Everything fell apart for Fergus and George when their owner’s health deteriorated, forcing him to move into an assisted living facility. Broken-hearted, Robert Toole brought Fergus, a 2-year-old tan Chihuahua, and George, an 11-year-old cream-colored cat, to the Aiken County Animal Shelter on Jan. 8 and tearfully said goodbye to his sweet pets.


Since Robert was able to provide their medical records, the pair became available for adoption immediately. Terrified and wondering why they were at the shelter, Fergus and George huddled together and it quickly became clear to the shelter staff that these two pets needed to be adopted to the same home.


FOTAS friend Martha Anne Tudor posted pictures of Fergus and George on her Facebook page along with their sad story. The post was shared by thousands, including WRDW-TV News 12, which did an on-air feature about the bonded dog and cat.


On the morning of Jan. 9, before the shelter had even opened its doors, Lynn Usry was waiting outside, ready to adopt Fergus and George.


“My friend forwarded me the Facebook post and their eyes just spoke to me,” Lynn said. “As soon as I saw the two of them in their kennel, I knew they would be perfect for our home.”


Lynn brought Fergus and George home to meet her husband, Mark, and their other pets – and the transition could not have gone smoother. George started hanging out with the couple’s other senior cat, Mojo, and after about a week, Fergus and Mia, their Golden Retriever, were inseparable. Fergus and George also get along with the Usrys’ other Chihuahuas, Bert and Ernie, and male Golden Retriever, Marley.


“We all hang out together,” Lynn explained during a phone interview last week. “Right now, Bert and Ernie are sitting in one recliner and Fergus is on my lap underneath his favorite red blanket. He’s a spitfire and fits right into our group. He often curls up with Mia and uses her as a pillow.”


Lynn offered to bring Fergus and George for visits to their old owner, Mr. Toole. But when the shelter staff reached out to him on her behalf, he declined. He said the experience would be too painful for him.


The Usrys have a small farm with goats and chickens and Lynn said she’s finding great comfort being with her pets during the COVID-19 crisis. She’s a retired OR nurse and Mark is currently the director of University Hospital’s biomedical department.


“The adoption process was wonderful,” Lynn said. “Everybody was very kind. I took the babies home and they didn’t have any issues. I think God just meant it to happen ... to have everything fall into place.”


Their lives are in our hands.


Note: Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the Aiken County Animal Shelter is closed to the public. If you are interested in adopting a pet, please call the ACAS at (803) 642-1537 for an appointment. Adoption fees are waived until further notice.