Bear finds a home

Bear was adopted from the Arlington Animal Rescue League when he was just a puppy. Four years late, his owners returned him.

Bear had developed bladder stones and in the midst of a recession, his owners could no longer afford the medical treatments he needed.

His story is far from unusual. Shelters across the Washington region report a rise in the number of pets surrendered because of the expense.

The Animal Welfare League of Alexandria saw a 30 percent increase in just three years – putting an extra burden on shelters already bursting at the seams.

"If they're able to afford to treat this pet, then they're going to have to find someone to take a pet who is sick or injured,” said Dr. Katy Wilson, a veterinarian.

After ABC7 introduced viewers to Bear earlier in May, calls flooded in and the Arlington shelter found Bear a home. Drew Hopwood and his wife Carolyn discovered Bear was the perfect companion for their one-year-old Chow mix Jack.

The couple was willing to take on a special needs dog and to take him to the vet twice as often as they do Jack and shell out eight times as much for Bear’s special diet.

“It's a small price to pay for the happiness that one dog brought us,” Drew Hopwood said. “I hope we can share the happiness with two and make it that much better."