Van – They didn't even give his name.

APARN was contacted about a sweet senior pug who was surrendered to the Phoenix Humane Society at the age of 15. The surrendering owner said he had seizures sometimes, but he wasn’t on medication. Oh, but that wasn’t the reason for the surrender. The reason this darling little old black pug could no longer remain with the family he had known for the last 15 years was that he did not care for the new puppy they had bought to replace him with. They knew the average lifespan of a pug was 12-14 years, so they decided his best days were over, bought a new dog, and dumped him at the Humane Society.

When APARN volunteers Laura and Terri arrived to meet him, they expected a decrepit, old pug that could barely walk. What greeted them from the cage was the most soulful pair of eyes they’d seen in along time, a wagging tail, and a bright, alert pug with fur so black it almost looked blue when the fluorescent lights hit it just right.

“What’s his name?” asked Laura.

The Humane Society representative looked first at the pug, then back at Laura. “They wouldn’t tell us his name,” she explained.

“WHAT?” Both volunteers were amazed. “He gave them unconditional love for fifteen years,” Terri said. “And they couldn’t even give him the dignity of his name. That’s just wrong.” She reached over to pet his soft fur. “We will give you a new name, to go with your new life.”

It was decided to name the new pug Van, in honor of Vincent Van Gogh, as the song “Vincent” came on the radio just as Terri started the car.

Van went home with Laura to foster, and at his vet appointment, bloodwork was done so that he could start on Phenobarbital to prevent seizures. It was decided that due to his advanced age and seizure disorder, Van would likely not be very adoptable, so he was designated a Forever Foster.

Van thrived with Laura and her other pugs, and after six months, she asked to adopt him, so that he could have the type of Forever Family he deserved. Van lived quite happily with Laura and his three pug sisters for almost four years. He went to the Rainbow Bridge just a few weeks shy of his 19th birthday. APARN never turns down a pug in need, no matter what age or medical condition. You can help ensure we have the funding needed to care for these precious pugs.

Ways you can help rescue pugs like Van.

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Foster Parent

To leave no pug behind we need your help. Please consider fostering a pug or two. It can be quite a rewarding experience. Even if you just help one pug and decide fostering isn’t for you, you’d still be making a difference! Apply to foster today.