Animal Control Officer Adopts Terminally Ill Puppy – Treats Him To Bucket List

When Ashley Sakelarakis, an animal control officer with Connecticut’s Woodbridge Animal Control, adopted Arlo, she knew that the puppy didn’t have long to live. The German shepherd pup had been diagnosed with terminal Severe Sub Aortic Stenosis, a severe heart defect which could not be repaired.

In mid-August, Sakelarakis introduced the adopted puppy to Facebook followers:

Everyone meet our new addition 🐾 Arlo is a 12 week old German Shepherd puppy. Who isn’t like most puppies. ❤️ Arlo bears a terminal Cardiac disease. (Drs gave him a 6 month life expectancy)

When Arlo was 10 weeks of age, he was brought to the Branford Animal Shelter where he received “much love and medical support.” It was there that he was diagnosed with the terminal cardiac condition.

Sakelarakis was undeterred by Arlo’s grim prognosis – she said, “our main goal is to give Arlo all the love and support he needs until his day comes as well as giving him endless good life experiences and adventures.”

Arlo’s adventures are highlighted on his Instagram account (@venture_with_arlo), and so far, the love and fun in his life seems to be paying off. Though the pup was only given 12 weeks to live, he has managed to beat the odds and has made it to nearly six months of age (and counting), reported WFSB News.

The adventures will continue, for as long as Arlo is alive – recently, he was made an honorary K9 with the Hamden Police Department, and he has already enjoyed beach time, as well as some burgers and ice cream.

Nobody knows how long Arlo has, truth be known, nobody knows just how much time they have left. But this puppy is loved and he is enjoying the gifts that each day brings.

(Images via Instagram)

Penny Eims

Penny is a freelance writer who provided content to her National Dog News column at for 8 years. She is a current contributor to Fido Friendly Magazine, as well as a newly formed website, Pet Rescue Report. Penny is married and she has two rescued German shepherds and two kids.


  1. Lynne says:

    See? Thanks for giving…blessings come in many different forms.

  2. Alice says:

    Bless you for taking in Arlo and giving him a bucket list. He is probably wondering what all the fuss is about, but he is willing to go along, just the same. Thank you for loving Arlo. Sending prayers and hugs for healing for Arlo, if possible, and hugs to both of you.

  3. Elaine Whinston says:

    I am so glad Arlo will have love and fun in his short life. I’m sending him love and kisses.😘

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