Animal shelter pleads for adoption of elderly dog before he dies

A Virginia animal shelter has put out a desperate plea with the hope that a sick dog will go to a loving home before he dies of kidney failure.

Warren Barkett, a senior Rottweiler-mastiff, was turned over to the Virginia Beach Animal Care and Adoption Center more than a year ago.

But nine months later, shelter workers discovered Warren was experiencing renal failure.

"The condition he has is degenerative, so it does get worse over time, "shelter operations supervisor Jessica Wilde explained. "There's no real time expectancy we can give — it could be a couple of weeks or a couple of years."

She told they were conducting bloodwork on Warren, who had been suffering from a urinary tract infection, when they discovered his illness.

Despite having posted on Facebook several times in the past, hoping he will be adopted, Friends of Virginia Beach Animal Control posted about Warren Wednesday, alerting the public the adoption would be his form of hospice care.

"He needs someone who is experienced with more challenging dogs," Wilde explained. "With renal disease, if maintained well with good food and medical care, they can still get a good life."

Within hours, hundreds of people had shared his post, and families started calling into the shelter with questions about adopting Warren.

But, Wilde explained they are still trying to find the perfect fit for the pup. She said Warren does not get along with small children, may not get along with other animals, and can take a while to warm up to a new owner.

"The reality is, he's a special needs guy with all his medical stuff, and he's a special needs guy with his personality," Wilde said. "We're hoping he gets adopted this weekend if we're lucky enough to find the right family."