Lynchburg boy organizes ‘Calaeb’s Canines’ pet adoption event to honor his late brother

The event will be held at the Lynchburg Humane Society on July 2, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

One boy is not only looking for forever homes for pets, but continuing a legacy his brother would be proud of.

LYNCHBURG, Va. – When nine-year-old Gunner Nowell walked through the Lynchburg Humane Society, he wasn’t only there to see the animals he loves.

Gunner had a mission in mind: to honor his late brother, whose life was cut short in 2020.

On July 2, the humane society will host an event called ‘Calaeb’s Canines,’ in honor of Gunner’s late brother, Calaeb, who would have turned 16 years old on July 4.

Gunner’s goal this year is to get 16 dogs adopted during the event.

The family is choosing to celebrate and praise the life Calaeb lived instead of focusing on how he passed.

“He loved hanging out with dogs. He had a connection with animals,” said Gunner.

We’re told Calaeb was the definition of a dog person, someone with a passion for animal rescue and care.

“He didn’t love them for their color or [anything else]. He loved them for their soul,” Gunner said.

Gunner said that when he spent time with Calaeb, they enjoyed playing with their pets, playing video games, and having nerf gun wars.

Gunner said that he remembers Calaeb just as he was: “nice and generous.”

“And he still means the same thing to me now,” said Gunner.

Their mother, Ashley, did not want to be interviewed but said they raised $16,000 to sponsor the second-annual adoption event from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

So, if you plan on attending the event, remember that you’re not only bringing home a forever friend – you’re helping a young boy honor his late brother who he still holds near to his heart.

“I know [Calaeb] is still with me,” Gunner said.

About the Author:

Tim Harfmann joined the 10 News team in September 2020 and works at the station's Lynchburg bureau.