ASPCA Happy Tail: Old Dog, New Tricks

Wednesday, September 26, 2012 - 10:45am

When Britney came to the ASPCA through the Humane Law Enforcement department, she was in pain and suffering from multiple untreated conditions.

Fortunately, the veterinary staff at the ASPCA’s Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital was able to nurse Britney back to health, and eventually she became available for adoption; we could finally find a home for this sweet dog who had suffered so much.

We knew it would be a challenge.

Statistically speaking, animals who are black, large or senior, as well as those who take medication or can’t live with other animals, usually spend more time waiting for homes. Britney was all of these things, and to make matters worse, she didn’t engage much with adopters who passed her habitat, preferring to rest quietly.

Still, we knew that the right person would come for Britney, and to speed things along, we spread the word about this special canine. After seeing Britney’s picture and reading about her, Kevin Bechard tells us, “I wanted to snatch her right up.”

A few days later Bechard was going above and beyond to help Britney settle in to her new home in suburban Connecticut.

“The first couple nights I actually slept on the floor with her because she can’t do stairs, and she would just reach out with her paw and make sure it was against me,” he recalls. “Only then she would allow herself to go to sleep. If I moved away a little bit, her eyes would open.”

The love and comfort of a forever home has revived Britney, who has blossomed into a trusting and happy pup: Bechard reports that at his house Britney loves romping outdoors and goes on multiple nature walks a day. 

In return, Bechard has gained a new best friend who, he says, never required house-training or manners instruction, thanks to her age. “I wish more people would consider older dogs,” Bechard says. “I was open to anything, but I was so pleasantly surprised.”

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Thank you Kevin for seeing beyond Britney's age and health issues and bringing her into your life and loving her. Seniors are so often left behind. We have adopted several seniors over the years and have found them to be wonderful and loving family members. Our latest two are a 12-15 yr old Yorkie found on the streets. We named him Alf. He has a multitude of health issues but he sure has come a long way in several months. We also adopted a toy Poodle, Peaches, whose mom had to go to an assisted living apt. and was unable to take her. She is 12 yrs old. They are both the loves of our lives. I will continue to adopt Seniors or Special Needs dogs as they have a special place in our hearts.


Congrats Kevin! Senior dogs are wonderful and as important, adoption rules !
All of my animals are rescues and never for a second have I regretted the pleasure of having been saved by them

Marie Brygider

So happy to hear Britney got a 2nd chance!

Marie Brygider

So happy to hear Britney got a 2nd chance!

Sue Tassoni

thank you so much for doing this for her. she's been through so much & because of you she can experience that NOT ALL PEOPLE are bad! THANK YOU!


Congratulations on your dog!! I have had many older dogs and each and every one has made me a better person. They have many lesson to give and teach us. When I am going through some very tough times I will think of all the inspirational stories and unconditional love these very special senior ambassadors brought with them. They never gave up no matter how much they were hurting or what the odds were. They have all gone to the Rainbow Bridge now but I know in my heart that I have some very special angels on my shoulders and next to me! Today I have two very special middle aged Maltese rescue dogs in my life. When I am able to add or help another senior I will be very happy to do so.


I always root for the older dogs! I also adopted a senior and she is such a delight. This story pulls at the heart strings. There are humans that are truly guardian angels,like this Mr. Bechard. Mr. Bechard, I hope that you read this and are aware of the good that you did for Britney. It would be a better place for humans and dogs if the world had more people like you.


that is one brave dog i wish i could have one of those <3


Being old, large and black, this dog could be very difficult to adopt out. However, labs are loving dogs. I was just talking to a lady who had one till she was 14 and now has another 14 year old lab. My dog is 14 too. He is much easier to care for than when he was a puppy, yet still is lively!


What a great story. Lucky dog, and lucky Kevin!