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Betrayed By His Family, A Senior German Shepherd Finds A Glimpse Of Hope

Betrayed By His Family, A Senior German Shepherd Finds A Glimpse Of Hope

The strong bond we share with our dogs is truly precious, and our love knows no boundaries. Dogs are our family, and we stay with them for better or worse. It deeply saddens me to learn what happened to Rocky, as it reminds me of how cruel and inhumane some pet owners can be. 

Some of them are capable of abandoning their loyal dogs and erasing them from their lives just like they never existed.

That happened to Rocky, a sweet 10-year-old German Shepherd who was abandoned at a shelter in El Oso, Texas.

After spending his whole life with his family, they decided to get rid of him because they thought he was too old. They even requested Rocky to be euthanized.

The shelter volunteers immediately declined that. They recognized the spark in Rocky’s sad brown eyes and they hoped he would find his forever home.

Rocky’s owners even admitted that they initially drove Rocky to the deserted part of town to dump him, but changed their mind at the last minute.

Years Of Neglect Have Left A Toll On His Health

Poor old dog

When he arrived at the shelter, Rocky looked sad and beaten. The life without love and proper care took a toll on him. He also had health issues and needed treatment for allergies, flea dermatitis, and heartworm.

Realizing that Rocky would need extensive medical treatment, the shelter asked Shenandoah Shepherd Rescue, an all-volunteer rescue based in Virginia, to take him in. They immediately agreed, and Rocky was transferred there.

The rescue consulted the best vets to help him. The good people jumped in and donated money to help them cover some of the medical costs.  

Foster Home

At first, he was placed in a temporary foster home in Virginia, and Kathy Fridley, his foster mom, was thrilled with him.

“Rocky is the sweetest, gentlest dog… He is so grateful when people take a minute and pet him… he just leans onto you to absorb all the love. Rocky has had so little kindness shown to him in his life, he asks for nothing,” she says.

Old black dog on chain

Rocky feels safe when he’s near the people who love him. He enjoys going on walks and relaxing on the porch. He likes car rides a lot. One of his favorite things to do is ride in the back seat, and look out of the window. 

Rocky was denied love and affection his whole life, and yet he has so much love to give. After spending some time with his temporary foster family in Virginia, Rocky moved to a foster home in Frederick, Maryland. 

The Shenandoah Shepherd Rescue staff wanted to help him find a family who would cherish and love him unconditionally for the rest of his life. 

Old black dog in park

After everything he had been through, he deserves to be treated as a king. Rocky isn’t looking for some fancy things… he is only looking for love. He loves spending time outdoors, and the rescue volunteers are convinced that life in the countryside would suit him best. 

A Call For Action

The volunteers at the rescue shelters are our true heroes. We’re extremely grateful for their commitment to saving dogs who are abandoned and left to fend for themselves.  

Unfortunately, shelters are overburdened, and there are more dogs entering the shelters than leaving. Shelter Animals Count (SAC) warns of the trend in dog euthanasia

The rate of dogs who are put down has nearly doubled (from 5.6% to 10%) when comparing the January – March period in 2023 to the same period in 2021. (1) 

Our whole community needs to urgently act in order to decrease euthanasia in dogs. We can help by adopting, fostering, and donating to help replenish the shelters’ funds. Dogs are counting on us and we mustn’t let them down.


1. Shelter Animals Count, Shelter Animal Count’s Intake And Outcome Data Analysis Report for Q1 2023, accessed 4 July 2023,