The couple saved all the senior dogs that were unwanted at the animal shelters.
In order to give 19 dogs a fresh start, a dog-loving couple made the compassionate decision to purchase them all at once. Even if the dogs find new homes eventually, the couple is committed to covering their medical expenses.
Chris and Mariesa Hughes have rescued over 600 elderly and special needs dogs as part of their heartfelt mission to ensure every animal enjoys the highest quality of life possible.
They focus specifically on improving the situations of dogs that have been abandoned, deemed as having no chance of survival, and now reside in their home alongside more than a dozen other dogs.
The couple has created a comfortable living environment for the dogs in their home. In addition, they established the Mr. Mo Project, a non-profit organization aimed at helping dogs find loving homes and raising funds to cover their ongoing medical expenses.
Despite being born in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, Chris, now 34 years old, moved to the United States at the age of three.
When Chris and Mariesa first met, they already had a substantial family of eight dogs, with Mariesa having two of her own. However, their love for dogs didn’t stop there. Chris had six dogs, and Mariesa had two, expanding their furry family even further.
Speaking to TeamDogs, 40-year-old Mariesa said, “Since I was a child, I’ve always had a passion for rescuing dogs. At the age of nine, I adopted my very first stray dog. Chris shares the same sentiment.”
“Now we are open to taking in dogs with specific needs, aiming to find them new homes.”
Even with full-time jobs, they persist in finding suitable homes for the animals and covering their medical costs.
The Mr. Mo project was inspired by Chris’s late dog, Moses.
“Moses was an elderly Pitbull who was surrendered to the shelter because of his age,” he reminisced. “He spent the last 22 months of his life with us before passing away from a spinal cord tumor.”
Following Moses’s passing, we made the heartfelt decision to dedicate ourselves to finding homes for senior dogs. We cover all their veterinary expenses and provide loving homes to individuals who have plenty of love to give but limited financial resources. “During the last few months we spent with him, we realized the high cost of caring for an elderly and ailing dog,” the statement explains.
As Chris and Mariesa have a special focus on specific dogs, numerous shelters reach out to them. They take in dogs that others may hesitate to care for due to the associated medical expenses, including sick and medically challenged canines.
To ensure the well-being of these dogs, the couple’s project involves extensive fundraising efforts. In the past year alone, they have spent $70,000 (£508,536) on veterinary treatments.
After shelters refer the dogs to us, we take them in and strive to find them the most suitable foster homes where they can spend the remainder of their lives. Throughout this time, we continue to be responsible for their ongoing medical care, Chris explained.
To ensure the dogs live happily, the couple has created a well-equipped environment in their home. Each dog has their own designated kennel with their name on it, and there is a spacious enclosed backyard where the dogs can freely roam. They have also set up a treadmill for hydrotherapy and a laser therapy unit to address joint and wound treatments.
“It’s much more cost-effective to have everything available in our own home,” Chris shared. “All of our pets have specific needs that we accommodate.”
Feeding the dogs can be quite time-consuming, taking approximately 30 minutes. Some of our dogs require hand-feeding due to toothlessness or lack of lower jaws. We have dogs with various dietary needs, and a few of them can be a bit possessive over their food.
Moreover, the dogs in our care are incredibly old. We have a 22-year-old Chihuahua and a 20-year-old Pug among them.
According to Mariesa, taking care of the 19 dogs is challenging due to their different breeds, ages, and various health conditions.
As she expressed, “It’s a bittersweet experience because it’s not always as idyllic as it sounds. It can be chaotic, but it’s truly rewarding to witness the transformation of these beautiful dogs who deserve a second chance.”
However, the low moments can be extremely difficult when we encounter situations where we cannot save certain pets; it deeply affects us. Additionally, the constant messiness adds to the challenges we face.
“I’d like to say ‘no’ to getting more dogs, but we ended up taking in two more fairly quickly,” Mariesa confessed.
Despite the pain and hard work involved, witnessing the positive changes in these dogs makes it all worthwhile. Undoubtedly, this is our life’s passion, despite the tremendous challenges we encounter along the way.