Trooper Joe: neglected dog searches for his hero

Trooper Joe was brought to a Virginia shelter as a pup, quickly adopted and not heard from again for five years. At that time he was neglected and disabled, and surrendered to the shelter – but not by the family who had adopted him.

Trooper Joe 3

Having been provided almost no opportunities for exercise, the now six year-old Labrador Retriever/Hound mix was in bad shape. His nails were so long that he had to be sedated to have them trimmed, and after multiple veterinary visits and diagnostics it was discovered that Trooper Joe had degenerative hip disease requiring a double hip replacement.

Since his surrender, Trooper Joe has resided at our partners Roanoke Valley SPCA in Virginia for more than one year. A shelter is meant to be a temporary stop en route to a forever home, not a substitute for one.

We’re determined to help spread the word about this wonderful dog in the hopes that his future adopter – hopefully a veteran who is already in or who will join our program – will be his hero. In the near term, the shelter hopes to find Trooper Joe a foster home that is willing to help this wonderful dog now that a donor has stepped up to fund the first hip replacement.

Foster or adoption home requirements:

  • No other pets or small children
  • No need for him to take stairs
  • Willingness to work with a certified applied animal behaviorist to help Trooper Joe adapt to his new surroundings (he’s become very familiar with the people and routine at Roanoke Valley SPCA)
  • Ability and willingness to help Trooper Joe with extensive rehabilitation following his first surgery, scheduled for January 2016

All serious applicants to foster or adopt Trooper Joe are welcome, and each will be scrutinized for their ability to care for this special dog. A panel of experts will review every application with the goal of finding the most suitable and appropriate foster-to-adopt situation for Trooper Joe. He has developed some quirks from living in a shelter for more than a year, and his new person – or family – must be patient, loving and wanting to be part of his journey.

If you are interested, please do not contact Pets for Patriots; contact the Roanoke Valley SPCA at 540-339-9247 to schedule time to meet Trooper Joe and speak to an adoption counselor. A final decision will be made September 27th, 2015, with Trooper Joe going to his new foster home by October 1, 2016.

Even if you are unable to foster or potentially adopt Trooper Joe, please share his story. The more people who know about his need, the greater the chance we have of him finding his hero.


  1. Kelli

    Is there any way you could get any television coverage? Patti Spitler in Indiana does a weekly show called Pet Pals TV. It always helps to get that kind of media.

  2. Sylvie Peterson

    as of 10/5, only a few foster only inquiries have come in. Trooper needs a foster-to-adopt only because it would be unfair to be with a person/family for many months, only to come back. We love Trooper but he deserves a forever home. Applications are still being accepted with a decision being made as soon as possible. Please visit Trooper Joe and let your heart decide.

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