They say a dog is man’s best friend, but don’t tell that to Jermaine. Jermaine’s best friend is his blind brother Jeffrey. The two are inseparable.
Here & Now’s Robin Young takes a couple of minutes to draw attention to the huge problem of abandoned animals, and the attention that these two 8-month-old pit bull mix dogs have drawn, because of a picture that’s gone viral.
- More information about Jeffrey and Jermaine
- Video of the puppies on Operation AVA’s Facebook page
- More adoption resources via ASPCA
- Rolling Dog Farm shelter for disabled dogs and horses
- Ray Little, director of live saving at Operation AVA, a no-kill animal rescue group in Philadelphia.
ROBIN YOUNG, HOST:
So there's a lot going on in the news. A lot of suffering. But we just want to make a nod today to Jermaine, Jermaine who is inseparable from his blind brother Jeffrey. Oh, and did we mention they are dogs? They are, and they're drawing attention to the huge problem of abandoned animals. According to the Humane Society, 2.7 million healthy adoptable dogs and cats are put down every year, about one every 11 seconds.
But a picture of Jeffrey and Jermaine is at least raising awareness. It's gone viral. My sister sent it to me. We will show it to you at hereandnow.org. It's Jeffrey and Jeremy(ph), two eight-month-old lab-pitbull mix puppies, entwined in each other's arms and legs while sleeping.
Ray Little is with Operation AVA, a no killed animal rescue group near Philadelphia, which rescued Jeffrey and Jermaine from the streets. And, Ray, are they really holding on to each other when they sleep?
RAY LITTLE: Yes, they are. And they're pretty much inseparable. In fact, Jeffrey will lean on Jermaine when he's in unfamiliar terrain and actually place his head on Jermaine's back so that Jermaine can lead him around.
YOUNG: Oh, you're killing me here. I actually had a cat once who would get up and walk a dying dog and help him walk. But in all the dogs you've seen, this seems pretty extraordinary.
LITTLE: Yeah, it does. It seems that Jermaine really understands that Jeffrey has this problem seeing. And he makes sure that he stays with Jeffrey at all times.
YOUNG: Well, what's been the response?
LITTLE: Well, we've been hearing from well wishers all over the globe, from as far away as South Africa, Belgium and the United Kingdom, all over Canada and, of course, all over the United States. People are wishing them well. We're hoping that people will come directly to our shelter, which is at 858 North 3rd Street in Philadelphia. And they are just waiting here patiently for the right family to come along.
YOUNG: Well, first of all, they're only going as a twofer, right? You're not going to separate them.
LITTLE: Yeah, these guys must be adopted together. I don't see any way of separating them. It would be detrimental, I think, to both of them.
YOUNG: Well, but I'm sure you're hoping, too, that people come and look at the other animals there. How many animals do you have?
LITTLE: Yeah. We have about 75 animals available for adoption in our adoption program. And you can go directly to our website to view some of those adoptable pets.
YOUNG: Well, and I'm sure you want to say as well that there are rescue organizations all across the country. Just give us your sense of the problem of abandoned animals right now.
LITTLE: The problem is everywhere - in every city, in every country. Because of financial hardship, people are turning in their pets at record numbers. So we really encourage people to adopt. It's the way to go. It's the way to save lives. These wonderful animals need good homes.
YOUNG: And don't worry. Jeffrey and Jermaine are more than likely going to end up in good hands.
LITTLE: Oh, yes. We're very confident of that.
YOUNG: Ray Little, director of life saving at Operation AVA, the no-kill animal rescue group near Philadelphia and home for now to the inseparable Jermaine and his blind brother Jeffrey. Ray, thanks so much.
LITTLE: Thank you, Robin.
YOUNG: And we are happy to announce that they will be adopted by Jeremy Hobson.
YOUNG: Right. You saw the picture just now, and you're, oh.
JEREMY HOBSON, HOST:
There's already one Jeremy in my household. I don't know for Jermaine or...
YOUNG: Jeffrey and Jermaine. You can see the picture at hereandnow.org. But be careful. It's - well, actually, we also have links to other rescue organizations, which are also giving pets a chance at a life. And you might want to check them out as well. And, Jeremy?
YOUNG: I don't think you are ready for two dogs.
HOBSON: Maybe not two. I might go for one, actually. From NPR and WBUR Boston, I'm Jeremy Hobson.
YOUNG: I'm Robin Young. This is HERE AND NOW. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.