Bonded senior dogs get helping hand from shelter volunteer


No doubt about it – being an unwanted pet is tough. Standing out from the throngs of other unwanted pets can be even more daunting. Thanks to the efforts of one woman, dogs who are being held at the Victor Valley Animal Protective League (VVAPL) in Apple Valley, California, have a better chance of being noticed and adopted into a loving home.

The unsung canine hero is Susanne Roy. For awhile, Roy’s efforts to help homeless dogs were limited to sharing links and posts on social media, but soon she realized that dogs at VVAPL seemed to be stuck in the proverbial shadows. Wanting to do more than just share links and shelter listings, which often include less-than-desirable photos, Roy made the decision to put her photography talents to good use and signed up to be a volunteer for VVAPL.

For approximately 15 months, Roy has visited the animal shelter nearly everyday; photos are captured and then uploaded to Facebook along with a bit of information about the homeless canine models. To her knowledge, she is one of the only volunteers at this particular shelter who visits the facility on a daily basis.

Two beautiful seniors are among Roy’s canine models this week. “Tank,” a nine-year-old Labrador retriever fusion, and “Joe,” a nine-year-old German Shorthaired pointer, are bonded canine pals who are hoping to find a home together.

Thanks to Roy’s talented assistance, the odds are in their favor. Roy is not sure of an exact number, but she said, “there have been quite a few adoptions and rescues from my photos.”

When Roy was asked for her advice to other people who might want to share their talents in a similar fashion, she offered the following tips:

I would tell them to just go in and ask if they can take pics & network the animals. I think most shelters would appreciate any help they can get. Also, be prepared to take lots of pics! Sometimes I have to take many pics of one dog just to get a nice pic for my post. The best reward is being able to update their posts with adopted or rescued.

Tank and Joe are currently waiting for a forever home. You can find them in kennel C-5 at VVAPL.

 VVAPL Humane Society
21779 Zuni Road
Apple Valley, Ca. 92307

Aware of a special volunteer, or of a unique program in place at an animal shelter near you? Please share your story with me at



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.


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  2. Pam Wright says:

    Suzanne put a picture on facebook of Myra. Immediately I fell in love. We went and got her the next day. I love her more everyday she is a Great dog. I never would have traveled all the way to Apple Valley to look for a dog. But thanks to Suzanne and her pictures , I have my beautiful Myra. We are so grateful and Suzanne can rest assured we will give her a,loving home. Thanks from the bottom or our hearts

  3. Barbara Johnson says:

    Susanne is one of the best people I know. Thanks to her efforts, many of VVAPL’s dogs have been adopted. She rallies the community to find forever homes for these animals. We couldn’t do it without her!

  4. Moose lewis says:

    It me on mailing updates

  5. Moose lewis says:

    Thank God for your kindness

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