A heartbreaking photo of a dog named Dessie has gone viral. The 14-year-old dog was dumped by her family at Miami-Dade Animal Services, and seemed destined to be put down, but the sad story appears to have a happy ending, thanks to the power of social media.
"Imagine living with someone for 14 years and all of a sudden they abandon you. That's exactly what happened," said Lyndsey Gurowitz-Furman, from the rescue group "A Way For a Stray."
Dessie's owner surrendered her at the Miami-Dade shelter on Sunday and someone snapped a photo of the dog as her family left her behind. Experts from animal rescue groups say older dogs run a higher risk of being euthanized.
"It's sad. People aren't going to the shelter to adopt senior dogs. They're looking for puppies," Gurowitz-Furman said.
"Owner surrenders don't have the five day stray hold that a stray dog would have. So anything can happen when they're taken in," added "A Way For a Stray" volunteer, Jeannie Dykstra.
Volunteers with "A Way for a Stray" came to Dessie's rescue and will care for her until they can find her the perfect home. They call her a great family dog.
"Her personality is lovely, she is extremely sweet, she loves all people that she meets. She pretty much ignores other dogs," Dykstra said.
Dessie's already gone to the vet and will now be evaluated by the rescue group before she is ready for adoption. Volunteers say she's in pretty good shape for being such a senior dog.
"Just because it's a senior doesn't mean that they don't deserve a loving or happy home to live out the rest of their days or years," Gurowitz-Furman said.
The rescue group is accepting applications. If you are interested in adopting Dessie, click here for more information.