WESTBROOK, Maine — A terminally ill dog whose story has been shared thousands of times on social media has now been adopted, according to the Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland.
Rusty, a 1-year-old dog from Georgia, was brought to the Animal Refuge League two months ago after being diagnosed with a liver shunt.
“That means that his liver can’t properly detoxify his blood,” Jeana Roth, with the Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland, said. “That prognoses means he’ll have a much shorter life than the average dog.”
On Sunday, the shelter put out a plea on social media looking for the right family to adopt Rusty and help him check off a “bucket list of Maine adventures” before his time is up.
“He’s bouncy, he’s full of energy and he’s so playful,” Roth said. “He really doesn’t know what’s going on, on the inside.”
Before coming to Maine, ARLGP says Rusty did have surgery to try and correct the issues with his liver but it was unsuccessful.
“Everything was done that could have been done,” Roth said. “So we’re at a point with Rusty that we just really want to give him the best life that we can.”
Rusty requires a lot of extra care, expensive medications and a flexible schedule. Even so, less than 24 hours after his story was first posted Rusty was adopted.
The Animal Refuge League said it’s now hoping Rusty’s new family will give him a once in a lifetime experience.
“He’s a newbie to Maine,” Roth said. “So going to the ocean and hiking are all brand new things for him. We hope this family can maybe make him a bucket list and check some really great things off and give him that perfect life.”
The Animal Refuge League says they had dozens of people reach out hoping to adopt Rusty.
According to his new family, they plan to keep everyone posted on social media about his bucket list adventure.