PAL Kennel Supervisor Shelby English and Luna’s adopter Ken Maliken hold Luna’s leash for a group photo before Luna heads to her new home. Accompanying them are PAL kennel staffers Frances Audrey, left, and Paige Shanks.

To know the love of a father can be life changing. And for a senior dog named Luna, that love was long-awaited.

After spending nearly 18 months with Palmetto Animal League, Luna must have wondered if anyone would ever come for her. Her lengthy wait for love ended joyously in May when her new father, Ken Maliken, walked her out of our adoption center.

“Ken first heard about Luna at the beginning of the year, but he was leaving town for a couple of months,” said PAL Kennel Supervisor Shelby English. “When he got back in April, he stopped by to see if Luna was still available for adoption. Their connection that day was immediate.”

Before coming to PAL, Luna had spent her entire life with the same family, starting out as an indoor dog with all the comforts of home, but ending up an outdoor dog, largely isolated from physical and emotional touch. Eventually, Luna found herself homeless at 8 years old. The story rarely ends well for a senior dog in a shelter, but Luna found safety at PAL.

“From what we know of Luna’s past, she endured many things,” said Maliken. “Her time spent at PAL was probably the best part of her years on this planet.”

Luna’s life experiences made her reluctant to trust, but the dedicated team at PAL worked gradually to rebuild her faith in humans. From discarded to determined, Luna never stopped dreaming of a new home, one where love knows no bounds.

“Ken had a dog that passed away,” said English. “She was a senior dog and his best friend. Ken was looking for a similar kind of bond and found it with Luna.”

Luna has helped Ken heal, and Ken has reminded Luna how rewarding human company can be.

“I’m hoping to give her the companionship and joy she deserves for however many years she has left,” Ken said.

Now Luna, the senior dog left frightened and alone, knows what it means to have the life-changing love of a father. 

A generous PAL supporter is matching Father’s Day donations through June 19 in loving memory of her dad. When you make a gift in honor or memory of a special father, every dollar you donate will be doubled to help rescue more animals like Luna.

Plus, PAL will send a Father’s Day eCard to your designated recipient. Visit and click on “Double the Love” to send a card.

If you’re considering adopting a pet, call 843-645-1725 to schedule a visit to the PAL Adoption Center, located at 56 Riverwalk Blvd in Okatie.

Lindsay Perry is the marketing coordinator for Palmetto Animal League.