Most shelter dogs are lucky if they find a forever family. Very few leave the shelter — if they do leave the shelter — with a forever friend.
The “if” in the sentence above is what makes the story of Ares and Zeus such a touching and special one. They very nearly did not make it out of the Orange County Animal Shelter in Orlando, Florida. The dogs were scheduled to be euthanized on the fourth and fifth of this month; if Ronda Chewning hadn’t seen their picture on the Second Chance Rescue Facebook Page, that would be the end of their story. It would be an unremarkable end, because thousands of dogs end their stories the same way every year.
Ares and Zeus came into the OCAS one day apart from each other, and became instant friends. They’ve remained friends ever since, and fortunately, Chewning was able to give them a home together. “I had no plan to get any dogs, let alone two,” Chewning told The Huffington Post. “We live on a tight budget, and two dogs weren’t in the budget.”
And the family certainly wasn't lacking canine members. They already had two, a Miniature Pinscher and a Maltipoo. But the picture of the two dogs touched something in Chewning, and she felt that she needed to be involved in some way. She posted on Facebook that she was going to the shelter to check on the two dogs. The response she got was remarkable; not only did she get encouragement to go ahead, many people offered money if she'd go ahead and adopt them. "Everyone said get them, they would donate."
It turns out that wasn't idle Internet chatter; as of now, a fundraising campaign has raised $ 8,050 for Ares and Zeus's medical expenses and adoption fees. The two dogs have remained inseparable in their new home. "They are still connected at the hip. They walk side by side," Chewning says. "They even eat side by side."
When Chewning first took Ares and Zeus into her home, she intended it to be temporary, but now she's not so sure. The idea of giving them to another home makes her feel "really torn."
Ares and Zeus have come to live with Ronda Chewning and her daughter, but their adoption has been a community matter. A Facebook Group called Ares and Zeus "The Boys" is thriving with over 12,000 likes. The community rallied around the dogs when they needed it most, just on the verge of death. Through the Internet, that same community is watching them live.
Want to donate to support Ares and Zeus's new lives in the Chewning family? Their crowdfunding campaign is still open on GoFundMe.
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