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“Unconditional Love: The Couple Who Rescued Old Dogs from the Shelter”

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Many of us have been fortunate enough to have a dog enter our lives and transform them for the better. But a dog touching hundreds of lives? That’s very special.

Moses was a rogue dog like that. The first time Mariesa and Chris Hughes saw him, he was at the Seminole County Animal Shelter. Moses’ time was running out; as a senior shelter dog, he had been turned over by potential adopters time and again. The Hughes, on the other hand, recognised something special in the old man.

“When Moses’ time at the Seminole County shelter expired, he was shared with me on Facebook.” His shelter photo was of him wearing a tie in front of a white background. He seemed like the perfect little gentleman, and I knew we had to save him.”

They decided to take him in to rescue him in order to give him more time to find his family, but he found it much sooner than she had hoped!

“We initially took him into the rescue group I had founded, intending for him to be adopted. When he arrived at our house, he blended in with my pack like he’d been there for years. I knew he wasn’t going anywhere a few weeks after he arrived. He was a really special dog who never met a person he didn’t like or a bed he didn’t want to hump. He was quite the character!”

Moses fit in like a puzzle piece, and they spent the next few months carving out a special place in their home and hearts for him. But, only two years later, his Health began to deteriorate, and Mariesa and Chris knew that their time with Moses was coming to an end.

Moses felt out of sorts and was losing his footing on the night of Valentine’s Day in 2014. They quickly rushed him to a veterinarian, who diagnosed him with old dog vestibular illness, a condition that, if not worsened, can clear itself in a few days. However, Mariesa and Chris had a suspicion that there was something else going on.

Chris took Moses to the Cornell Companion Animal Hospital the next day, where they recommended an MRI.

“As newlyweds with eight dogs, we didn’t have the money for an MRI, so we sold our hot tub for the exact cost of the test and went ahead with it.” That MRI verified our greatest fears.Moses had a high-up spinal cord tumour that was incurable. It was harming his front legs first, but it would soon impact the rest of him. His brain messages would be unable to travel through such a dense mass. He was given four weeks to live.”

Mariesa and Chris were adamant on keeping Moses. Their finances suffered as they struggled to save him, but the expense was insignificant in comparison to the loss of a family member.

“Over the next five weeks, we tested every drug we could find.” We drove our neurologist insane with acupuncture and medicines.”Moses died at home, in our arms, listening to us tell him what a courageous and beautiful dog he was and how we would never forget him.”

Moses died only two years after becoming a member of their family. The impact was enormous. When he was adopted, they knew he was old, but the loss still rocked them both.

“Losing Moses put such a strain on our marriage, hearts, and house that we honestly didn’t know what to do with ourselves.” Moses was almost like another person in our house; he was chatty, humorous, and loving, and he was the pack’s gentleman. It was a heartbreaking loss for all of us.”

The loss was difficult, yet it provided inspiration.

“So one day when Chris and I were driving down the road he said ‘we should start a senior dog chapter of the rescue and pay all of their medical expenses.'”Knowing how much money we had just gone through with Moses, this concept seemed a little strange to me, but he kept talking about it, claiming that so many seniors are surrendered to shelters because their care becomes expensive or they require vetting that owners cannot afford. So we should cover that expense and find them fantastic homes without having to worry about money. Again, wonderful concept, but how does it make sense?! No, it doesn’t!”

Chris’ concept was wonderful, but it was also insane! Good medical care is not cheap, and taking on numerous senior dogs would be a tremendous undertaking. Still, the concept took root and grew and grew until it became a reality. The Mr. Mo Project was conceived!

The Mr. Mo Project assists in the care of senior dogs in need. They are able to help cover the medical expenses of old pups thanks to donations. This enables a network of caring fosters to rescue senior dogs from shelters and place them in the comfort of a genuine home for the remainder of their lives, without having to worry about the cost of care! And, much like Moses, they fight the struggle for every dog that comes their way.

“We never withhold medical care because of cost; we only withhold it because of quality of life.” We do not normally provide ‘hospice’ care for cancer diagnoses; instead, we treat the malignancy if it is treatable. And I believe anyone above the age of 70 will agree with me that age is not an illness, so let’s stop treating it like one. Treat a 16-year-old dog as you would a 6-year-old dog. They are no less deserving of respect or consideration.”

“We were impacted and, hopefully, had an impact on situations where dogs were abused and owners were arrested.” We go to court on behalf of the victim, who is now our dog.”

This wonderful organisation also helps to keep families together. Medications, regular medical visits, and surgeries that dogs may require as they age can cost thousands of dollars. Some people have given their senior Pets to the Mr. Mo Project because they believe the organisation will treat their Pets as they would. When a surrender is made out of love, the Hughes will allow the original owner to return their Pet as soon as possible.

“We also accept pets from owners, however we make every effort to keep them with their owners. So, if someone calls and says they need to rehome their dog because they can’t afford xy and z, we attempt to work with them to keep their dog in the home they know with the owner they adore, and vice versa. “This is a win-win situation.”We’ve both been influenced by and had an impact on the lives of folks who have lost their homes for various reasons. We were able to place their pets in foster care and reunite them with their owners when they were able to get back on their feet in two cases.  So this rescue not only saves canines, but it also saves humans and us.”

Losing Moses put the Hughes’ marriage to the ultimate test. But now they live with a constantly changing pack of rescues, and they’re doing it together.

“We try to promise each other that we won’t bring any more home, but the dogs we keep at our house are too sick, time consuming, unsocial, or have a medical condition that necessitates frequent vet visits, medication, or care.” We have a pack of misfits that make messes, wake us up at night, make us laugh during the day, and love us more than we deserve. We wouldn’t exchange any of them for the world’s money.”

Moses has been gone for a few years, but his legacy has saved the lives of almost 300 Pets. Many old shelter dogs died in homes with people who actually loved them and will remember them as a result of him and the notion he promoted. As the Mr. Mo Project continues, Moses will give many more people a chance through Chris and Mariesa.

By donating to The Mr. Mo Project, you can help offer care and comfort for pets nearing the end of their lives. You can apply to foster and give the gift of a loving home and heart to a senior dog. Their efforts are supported by contributions, but you can also help by purchasing with their business partners or browsing their pups’ own Amazon wish lists! Visit the Mr. Mo Project website to learn more!

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