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“Leo the Lionhearted” Has Been Adopted

Feeling down? Here’s a beautiful story about one homeless and abused dog who waited 4 years for a family – and has finally found his “forever” home! 

For a long, long time Leo the German Shepherd mix has been looking for his forever family. A kind person named Annie rescued him in Brooklyn four years ago by chance, unaware that when she left the house that morning she’d come home with an injured stray.

Says Annie, “I was biking in Brooklyn and saw a beautiful, full-sized dog run out into the street and get hit by a car. After he flipped over the hood of the car and none of the bystanders did anything, I picked him up and took him to a veterinarian.”

One of his legs needed some repair, but amazingly no major injuries. Lucky dog! “Because I wasn’t looking to adopt a dog, I was then in the pickle of having a nameless, collarless, unknown dog in my small apartment! I made posters and put them up all around the area where the accident happened. After about two weeks, a woman called me and said that the dog had escaped from a warehouse where he was the puppy of one of their guard dogs. She worked there, and knew that he was kept caged all day and set loose to roam the warehouse at night. In addition to that horrible news, I also noticed that Leo (as I started to call him) had no ear flaps. He can hear just fine, but the skin where two pointed little ears would be is missing, giving him a ‘teddy bear’ appearance. Apparently when he was a few weeks old he had an ear infection, and his previous owner cut them off! I was horrified to hear this story, and although I wasn’t looking to adopt a dog, agreed to take him temporarily and take over the process of finding him a new forever home.”

Leo and foster mom Annie, 2016

In Fall 2015, Foster Dogs shared his story in the hopes that this would help him find a forever family. In August of 2016, Foster Dogs arranged for Leo to have an exclusive feature on The Dodo (getting over 100,000 views and 16,000 likes), though he still didn’t find the right match.

In November of 2016, Foster Dogs talked with local rescue group Friends with Four Paws (FWFP) about bringing Leo into their rescue program; Leo had previously been unaffiliated with a rescue group as Annie had rescued him on her own. FWFP posted him on PetFinder with some cute photos and a description that Annie provided. Susie’s Senior Dogs joined in on the conversation, happy to help if Leo was still in need. We all knew it was only a matter of time before Leo finally would meet a great family.

Amazingly, within a couple months, there was finally a major development with his adoption process. It took a while, but it was worth the wait. Leo found a family!

Says his new mom Flora, “When we first met Leo, we knew there was something special about him. He was energetic, playful and had a youthful glint in his eye that could not be ignored. As soon as we finished meeting Leo and his foster mom, we knew we wanted to adopt him. Rather than being a deterrent, his age was a bonus for us; we were able to give a beautiful dog a wonderful home. From his excitement and energetic disposition, you’d never know he wasn’t a puppy! All in all, Leo made us feel a sense of happiness and warmth, and we’ll be forever glad to Annie (his foster mom) and Foster Dogs for helping us find the newest addition to our family.”

Flora and Vlad shared with us, “We found him on PetFinder and were very excited because: A. He’s adorable. B. He’s technically considered a senior dog, so we would be giving a dog a home that might get overlooked by other potential adopters. C. He’s extremely well trained.”

We’re so happy for Leo, and wish his new parents Flora and Vlad – and his rescuer Annie – all the best. Thanks to everyone who shared his story and helped promote Leo’s search for a home!

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