One Year Later, These Senior Dogs Are Finally Spending the Holidays Surrounded by Love

November 9, 2023

Leaf and Green Bean

Leaf, left, and Green Bean, right. 

This Thanksgiving, senior dogs Leaf and Green Bean are spending the holiday surrounded by kindness and love in a warm, clean and comfortable home. But just one year ago, their lives couldn’t be more different. They were living a nightmare.

Last November, Leaf and Green Bean were two of 45 dogs—all Pekingese/Dachshund-mixes—living in a two-story home in deplorable conditions. They were surrounded by feces, urine, live and dead flies and rodent feces, which were caked onto the floor, walls, mattresses, blankets and towels. The house also had significant levels of ammonia, which smelled so strong it made the rescuer’s eyes water upon entering the home. 

intake photos of leaf and green bean

Left, Leaf upon intake. Middle, Green Bean’s embedded nails. Right, Green Bean upon intake. 

The dogs, ranging in age from puppies to seniors, were all removed from the home and brought to the ASPCA. Many of the dogs were transferred to the ASPCA Cruelty Recovery Center in Columbus, Ohio, where they would receive ongoing care and rehabilitation, while a few others remained at the ASPCA Canine Annex for Recovery and Enrichment (CARE) in New York City. As two of the oldest dogs from the group, with Leaf at 13 and Green Bean at 12, they both remained at CARE. 

Green Bean

Receiving Lifechanging Care

Having likely not seen a veterinarian in quite some time, if ever, Leaf and Green Bean presented with multiple medical conditions when arriving to CARE. Green Bean had embedded toenails causing extreme pain, an ear infection, a dirty and unkept coat, multiple skin tumors and painful osteoarthritis in the front right wrist joint. Leaf has intervertebral disc disease (IVDD) characterized by hindlimb ataxia, which causes him to “wobble” or slip often and laryngeal paralysis which causes dysfunction of the larynx and a reduced ability to breathe deeply and can obstruct the airway. 

Leaf and Green Bean also had severe dental disease, requiring that they  have all their teeth removed and were both overweight. 


The medical team quickly got to work on these pups, providing much needed medical attention and pain relief as part of a medical plan. 

Green Bean had surgery to remove a large lump on his right thigh that was hindering his mobility, but after recovering well and seeing improvement with his other conditions, he was ready to find a foster home. Meanwhile, Leaf remained at CARE for additional medical attention. 

From Foster Pets to Adopted Pets

Davina G. began fostering for the ASPCA because she wanted to help animals. 

“I figured dogs were the way to go to stay fit and active,” says Davina. “I’ve gotten to meet some interesting dogs along the way, all with very different personalities and needs.”

Since signing up as an ASPCA foster, Davina has cared for many of our dogs and has provided a safe and loving temporary home for all of them. When she met Green Bean, he was no exception.

Green Bean with Davina and at Davina's house in a dog bed

Davina began fostering Green Bean in February and while caring for him, came across Leaf. 

“I fell in love with him before I met him,” explains Davina. “He just had that face to fall in love with.”  


At this point, Leaf had made great improvements medically and was available for adoption. Davina quickly filled out an application and brought Leaf home. 

Soon after, she found out Green Bean was being made available for adoption. Having decided she couldn’t live without him, Davina decided to adopt Green Bean as well. 

Life at Home

Since their recovery and adoption, Leaf and Green Bean are thriving in their new home. They have a regular walk schedule, multiple dog beds to choose from and always have each other for company. 

“They’re both such good dogs,” says Davina. 

Green Bean and Leaf with Davina

At almost 13 and 14 years old, Davina says she hasn’t had any challenges with her senior pups. In fact, they often don’t act like seniors at all! 

“What changed my life is that I live alone and now when I come home, I get lots of love and affection out of these two boys,” Davina tells us. 

November is Adopt a Senior Pet Month and there are so many dogs like Leaf and Green Bean looking for a home to spend their golden years in. Though they may have a few more birthday candles on their cake, senior pets are just as cute, loyal and deserving of love and kindness. 

Green Bean and Leaf sleep on a bed

Feeling inspired to adopt a senior pet of your own? Check out our adoptable animals across the country, consider looking at Animal Care Centers of NYC if you’re in the tri-state area, or find your new best friend at your local shelter