Who would be able to save Abel? When his owner surrendered this Labrador Retriever mix to the Vance County Animal Control shelter in North Carolina on October 12th, he indicated that Abel was an extraordinary 20 years old. He was underweight, visually and hearing impaired and heartworm positive. He also had an ear infection, untrimmed nails and bad teeth. Abel was in very bad condition and certainly in no condition to be in a shelter.

On October 18th, Jodi Smith, the intake coordinator for the Black Dogs & Company Rescue in Maryland, contacted RADAR about Abel (known as Vader at the shelter). “Our rescue does not typically take senior dogs,” Jodi said, “but it appears no one else is stepping up for this poor dog, so I am seeking your help.” If we would help with his vetting costs, the rescue would pull Abel and Jodi would foster him for as long as necessary. We agreed, and with the additional help of a private donor, the rescue was able to pull Abel!

His vetting took place on October 26th. “Abel has severe dental disease and some indications of kidney disease,” Jodi told us. “He is not blind, but his vision is likely blurred from cataracts. He is hearing impaired, if not completely deaf. Given his likely testicular cancer and nodules already present in his lungs, not to mention his significant age, the vet does not recommend the regular heartworm treatment.”

Jodi, who will be providing Abel with permanent hospice foster care, told us this about Abel: “He is an old gentle soul. He definitely still has drive and a will to live. Abel lights up any time another dog (or cat!) walks by, and he wags his tail and rushes up to greet them. He loves to go for walks, sniffing everything. He has really improved since he arrived. For all the ailments Abel has, along with the lifetime of neglect that he has endured, it’s amazing how sweet and gentle this boy is.”

Cindy Hagan, the founder of Black Dogs & Company Rescue, had this to share about Abel: “We wanted this old fella to have a soft place to lay his head. We cannot save them all, but Abel will not leave this world in the arms of a stranger in a cold kennel all alone. He will be so loved by Jodi and have a soft bed and the best care a dog could ever have. Thank you so much for helping us help Abel.” To see more photos of Abel, click here.

UPDATE: On January 4th, 2017, Abel crossed the Rainbow Bridge. “He just started fading away,” Cindy Hagan told us. “He then no longer wanted to walk or eat.” Jodi Smith, who was Abel’s hospice foster mom, and Cindy made the difficult decision to let him go. He passed peacefully in their loving arms. “Thank you RADAR for letting Jodi have him in her life,” Cindy said. Rest in Peace, Abel.

RADAR paid $250 towards the initial vetting, testing and x-ray costs for Abel.

UPDATE: All funds for Abel have been raised. Thank you.

If you would like to help us have the ability to help other dogs, please visit our Donations page.

Thank you to the following contributors, who have given specifically to Abel:

Chloe’s SOS Fund ($100); Black Dog Fund ($50); Anna & Paul Nadler; Michael Tasker

Added on November 13, 2016.

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