Shenandoah Valley Animal Services Center is honored to receive a $135,000 investment to help extend our efforts and serve the Petco Foundation’s mission to raise the quality of life for pets and people who love and need them. This grant investment is part of the Petco Foundation’s recent distribution of more than $13M to animal welfare organizations nationwide. In addition, the Petco Foundation distributed $1M in emergency product and cash donations to partner organizations facing the challenges of the COVID-19 crisis and put out a national call to mobilize animal lovers to take action and Pledge to Save Pet Lives.

About the Petco Foundation

The Petco Foundation believes that every animal deserves to live its best life. Since 1999, they have invested more than $290 million in lifesaving animal welfare work to make that happen. With more than 4,000 animal welfare partners, they inspire and empower communities to make a difference by investing in adoption and medical care programs, spay and neuter services, pet cancer research, service and therapy animals, and numerous other lifesaving initiatives. They also partner with Petco stores and animal welfare organizations across the country to increase pet adoptions. So far, the Petco Foundation has helped more than 6.5 million pets find their new loving families, and they’re just getting started. Visit to learn more about how you can get involved.

Read the impact stories below to meet the lives saved by The Petco Foundation’s generous investment in Shenandoah Valley Animal Services Center:

"Goblin" now Dobby

This was Goblin when he was first brought to the shelter.

Goblin came to the shelter in early January 2020 as a 14-year-old senior stray. Weighing in at 11 pounds, he was too weak to stand or walk on his own and mostly blind. The shelter staff quickly recognized disturbing signs of long-term neglect including rotten teeth, malnutrition, and an eye infection. Erin Wiles, the dog kennel manager, immediately notified an experienced foster, Sonja Musser, and informed her that Goblin would need a safe place to land and heal while his medical needs were assessed and addressed.

After Goblin’s initial vet visit, Sonja knew they were facing a long, hard road to recovery together. He had a vicious bladder infection, a mouth full of rotten teeth requiring extraction, an infected eyeball needing enucleation, and he had never been neutered. Shelter staff immediately scheduled the necessary procedures with Angels of Assisi while Sonja got to work treating his bladder infection and helping him develop enough strength to stand on his own. A seasoned foster mom for small dogs with big needs, Sonja held Goblin upright on the kitchen counter for his meals, washed and dried his diapers, administered mountains of medication, carried him to and from the yard for bathroom breaks, and wrapped him in an electric blanket to keep him warm.

Goblin received his surgeries (enucleation, dental, and neuter); the path to recovery was long, bleak, and challenging. Slowly, he gained strength and eagerly surveyed the backyard on his own. His bladder infection healed and his need for diapers disappeared along with it. As his eye gradually healed, that classic little-big dog personality truly emerged and his confidence seemed to return. In his newfound blindness, Goblin learned to navigate through the house to the sound of his foster mom’s voice; this marked the recovery of one of the most vital aspects of a healthy, happy dog—trust.

After he healed, Goblin was adopted at the end of March 2020 by the Morrisons, a wonderful couple who dedicated their retirement to taking in the most urgent senior shelter animals. His foster mom shared the following about her experience:

Goblin is the sort of dog who would not survive at most shelters because he would not be given the chances he got here at SVASC. I was quickly alerted to the need to foster him, every surgical need was arranged, every basic medication to improve his health and comfort provided. The shelter staff made a fabulous effort to find him a special adoptive family who continues to provide him and other shelter saves the most loving home. It would have been very easy to give up on him as too far gone, to say it was too hard or too much work, but no one did and he proved that he wanted to get healthy and be loved and loving.

Goblin, now called Dobby due to his resemblance to the famous House Elf from Harry Potter, quickly became a fixture in the Morrison household. His new Dad, Thomas, contacted the shelter to express his gratitude; he wrote:

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“Dobby was listed as a hospice candidate when we got him in March of 2020 and he just celebrated his first holidays with the new family, which collectively (kids and grandkids) decided he was “Dobby” from Harry Potter. So he has a name change and he is inseparable from his mom and sister (another rescue -who thinks she is mini-mom) and in November he became a big brother to Tanner, another rescue through SVASC."

In short, thanks to Petco and the staff at SVASC, Dobby has a full life and a full loving family. His sister, Tinker, will even help guide him back into the house after sunset.”


Goblin’s procedures through Angels of Assisi, totaling $276, were funded by a generous Animal Welfare Organization grant from The Petco Foundation. While that may not seem like a great deal of money to some, the shelter’s budget as provided by the municipalities it serves does not provide funding to cover life-saving surgeries dogs like Goblin need in order to make it out of the shelter alive and adopted. Without the generosity of The Petco Foundation, Goblin’s story would’ve been short, dark, and utterly devoid of hope. Instead, Goblin provides the wobbliest tours of the backyard to new seniors at his doggy retirement home and he counts on his sister Tinker to co-navigate the path back to the couch.

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Make sure to stay tuned for more updates about how The Petco Foundation is saving lives in Lyndhurst, VA!