Ray Little, Operation Ava
These two puppies exemplify brotherly love.
Since the photo of the two stray dogs embracing while sleeping was posted last Friday by the Chester County SPCA, brothers Jeffrey and Jermaine have reached celebrity status.
The photo of the sleeping brothers hugging is a perfect representation of their relationship. Jeffrey is blind. According to the SPCA, his brother Jermaine has dedicated his life to be his guide dog, helping him move around.
"The unconditional love and devotion these two dogs show is positively inspirational," wrote an SPCA spokesperson on the group's Facebook page.
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
Both dogs, approximately 8-months-old and believed to be lab-pit bull mixes, were found on the streets of Philadelphia back on October 5 and taken in by Operation Ava, a no-kill animal rescue organization.
"They were obviously a little bit scared and confused' said Ray Little, the Director of Life Saving at Operation Ava. "It was immediately apparent that Jeffrey was leaning on Jermaine and that Jermaine was making every effort to stay with his brother."
According to Little, the two brothers are inseparable.
"They're always pretty much touching each other," Little said. "Jeffrey really does try to maintain contact with Jermaine, especially when he's in an unfamiliar environment. As soon as he gets familiar with a new place, then he becomes a little bit more independent. But it's amazing how they try to maintain contact with each other."
While Little acknowledges that dogs are incredible social animals, he believes the case of Jeffrey and Jermaine is a special one.
"I think this is a little bit extraordinary in my experience because they're so careful with one another and play together so well," Little said. "It almost seems like Jermaine understands that Jeffrey has an issue seeing."
Little says response at the shelter has also been tremendous.
"I've received over 300 emails. We've been contacted by people as far away as South Africa and the United Kingdom. Many phone calls came from Canada and South America. And I think we've heard from every state in the United States, including Alaska and Hawaii."
They've received about 30 applications for the adoption of Jeffrey and Jermaine.
"Most dogs are lucky to get one application."
The shelter is still accepting applications until 5 p.m. Tuesday. If you're interested in adopting the two dogs, Little is encouraging you to not only call Operation Ava at 215-240-1240 but to also visit the center, located at N. 3rd Street in Philadelphia, and see the dogs yourself.
"We want to thank people for their support and their kind wishes for Jeffrey and Jermaine and urge anyone who is interested in adopting a pet to visit a local shelter or head to our website."
For more information on the adoption requirements or to make a donation, visit the Operation Ava website.