On the same day that the Philadelphia Inquirer predicted 22 inches of snow for the winter, they also announced that a blind 8-month old puppy and his loyal brother, who were recently rescued from the city’s streets, will be safe and warm.
Jermaine and Jeffrey have found a loving home with Veronica McKee and her husband, Jonathan Hochman, both 44, of Springfield. They will also have someone else to help Jeffrey find his way around the new house; the couple has a talkative cat, named Blabbus, says Philly.com.
The official adoption took place on Saturday, after thousands of people responded to the plight of the brothers, which was spread worldwide by social media and news outlets.
According to Operation Ava, the adoption organization that took in the two abandoned boys after they were rescued by Chester County SPCA, “People called and wrote from as far away as Ethiopia, and a family in Australia offered to fly here to claim the 35-pound strays.”
When a media release was first posted on Jeffrey and Jermaine’s availability, only two adoption applications had been received. But, after publication of a photo taken by Kimberley Cary of the Chester County SPCA, showing the two pups asleep hugging each other, their story went viral.
The picture, as well as a video of the brothers, produced by Drexel Hill native Tom Hickey, caught the attention of media superstar Ryan Seacrest who posted the heartwarming story of Jeffrey and Jermaine on his website.
Operation Ava announced that they had narrowed down hundreds of formal applications to four finalists. From those, Jeffrey and Jermaine’s new home was selected as the best fit for the two pups, who possibly have never lived inside a home.
HOW THIS ALL HAPPENED
On October 5, the siblings were found on the streets of West Philadelphia and taken in by the Chester County SPCA. After receiving basic vaccinations, medical attention for mange, and some good meals, the malnourished but affectionate Pit Bull pups were taken to Operation Ava. It quickly had become apparent that they could not be separated and that Jermaine had taken on a lifetime duty to guide his blind brother.
About 10,000 people inquired about adopting the dogs, and several hundred filed formal applications to adopt them after their story became known worldwide,
By some quirk of fate, Jonathan Hochman, came to the Operation Ava shelter hoping to find two sibling puppies—and he was totally unaware of the dogs' viral celebrity. He and his wife do not have children and they just wanted to add two puppies who needed a loving home to their family.
Veronica McKee is a marketing director of Solomon Edwards Group L.L.C., a national business-advisory firm, and Hochman is director of information technology for Grosvenor, an international real estate firm, Philly.com states.
The staff wanted to be sure they had found a home that could afford to care of the two dogs --one with special needs -- for their lifetime and would agree to media interviews and follow-ups on the dogs to let the world know they are doing well, and the couple agreed.
"For us, the next step is to keep doing what we're doing," Gutierrez of Operation Ava, said. "When Jeffrey and Jermaine go home, it's back to the trenches."
This is a reminder of how many loving pets are available for adoption in shelters across the country and what miracles can happen when they are not forgotten.