A couple love dogs so much they have acquired 19 at once to give them a second chance at life – and will foot their vet fees even if they are rehomed.
Chris and Mariesa Hughes have rescued over 600 senior and special needs dogs throughout what they claim is their goal to give all animals the best life possible.
They notably try to enhance the fortunes of ones that are surrendered, left without a chance and now live with more than a dozen dogs in their house.
The house is carefully prepared for them to live a pleasant life. while Chris and Mariesa cofounded a non-profit firm called the Mr. Mo Project which helps dogs find loving homes and pay for their lifetime medical bills.
Chris, 34, was initially born in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire but relocated to the US when he was only three years old.
When they met, Chris already had six dogs and Mariesa had two, bringing the family to a high total of eight straight away but they didn’t stop there.
Mariesa, 40, told TeamDogs : “I’ve always wanted to rescue dogs since I was a youngster. I had my first rescue dog off the streets when I was nine. Chris has been the same way.
“Now we take in specialised dogs with the goal to rehome them.”
Despite the duo both having full time jobs, they continue to locate dogs loving homes and pay for their medical bills.
The Mr. Mo project was inspired by Chris’ dog Moses who regrettably passed away.
He said: “Moses was an old Pittie that was surrendered to the shelter for being too old. We ended up having him for 22 months before dying away from a spinal cord malignancy.
“Over the final few months with him, we realized how expensive it was to care for a senior and ailing dog, so after he passed away, we decided to take up the job of finding homes for senior dogs by paying all of the veterinary care and opening up fantastic homes who had all the love but no extra cash.”
A lot of shelters contact Chris and Mariesa because they take a very specific dog. The pair adopts sick and medically challenged dogs, as well as dogs that other people are unable to take due to medical expenditures.
The couple’s endeavor involves a lot of fundraising in order to take care of the dogs. Last year they spent $700,000 (£508,536) on vet care.
Chris said: “Shelters call us and we take the dogs in and give them all of the financial care, and eventually locate them the ideal foster home where they will live for the rest of their life. Yet it is us that looks after that medical care for the rest of their lives.”
At the couple’s house they have everything arranged for the dogs to live happily. They have a huge walled rear garden for the dogs to run about freely, while also having their own kennels with their names on. They offer a hydrotherapy treadmill and a laser treatment machine to work on joints and wounds.
Chris said: “All of our dogs have special requirements and it’s a lot cheaper having it all in our house.
“Feeding time is insane, it takes around 30 minutes. We have dogs who are hand fed because they don’t have teeth, or they don’t have bottom jaws. Some dogs can get a bit food aggressive, and we have dogs with all various diets.
“We also have some insanely old dogs here too. We have a 22-year-old Chihuahua and a 20-year-old Pug.”
The 19 dogs are of various ages, breeds and suffer with different impairments, which Mariesa says makes their care very tough.
She said: “It’s bittersweet because it’s not always such a dream, it can be extremely hectic but it’s amazing to see all of the work that you’ve done and seeing all of these lovely dogs adored, that are all deserving of a second chance.
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“But the lows are incredibly low when there are dogs you can’t save, it truly impacts you. It’s also incredibly untidy all of the time.
“I would want to say ‘no we won’t acquire any more dogs’, but I also didn’t imagine that we would get two additional ones pretty quickly.
“Seeing their changes makes all of the effort and grief so worth it. It’s incredibly challenging but this is definitely our life’s passion.”