I adopted my chick, Lucy, nine years ago when she was a dog. She sunbaths in the backyard when my kids swim, she rests on my bed with me when I write, and she loves to have bacon wrapped around her neck. In other words, she is living a good life.
If we moved and couldn’t get her, or if the medical costs were too high, I couldn’t afford to live in a shelter for the rest of her life – where the statistics show that a The dog is not his age. Take a great shot at adoption – when she was part of our family during her previous years.
Thankfully, there are organizations across the country looking for dogs like Lucy. These groups ensure that senior dogs, or dogs 7 years of age and older, are cared for during their golden years.
There are advantages to caring for or adopting a senior dog: they have predictable personalities, they are trained, and they are generally less important than a passionate dog. Also, depending on the breed, these dogs may be many years ahead of them, as they have already experienced.
Three organizations told me how they are improving the lives of elders.
A network of foster homes.
In West Washington State, the nonprofit Old Dog Haven (olddoghaven.orgCurrently, its volunteer foster network invites 320 families to seek shelter from families facing shelters, animal control or life-changing events.
“We keep dogs we don’t think will be acceptable,” said Joe Myers, director of marketing and art. Joe and his wife have been raising for years – at one point, they had six dogs – and enjoy watching the dogs in their new home. Sometimes dogs are raised or sometimes they become the last refuge for a foster dog. Either way, he says, “It’s not only good for dogs, it’s good for people.”
Partnerships with shelters.
All senior dogs that come to Old Friends Senior Dog Century (ofsds.org) Come to Mount Juliet, Tennessee, within 100 miles of local animal control, shelters and rescue.
“If the animal control gets a senior dog and they can tell it’s not going to be good (in the shelter), they’ll call us,” said Noel Cassini, marketing manager.
In addition to its foster home network, Old Friends has a 20,000-square-foot facility called PAWvillions. The facility was custom made for dogs with a clean epoxy floor, access to the yard from each dog’s room, special feeding crates and a full service medical wing.
“Many of these dogs become lifelong residents, and will spend the rest of their days in the sanctuary,” Noel explained.
Meeting medical expenses.
Medical and dental services for shelter and rescue are expensive. Gray Moselle Organization (greymuzzle.org) Funds these services and any other programs designed for the welfare of senior dogs.
“We provide shelter and protect trust so that they can meet and adopt their health needs,” said Lisa Langhofer, Executive Director.
This year, Gray Muzzle won a record $ 616,000, focusing on organizations that can sustain their programs.
“We really want to provide seed money for organizations that are committed to long-term care for senior dogs,” says Lisa.
Educating the people.
On its website, Gray Mazel offers free webinars on advances in veterinary medicine and other resources and care tips for general health problems in seniors. The purpose is to keep dogs in their homes.
Last year, Lisa conducted the first nationwide study on how to increase the adoption rate for older dogs.
The joy of adopting seniors was to improve public communication. “We need to think more broadly about senior dogs,” she says. “A 7-year-old dog probably has very different characteristics and needs than a 14-year-old dog.”
what can you do?
- Join the Senior Dog Foster Network. In your area
- Spread the word. Through senior dog issues and adoption dog websites on social media, Sponsor an Old Dog Haven Senior. By paying for her food or intake test.
- Volunteer to set up your skills. Gray Muzzle is looking for help with graphic design and virtual storytelling.