As football commits sat on the edges of their seats, and Rihanna fans waited patiently, dog lovers tuned in to the event of the year, the 2023 Puppy Bowl.
The Puppy Bowl is an adorable Super Bowl pre-game on Animal Planet featuring a handful of puppies maneuvering a ball in a mini stadium between two end zones. This year, among the many rescue shelters featuring dogs, was Vintage Pet Rescue, a shelter with a heart for the elderly that took a chance on a two-legged puppy, Joey.
Joey came from Vintage Pet Rescue, a shelter with a mission.
The Puppy Bowl is as entertaining as it is an opportunity for the rescue dogs televised to be adopted. This year, the star of the show for Rhode Island rescuers was Joey, the one-year-old puppy born without two front legs, per USA Today.
Joey's Rhode Island parents, Larson and Laurie Thibodeau, adopted Joey through Vintage Pet Rescue, based out of Foster, R.I. Joey was the last puppy in his litter which couldn't find a home, and was routed from the Connecticut Humane Society to Vintage Pet Rescue.
Vintage Pet Rescue, a non-profit 501(c)(3) run by Kristen and Marc Peralta, originally set out to find homes or provide long-term comfort for vintage (elderly) dogs. They took a chance by picking up Joey because he was a puppy, however, the Peraltas told USA Today that Joey fit right in.
Although Vintage Pet Rescue does facilitate adoptions, with 200 out of the 255 dogs they took in last year now in forever homes, not all of their dogs are up for adoption. Many of the pups are actually just full-time residents, living out the rest of their lives in peace.
Older dogs are often seen as less desirable when it comes to adoption, and are often left behind at shelters, despite needing love and care like every other dog. Vintage Pet Rescue prioritizes hospice and geriatric living care so that elderly dogs can continue to live comfortably, whether they are up for adoption or not. This makes the shelter unique in the way it is a dog retirement community, per Vintage Pet Rescue.
Vintage Pet Rescue gives a bright future to dogs like Joey.
Joey was among 11 special needs puppies out of the 122 dogs at The Puppy bowl this year, and will hopefully only increase in number in the coming years, according to CNN.
Dogs with special needs are also often left behind at shelters, overlooked in the adoption process. When speaking about Joey, Kristen Peralta from Vintage Pet Rescue told USA Today: "He's a completely healthy, happy pup with no real medical issues, other than he was born with no front legs."
Luckily, an event like the Puppy Bowl is a great way for dogs like Joey to get attention. We only hope to see more special pups like him in years to come.