Like a good dad, Louie sets a good example in love and forgiveness. COURTESY PALMETTO ANIMAL LEAGUE

At Palmetto Animal League, we rescue hundreds of cats and dogs each year, and every single life is both meaningful and precious. Occasionally, we encounter an extra special soul that shines a little brighter, leaving a lasting impression on all of us at PAL.

Louie is one of those dogs. He came to the PAL Adoption Center half-starved, plagued with intestinal parasites, and heartworm positive. Louie was so weak he had to be lifted in and out of the car. His body was emaciated but one look into his eyes and you could tell his spirit was strong.

“Louie was about five years old when he came to PAL and weighed half of what he should,” recounts Louie’s foster mom-turned-adopter Ann McDonough. “Despite his condition, he loved everyone he met and his tail would not stop wagging.”

Louie had a lot to overcome, but with months of dedicated medical treatment and lots of love, he began to thrive in his foster home. He gained 25 pounds and gave out free hugs everywhere he went.

Louie was eventually adopted by his foster mom because, well, really, who could resist that face?

“Despite my intention to rehab Louie and place him back with PAL for adoption, he quickly fit into my motley crew of pets and we all felt like one family,” said McDonough. “So, after caring for 17 PAL foster animals, I became a “foster failure.”

We’ll never know what happened to Louie during his first five years, but we can guarantee he’ll spend the rest of his life knowing what it means to be truly loved.

Louie’s cheerful, grateful and loving attitude despite his heartbreaking condition touched everyone at PAL – proof that an animal’s capacity for forgiveness knows no bounds.

Just like a father, Louie set a good example we can all strive to follow, so in honor of Louie and in loving memory of her dad, a Palmetto Animal League supporter has offered to match donations, up to $10,000, leading up to Father’s Day.

Make a special gift to PAL through June 16 honoring a special dad in your life, and every dollar will be doubled to help rescue abandoned, abused and neglected pets like Louie. Donations can be made in honor or in memory of your father, grandfather or any special man, and PAL will send an eCard notifying the designated recipient of your gift. Visit and give a Father’s Day gift that’s sure to match and twice as meaningful.

Lindsay Perry is the marketing coordinator for Palmetto Animal League.