Unsung Hero #91

If you have a pet — and who doesn’t?* — chances are you’ve met Melissa Shapiro.

The veterinarian owns Visiting Vet Service. For almost 25 years, she has provided in-home care for dogs and cats.

Melissa is devoted to rescue dogs — especially those with special needs.

Two years ago Melissa rescued Piglet, his mother and 3 litter mates from a hoarding situation in Georgia.

Piglet — a dachshund/Chihuahua mix — is deaf and blind. Melissa planned on fostering him with help and support. Two months later, her foster home became his permanent one.

Melissa’s patience, love and dedication has helped Piglet thrive. He loves to run and play in the yard, take walks in the neighborhood on his harness and leash, and snuggle with people and other dogs.

Piglet at Compo Beach.

Melissa speaks regularly to groups about how Piglet’s positive mindset has helped him overcome challenges. He is so inspiring that a class in Massachusetts uses him as a role model. When problems arise, students ask, “What would Piglet do?”

This Sunday (March 31, 4 p.m.), Melissa brings Piglet and his message to the Westport Weston Family YMCA. The program is free, and appropriate for children 7 and up.

In December 2017, “06880” profiled Piglet.

Today his rescuer, savior — and friend — Dr. Melissa Shapiro gets her props. For all she does for Piglet, for all the other dogs and cats in town — and the nation, as Connecticut representative for the national Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association — Melissa is our Unsung Hero of the Week.

Dr. Melissa Shapiro, with Piglet and friend.

(Sunday’s event is sponsored by the Federation of Jewish Philanthropy of Upper Fairfield County. To learn more about Piglet, click here. To nominate an Unsung Hero of the Week, email dwoog@optonline.net. Hat tip: Monique Lions Greenspan.)

*I don’t. 

9 responses to “Unsung Hero #91

  1. As anyone who knows her can attest, Melissa is the best!

  2. Our family had the great fortune of meeting Melissa when we unexpectedly rescued our pup in late 2017 (she has been our vet ever since). She is the absolute best and it is not surprising that Piglet is thriving being part of Melissa’s home and family. Her love and grace for her entire pack (and her patients!) is inspiring, and we are so grateful for her! Also, if you’re not following Piglet and Melissa on Instagram – you should! 🙂

  3. Melissa’s kind and calm presence in a familiar environment makes a huge difference for four footed ones – and their parents. Especially when the circumstances are not so good. Go Piglet!

  4. Congratulations, Melissa! What an inspiring story!

  5. Janette Kinally

    Melissa is amazing. She came to my house to check on my cats and was so warm and helpful. She deserves all the praise and glad she is being honored for her love and care for the animals.

  6. Robert Grodman

    Very deserving.

  7. Sarah Menchaca

    Melissa is the best!

  8. Eric William Buchroeder SHS ‘70 (Bellviewe ‘19)

    Piglet. How adorable. Now I get where President Clinton got his spousal nom de Guerrero. Just when you think chivalry is dead.

  9. THE best news story I’ve read today. Thank you for that.