AWLA looks for “hospice home” for 13-year-old Sweet Pete

Virginia

“As long as he’s on his medicine, he’ll eat like a champ and he’ll sleep most of the day. But he’ll get up and want attention - he’s just like a lap dog."

ARLINGTON, Va. (WDVM) — The Animal Welfare League of Arlington is looking for a so-called “hospice home” for its 13-year-old dog, Pete. 

Pete was a stray, found on Lee Highway in Arlington. After some blood tests and exams, the AWLA veterinarian believes Pete has serious issues with his kidneys and intestines. Pete’s on medication for those; however, his teeth are in bad shape. Those are fixable – and AWLA’s communications specialist Chelsea Jones says a tooth procedure might extend Pete’s life expectancy. Jones estimates those procedures can cost about $1,000. 

For the last four and a half weeks, Pete has been staying in foster care with Arlington resident Alex Wahl. Wahl’s cat died in January, and she’s fostered three of AWLA’s animals since. Wahl and “Sweet Pete” have taken long naps and enjoyed a paddle boarding ride together at Wahl’s family lake house. “As long as he’s on his medicine, he’ll eat like a champ and he’ll sleep most of the day. But he’ll get up and want attention – he’s just like a lap dog,” Wahl said. “I mean, despite the medical diagnosis of him being a hospice adoption, he seems really happy.”

Hospice adoptions are rare at the AWLA. Jones has been working for the welfare league for about five years, and can only recall about three or four. They’ve waived Pete’s adoption fees and the AWLA will assist Pete’s new family in finding veterinary care. 

Meanwhile, Jones says a foster home can mean the world for a shelter dog…and its future family. “For us to put an animal into a real life situation and learn, like, ‘Are they housebroken? Do they bark?’ Things like that – that is invaluable for us finding new homes for these animals,” said Jones.

“We don’t really know how long he has to live. We’re not going to expect an adopter to put him through a whole bunch of testing and procedures,” Jones said. “It’s just: keep him comfortable, keep him happy; love on him as much as you can until it’s his time.”

If you’re interested in adopting Sweet Pete, email your application to adoptions@awla.org. The AWLA is also accepting questions by message on its social media. 

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