All dogs in shelters are in need of a home and spend their days waiting to be adopted, but it can be especially hard for older dogs.
Senior dogs are less likely to get adopted than young puppies, and can spend years in the confines of shelters, wondering if they’ll have to spend their final days without ever knowing a home.
So it’s always inspiring when people rescue an older dog… but one couple took it even further, making it their mission to save as many as they can.
When couple Chris and Mariesa Hughes first met, they hit it off right away over their shared love of dogs: he had six, and she had two.
One of the most special was Moses, a 12-year-old surrendered dog Chris had recently rescued.
“He was 12 years old and surrendered for being too old,” Chris recalled to Insider. “I saw his picture and had to have him.”
Mariesa recalls that Moses became the “patriarch” of the dog pack: “he was this old soul. He seemed very wise and he would just drink you in with his eyes.”
They gave him a good home for his final years, until Moses was diagnosed with a spinal cord tumor, and the couple raised $2,400 for his MRI.
Sadly, he passed away weeks later… but his death inspired the couple to help even more senior dogs like him.
They started the Mr. Mo Project in his honor, a charity to help senior dogs and fund their medical expenses.
From the beginning, the Mr. Mo Project has worked with local shelters to fund the medical and transportation expenses of senior rescue dogs.
But as the project has grown, Chris and Mariesa have adapted their home into a full-fledged senior dog haven.
They have spent $55,000 on renovations to help more and more dogs, from a $5,000 custom dog bed to a $30,000 hydrotherapy pool.
It’s a lot of work—and this couple is doing it all on their own.
“We both work full-time jobs outside of The Mr. Mo Project,” Chris told Insider. “This is not a job, this is a labor of love. It’s where all our money goes toward.”
“We didn’t wake up one day and have 20 dogs,” Mariesa said. “If we did, that would’ve been a lot harder to figure out.
But the couple says it’s been both of their lifelong dream to help dogs, and all the hard work is worth it to help these old dogs — providing some love they likely would have never gotten.
“A lot of these dogs that come to us are probably overlooked because of the way they look,” Chris said. “They’ve got bad legs, bad teeth, crusted eyes, they’re matted. But they have so much life to live.
“They don’t let their experiences become who they are,” Mariesa added. “I think it’s so amazing of them, and I wish humans could be more like that.”
The Mr. Mo Project currently has 21 dogs in their care, but has helped over 500 so far.
What an incredible project! Thank you to this couple for giving everything to help these often-overlooked senior dogs.