Orphaned again: New Jersey dog siblings seek loving home after tragedy strikes twice

TOMS RIVER, New Jersey -- Abby and Lilly, two 10-year old Pyrenees/Golden Retriever/lab mixes, are orphans once again through no fault of their own. Tragedy has struck twice for these two sisters with the sudden loss of both of their owners and now they're looking for a "furever" home.

*If you're interested in adopting these dogs, please contact Furever Home Dog Rescue on Facebook, email FHDR@ATT.net or visit the PetFinder website*

These sweet siblings were rescued from rural North Carolina and adopted as puppies by their young owner. He was devoted to them, but then passed away tragically and unexpectedly before his 50th birthday. Abby and Lilly watched him walk to the mailbox and die after suffering a heart attack.

Luckily, their owner's father took the dogs in and lovingly took take care of them. But now, years later, he fell ill suddenly and passed away too.

On May 30, the dogs will be homeless as their owner's house has been sold. Currently, their aunt and great-aunt are taking turns going to the house to care for the dogs.

"These sweet and bonded sisters -- who crave human companionship -- have been living all alone in the house, comforting each other in their grief and confusion. But time is running out for them," said Camille Oakie, whose cousin and uncle, both named Joe, were Abby and Lilly's owners.

Oakie runs Furever Home Dog Rescue based in Randolph. She takes a two-hour drive to help with their care and has been trying to get the sisters adopted.

"They're over 10 years old, we want them together and they do need exercise because they're overweight, " Oakie said.

Her uncle fed them junk food like potato chips and pretzels, plus unbeknownst to her, stopped walking them when he became ill with dementia.

"They would make great first pets for a family with kids because they are well-trained and docile, they'd also be wonderful for an adult who seeks some sweet companionship," Oakie said.

"The dogs are on a healthy diet now and they're getting regular exercise to get them in shape for adoption," Ronnie Martino said, fighting back tears.

Martino said her brother loved the dogs so much but didn't have any plan in place for their care should something happen to him. Martino recently lost her own husband, but still comes faithfully twice a day to feed, visit and let Abby and Lilly in the backyard.

"I would take them, but I just don't have the facility to physically care for them," said Martino, who's in her late 80s and is no match for the hefty sisters. "They're the sweetest girls, they're great with children, they're housebroken, they rarely bark and they just want to be loved."

The house closing in Toms River is scheduled for May 30. The new owners move in the next day so Abby and Lilly will soon be homeless.

The dogs' caretakers fear the sisters won't survive if they have to go to a shelter.

"They've never been apart, they've always been in a home," Oakie said. " We are hoping someone who has room in their heart will open their home and be 'rescued' by them!"

Again, if you're interested in adopting these dogs, please contact Furever Home Dog Rescue on Facebook, email FHDR@ATT.net or visit the PetFinder website.
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