TAMPA, Fla. (FOX 13) - For anyone who loves a cute puppy dog, there's a new calendar that helps homeless pooches in the Bay Area find their forever homes.
This year's cover "model" for the 2019 Humane Society Tampa Bay calendar is quite the cutie.
The adorable, puppy-like face belongs to Rocky, an 8-year-old, technically a senior, dog.
That's why Janet and Tony Zaloga of Tampa entered Rocky and their other furry children, into the calendar contest. They want the world to know the joys of adopting older animals.
When the Zalogas lost their Yorkie, Zeus, last year, his 12-year-old pal, Zoie became a lonesome only dog. Rocky turned out to be the companion they were looking for.
"Rocky was an instant love connection at the door. It was like the tails couldn't go fast enough in the foyer," Janet recalled.
Left behind, however, was Rocky's lifetime companion, so three months later Janet and Tony welcomed Misha to their family.
Misha is Rocky's age, so the Zalogas officially have three senior pets.
"This is our way of showcasing to everyone who's contemplating adopting an animal, that there can be some very happy outcomes," Janet said.
That's music to the ears of the Chief Executive Officer of the Humane Society Tampa Bay Sherry Silk.
"We're thrilled because senior pets can make the best pets, as we all know. Almost all senior dogs come totally house trained. They're past their chewing phase, so you don't have to worry about crating them. They just want to lay around with you," Silk explained.
She says large, older dogs are often overlooked. In early October a homeless man surrendered two 9-year-old dogs to the Humane Society. He had been living with them in his car.
Bridget and Buddy have always lived together, but finding them a home together will be tough.
It's not just senior dogs that wait longer. Silk says older cats have the longest wait.
"It's hard. Sometimes they're here for months and months and they would give someone so much joy if they would just give them a chance," Silk said.
That's what the Zalogas hope the calendar will do - show how much joy a senior pet can bring into your life. That's why they kept voting for Rocky, Misha, and Zoie, at $1 per vote, (and so did their friends on social media), to make sure their three little seniors made it into the top 12.
All those votes also raised $12,000 for the Humane Society.
Says Janet Zaloga of life with her senior dogs, "This is the happiest we've ever been in our lives. We lead happy lives, but this is just, we're brimming with love in our hearts."
The 2019 calendar is still available, with all proceeds going to the Humane Society Tampa Bay. For more information visit https://humanesocietytampa.org/2019-calendar/