8-month-old Jermaine isn’t just a self-taught seeing eye dog. He’s the eyes and guide for no one less than his brother, Jeffrey.
The two pit bull puppies were found wandering the streets of west Philadelphia a few weeks ago. Weighing in at 35 pounds each, they were placed in Operation Ava’s no-kill shelter on North Third Street. Workers gave them their names and treated them for demodectic mange, a parasitic skin disease caused by microscopic mites.
Jeffrey is completely blind in at least one eye; he might be able to see shadows in the other. Veterinarians noted that he has compensated by literally leaning on Jermaine and following his brother around whenever they were in a strange place.
“These guys are bonded, and Jeffrey really is dependent on Jermaine at this point. When they are separated, they get really insecure,” Ray Little, lifesaving director of the Operation Ava animal shelter, noted on Philly.com.
On November 15, Kimberly Cary, a volunteer with the Chester County SPCA, posted a picture on Facebook of Jermaine and Jeffrey curled up together while sleeping. The post went viral, getting more than 3.2 million hits in just two days from all around the world. Little noted that even people from the U.K. said they wanted to adopt the two dogs. A video of the brothers side by side posted on November 18 further revealed how devoted Jermaine and Jeffrey are to each other.
Still, almost a week after Cary had posted about Jermaine and Jeffrey, even after some 10,000 inquiries, the brothers had yet to be adopted. Thanks to their internet fame, though, Jermaine and Jeffrey were mentioned in the British press and on the Today show. Now, as of November 23, they’ve found a new home.
Knowing how inseparable Jermaine and Jeffrey are, shelter staff had emphasized that the brothers had to be adopted as a pair. “They obviously have some sort of innate bond,” Emily Simmons, executive director of the Chester County SPCA, said.
As Little emphasized regarding the unique relationship between the two pit bulls:
“I think this is a little bit extraordinary in my experience because they’re so careful with one another and play together so well. Jeffrey really does try to maintain contact with Jermaine, especially when he’s in an unfamiliar environment. As soon as he gets familiar with a new place, then he becomes a little bit more independent. But it’s amazing how they try to maintain contact with each other.”
Happily, someone’s opened their doors to two pups who exemplify brotherly devotion, love and the great things that can happen by caring for someone who needs some help to make his way in the world.
Photo via the Chester SPCA