Teen forsaken as a baby helps senior dogs find forever home — 'just like I did'
[July 30, 2020: Today]
At 14 years old, Meena Kumar is already a strong believer in the importance of second chances.
When she was just 9 months old, she was left in a basket on a college campus in India, and subsequently lived in an orphanage for about a year. Then she was adopted by a family who lives in San Jose, California.
“My parents tell me the story of when they adopted me at (age) 2 and they brought me to my grandparents’ apartment in Mumbai,” she told TODAY. “My parents were worried about how to keep me amused in a small place. Thankfully, a dog had laid a litter of puppies, and I used to spend hours every day watching and playing with them.”
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Meena’s love of animals continued to grow back home in Northern California. Her favorite activity was visiting the local Humane Society, and when she was 8 years old, the family adopted a mixed-breed dog named Bambie. Meena adores the “sweet” dog and has taught her many tricks, including how to give a hug.
“I just pat on my shoulder and she’ll come and actually like put her paws up and just stay there so I can hug her and stuff,” she said.
One day while walking Bambie, Meena met a neighbor, Dr. Kathy Stecco, who was walking her dog, George. Stecco has fostered many senior hospice dogs for Muttville Senior Dog Rescue, a San Francisco-based nonprofit that rescues and re-homes older dogs. Intrigued, Meena visited Muttville, where she developed a passion for helping senior dogs.
“I love visiting Muttville,” she said. “The dogs may be senior and old, but they’re so friendly and cute, which is why I want to help them. They’re the most gentle and loyal creatures.”.... Read More