Consider a savvy adult dog when it comes to adopting a new member into your family


Charlie (A501741) is six-years-old and needs a double hip replacement. His first surgery will happen February 16. Despite his pain, Charlie’s zest for life has not faded. He is energetic, loving and curious, always wanting to play and explore despite his condition.

Valentine’s Day is approaching, and puppy love is in the air.

Around this time, six years ago, we adopted our dog, Sueshi, when she was just a puppy. She is the love of my life, and I have never for a moment regretted adopting her, although I still have a couple of pairs of favorite shoes that bear her teeth marks.

Puppies are a workout! People, like me, are drawn to these adorable, cuddly, playful, nippy little creatures, and sometimes, love overpowers reason.

I should have known, but I didn’t remember; having a puppy is like having a baby. They require constant monitoring for their safety and the protection of treasured belongings. They don’t come “toilet trained” so accidents do happen. And they need lots of additional training to teach acceptable behavior and manners.

As I get older, I see more and more the wisdom of adopting dogs who are already mature, especially for people who do not have the time and patience required to raise a puppy properly. If you or someone you know is thinking of adding a puppy to the family, I encourage you to consider opening your hearts, minds and homes to an adult dog.

Because of successful spay/neuter efforts over the past few decades, shelters are seeing fewer litters of unwanted puppies. We have many more adult dogs who need loving homes.

At Pasadena Humane, our hearts were warmed by an outpouring of community support this month for one special adult dog in our care.

Charlie came to our shelter as a stray. He’s only about six years old, but he suffers from the worst case of hip dysplasia our veterinarians have seen. He desperately needs a complete double hip replacement.

Despite the pain of his condition, this adult dog’s zest for life has not faded. He is energetic, loving and curious, always wanting to play and explore. He immediately became a staff favorite.

We have five wonderful veterinarians at Pasadena Humane, but Charlie’s condition requires an orthopedic surgeon specialist. He needs two surgeries plus postoperative care at a price tag of $23,000.

Our team quickly mobilized. A medical supply company generously donated the $9,000 implants, and in a few hours, we raised $14,000 to cover the remaining costs of surgery and care.

Charlie’s initial operation is scheduled for February 16. The second surgery will be scheduled once he has fully recovered from the first. A foster family has volunteered to care for Charlie under the supervision of our medical team while he gets his new lease on life.

This is the best Valentine we could have hoped for!

Projections are for Charlie to make a full and speedy recovery, giving him the ability to walk, run and play without pain. Once he is adopted, I’m sure he will provide his new family abundant unconditional love.

Thank you to Biomedtrix and all the people who contributed to giving Charlie a second chance. You can follow Charlie’s road to recovery on our social media platforms, Pasadena Humane on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok.

For more information about the adoption process and a list of adult dogs waiting for their forever homes, go to

Dia DuVernet is president and CEO of Pasadena Humane.

This blog post originally appeared as a column in the Pasadena Star-News on February 11, 2022.