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Nursing Home Staff Step In to Save Patient’s Four Dogs from Euthanasia

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Staff at an Oklahoma nursing home stepped in to save four dogs belonging to a new resident after discovering the dogs were going to be euthanized.

Alan Kilburn was taken to the hospital a few weeks ago and eventually moved to the Arbor Village Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Sapulpa, Oklahoma where he became the nursing home’s newest resident.

When he learned he would not be returning home, Kilburn worried about his four dogs, Sparky, Lady Bug, Whitey, and Blue. No longer able to care for them, a relative took all four dogs to the Tulsa Animal Shelter where they were scheduled to be euthanized.

When nurses learned about Mr. Kilburn’s dogs and the tragic loss he would soon face, they stepped in to help.

Tesa Slater, an employee at the Arbor Village Nursing and Rehabilitation Center contacted the Tulsa Animal Shelter and not only saved the lives of Kilburn’s four dogs, but had them special delivered right to the nursing home.

Lady Bug will be allowed to live at the center with Kilburn while Sparky, Whitey, and Blue were all adopted by different staffers who promise to bring them by for weekly visits.

“If even in just one little moment, one piece, we can make their world better, then we’ve done something good,” said Danielle O’Leary, a nurse at Arbor Village who adopted one of the four dogs.

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  1. This is my Uncle. He was a great guy and having his dog Sparky there meant so much to him. He has always had a soft spot in his heart for animals, especially Boston Terriers. As my Uncle started declining and I spent more time in the nursing home with him, Sparky and I became best friends. We kept each other company. He could tell something wasn’t right with my Uncle and he could sense I was sad. We gave each other comfort. I think all nursing homes need to do this.

  2. Avatar Of Lawrence



    God bless the good people of the nursing home staff!!

  3. Avatar Of Steve Murtha

    Steve Murtha


    What a group of beautiful people! Why would the shelter (apparently a misnomer) schedule euthanasia without trying for a reasonable time to place them? I think it is time for the “shelter’s” procedures to be corrected.

  4. Avatar Of Victoria



    Thank goodness for animal ( and people heroes)!

  5. Avatar Of Herb



    Arbor and its staff members did well. Can’t say the same for the animal “shelter”. Shame on them for not searching for viable alternatives, as noted in the other comment. Good luck to Mr. K.

  6. Avatar Of Beth Rapp

    Beth Rapp


    Sally Betka Coppedge is one of the Rescue PPL to deal with Short nose rescue in Oklahoma,especially Boston Terriers,and there is also Midwest Boston Terrier Rescue, it was terrible to even think of doing that to them at a Shelter!!!!!

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