BALTIMORE (WMAR) — Cooper and Manny are double trouble. Their resemblance is uncanny.
"They're almost like identical twins," said Bailey Deacon.
You'd think they've known each other all their lives but they just met in July. At least that's what Deacon, Manny's mom and Cooper's foster mom, originally thought.
Deacon adopted Manny as an 8-week-old puppy last March, when a family surrendered him and his four sisters to BARCS.
"The family had been breeding in the city and had sold 6 of the puppies already, they told us, but they had been evicted from their home and didn't have a place for the other 5 so they brought them to BARCS," said Deacon.
The Moon Pearl 5, BARCS named them after their mom, were adopted and still meet up for play dates but their new families always wondered about the well-being and whereabouts of the other 6 siblings.
Deacon, who works at BARCS, always kept an eye out for them.
"I couldn’t help it but when I would see other dogs that looked like my dog, thinking could that be one of the other six?" said Deacon.
That's what she thought when she saw Elm and the family who surrendered him confirmed he was adopted from that litter, making him number six.
"That was kind of an exciting revelation right off the bat," said Deacon.
Fast forward to the middle of July, someone found a stray dog nearly lifeless on the side of the road. Deacon's friends tagged her in lost dog posts, thinking it was her Manny, but it wasn’t.
"I looked at the photo's and was immediately just surprised by the resemblance but it wasn’t my dog. Manny was safe at home next to me," said Deacon.
The dog, now Cooper, was brought into BARCS and Deacon immediately fell in love. He reminded her so much of her Manny, she couldn’t help but wonder.
"We kind of always thought, 'Oh there's no possible way. How could it be possible that 20,000 animals basically have come into BARCS between Manny and Cooper and magically that would be his brother?'," said Deacon.
She took him home to foster once he was off stray hold, to help him recover. He was emaciated. As he gained strength and energy, she continued seeing commonalities. That's when the parents of another Moon Pearl adopted from BARCS with Manny gifted Deacon two doggy DNA tests and she sent them in.
"I thought lets find out. Whether it is or it isn't, at least the DNA test that we did came with a health assessment so it will be helpful for his new adopters whether he's the brother or not," said Deacon.
And sure enough, the test confirmed they are in fact brothers!
"I was actually at BARCS so I was with my coworkers and I screamed. I shrill screamed and I yelled, 'He is his brother!'," said Deacon. "I loved him already but it made me love him even more because how special is that?"
She thinks the boys, two peas in a pod, might have known all along.
"He smelled him and was immediately like, 'Oh you're my best friend.' And we were joking he was like, 'Where have you been all this time man?' but I do think in some way they must know," said Deacon.
So that made Moon Pearl 7, but wait, there's more. The DNA test also revealed another sister named Heidi that was from Baltimore and living in Pennsylvania. Bailey recalled seeing another dog named Khokolate at the shelter a few months back and decided to reach out to her new adopters and see if that was Heidi. It in fact was! Heidi makes Moon Pearl 8.
"How crazy that she also came through BARCS and I did feel a little like my premonition was right. Khokolate is one of the litter mates," said Deacon.
So that means three of the six adopted made their way back to BARCS and have connected with the Moon Pearl families. That leaves three more still out there.
"All of us just hope and pray that they're being well taken care of and have families that love them," said Deacon.
She'll continue listening to her dog mom premonition, what led her to Cooper.
"I feel that Cooper's really special. It makes him extra special. It makes his journey extra special and I'm just really glad that even though he came through BARCS and even though something clearly didn't go right before, that we found him," said Deacon.
Deacon used the dog DNA test Embark, which can show ancestry and find dog siblings if they have also taken the DNA test. Already since BARCS put the story out on social media Deacon believes they have found another sibling and she would love to hear from anyone who has a one and a half year old English Springer Spaniel-German Shorthaired Pointer mix that looks like Cooper and Manny. They could be the last two Moon Pearls.
Because Cooper came into BARCS in such bad shape, he has some behavior training he still needs to go through but Deacon is dedicated to finding the perfect fit for him, whether that's staying with her and her boyfriend, or a new loving family.