social media available – we get asked to help save the lives of animals. We do help whenever we can and we do read everything that comes our way and try to do something to help the person or people that are trying to save a life. It has gotten so unwieldily though that we spend hours wading through emails, so much that we have had to ask people to not add us to cross posting, as it bogs us down and we can often get over 60-70 emails on the exact same animal! Many people get majorly offended when we ask them to take us off all of these cross posted emails, but the only way we can be effective is if we can have policies and procedures in place for people to reach out to us and ask for help with a specific animal, which we can then review. Cross postings just are not an effective way to get the word out or for us to review and handle a request.

We also get all of the CACC mailings with the pictures of the dogs and cats that are scheduled to die the next morning and we look at those and help pull those animals whenever we can.

That is how I came across one of the saddest looking dogs I had ever seen. His name was Jojo.

Jojo was supposedly 10 years old. His owner had gotten arrested, and JoJo was brought to the CACC, where JoJo just…..well….gave up.

He wouldn’t even sit for his picture and volunteers said he would not respond in any way to them, or come for a walk.
He lay in his run, not looking at any one.
Not eating.
Not participating in life.

And so he went on the kill list to be euthanized the next day.

All night I watched his thread, hoping I would see that he was “safe” but with an old dog, there are not many people who would take this on, never mind an old dog with possible issues or in need of specialized care or worse – very special adopters that would ignore his age, his special needs and his depression. No rescue wants a dog that will stay for a long period of time. We want to be able to move our dogs out into homes, so we can help save the next one!

But they start killing the animals early in the morning, and at 6 am, I checked again, and he was still there.
Not safe.

Awaiting his death.
He looked so miserable, so sad. So broken.

And so we reached for the phone and pulled him.

Over the next few days we hit a few obstacles in getting him to us from the city, and finally his transport was arranged, and we eagerly awaited the day of his arrival. Volunteers had followed his story and they were all set to shower him with love and to show him a new life.

Then I got an email from the CACC. Someone had come in looking to adopt JoJo. The woman said they had been looking all over the place for him, at every shelter in NY and was he here? They responded that he was, but that he had already been adopted.

WHAT??? I’m sorry – but WHAT? The woman was a family member. Sister to the person who had been arrested. She said she loved JoJo and had been searching everywhere for him. She also added that JoJo was on medication – he was an epileptic and he needed medication for that and also for his joints and she told them how much of a dosage he got and how often. Clearly this woman KNEW the dog, cared about him, and wanted to take him home. But they stuck to their guns. Jojo was “adopted” .


No he wasn’t. He had been pulled by rescue. Us. But a rescue. To go to live a life in a shelter. NOT a home. And here was a HOME – someone that KNEW the dog, wanted him and was standing in front of them crying?
…and they turn their back on her and on Jojo and continue the process to transfer him to us??????

Oh my. Sigh.

Thankfully someone at the CACC went after her and wrote all of this down and passed it on to us, including the woman’s contact information.

But again, here is such a disconnect. Jojo had family. He had someone that was looking for him. WHY WOULD ANY ORGANIZATION NOT IMMEDIATELY CALL US AND TELL US THE GREAT NEWS!??

Why in the world would you send this woman away, from a dog that she loved and from one that loved her, to send that dog to an unknown life in a shelter, when he could go to a home?

The minute I read the email about the need for Jojo to be on the medication, and the woman’s number to contact if we needed more information about it, I was stunned.

Why, why, why, why, why?

We immediately contacted her. We told her we would be thrilled for her to take Jojo. She broke down and wept. She wept loudly, and long, and with great happiness, great despair, and great relief. She must have thanked us 1,000 times.

We arranged for her to go BACK to the CACC as a Pets Alive representative to pick up the dog “for us”.

And of course we didn’t take the dog – we instantly approved her adoption and sent Jojo directly home with her.

Jojo never came here, he never needed to.

His home was with the people that loved him. With the people that went to every single shelter in NYC to try to find him, after calling netted them no results.

This woman called the police, the shelters, she hunted for days for this beloved dog of her sister’s and was bereft when she was told that the dog had been adopted out.

Why would any organization prevent her from taking that dog home with them? This is another disconnect, another problem at the bleagured CACC in NYC. The lack of common sense. The lack of the ability to make a judgement call, to do the right thing, to do everything in their power to reunite a lost dog with an owner, or to give a confiscated dog to a family member that clearly loves and wants that dog.

I know the pictures on this page are not great. The people have only an older cell phone and are not computer savvy so it was hard to get us some good pictures, but the pictures you see here are the day that they picked Jojo up and took him home. Home. Home after taking him for a long walk at the beach, after getting his epilepsy medication into him, after getting him a good meal and settling him down in a warm and cozy bed in their living room.

Why would anyone deprive them of taking this dog home with them, and why would anyone deprive a dog that had given up all hope and just waited to die, a chance to go home with someone he clearly loved?

You’re home Jojo. We are so glad to be the instruments of that for you and so glad that your eyes have light in them once again.

Enjoy the rest of your days in the arms of people that didn’t give up on you. Who hunted the mean streets of NYC to bring you home.


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