Instagram | @mrmoproject

Couple Transformed Their Home Into A Safe Haven For Senior And Special Needs Dogs

A New York couple recently revealed they've spent more than $55,000 on home renovations in order to turn their space into a safe haven for their 21 dogs, all of whom are either senior or special needs pups.

As Business Insider reported, Chris and Mariesa Hughes have actually saved more than 500 senior dogs through their organization, the Mr. Mo Project, which works to ensure elderly canines across the country are properly loved and cared for.

It all began back in 2012 with just one senior dog named Moses who the couple adopted after his previous owners surrendered because he was "too old."

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"I've always said I'm an equal opportunity animal lover, but the senior thing really hit me when we got Moses," Chris told Insider of their 12-year-old rescue. "It really opened my eyes up to how many senior dogs are surrendered to shelters."

"I was very naive and had no idea that people gave up older dogs or gave up on them," Mariesa added. "It just wasn't something our family ever did. That was very surprising to me, and made me want to help."

Shortly after they adopted Moses, their beloved dog was diagnosed with a spinal cord tumor and given just a few weeks to live.

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Five weeks later, he passed away.

"Moses was our dog together," Chris explained. "He came to us when we met and we didn't know what was going to happen to us with such a big loss. And, selfishly, we didn't want people to forget about him."

That's how the couple got the idea to start the Mr. Mo Project in Moses' honor, to help cover the medical expenses for other senior dogs.

Instagram | @mrmoproject

When they first began the organization back in 2014, they thought it would remain a small initiative with their local animal shelter to help senior dogs get the care they need.

What they didn't anticipate was that the Mr. Mo Project would soon grow into a nationwide charity, helping to save more than 500 senior dogs across the country.

Chris and Mariesa say the Mr. Mo Project funds about $45,000 every month on dogs' veterinarian bills.

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"For dogs in the project, we cover their transportation to their forever foster home — wherever that will be — and we pay the medical expenses for the rest of the dogs' lives," Mariesa explained.

"Sometimes we'll also just pay one-off bills for people if they can't afford a life-saving surgery for their dogs," Chris added. "That's a different part of the project."

Of course, the couple's own home has quickly accumulated its fair share of senior dogs since they started their organization.

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Currently they share their living space with 21 senior and special needs dogs.

"We didn't wake up one day and have 20 dogs," Mariesa said. "If we did, that would've been a lot harder to figure out. Gradually growing our pack hasn't been as hard as one would think — it's just one more bowl, one more vet visit."

With all those extra pups in the house, the couple knew serious renovations were needed in order to keep each dog safe and comfortable.

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Chris and Mariesa spent over $55,000 to turn their home into a safe haven suitable for their senior and special needs dogs.

That includes installing ramps at both entrances, splashing out $30,000 on a hydrotherapy pool, and a $5,000 custom-made king-size bed with enough room for everyone to cozy up together at night.

They also have black agility mats throughout the house, and an oxygen kennel for dogs with breathing problems or congestive heart failure.

As of right now, there are 112 dogs who are receiving medical funds through the Mr. Mo Project.

Instagram | @mrmoproject

In order to cover those expenses, Chris and Mariesa have to fundraise nonstop on top of working their day jobs, which makes for a pretty tight and hectic schedule.

But these two passionate dog lovers say it's all worth it to see the furry friends they've helped save.

While they continue their efforts, they want people to recognize that senior dogs deserve love, and that "age is not a disease."

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"Senior dogs and rescue dogs and shelter dogs can all be good, happy, loving dogs," Mariesa said. "And they're very deserving of that opportunity."

Check out the Mr. Mo Project's official website to learn more about this incredible organization.

h/t: Business Insider

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