What We Do & Why

If you’re fortunate, you have lived, or currently live, with an old dog. As cherished companions, the old dogs in our lives enrich our days for as long as we are privileged to have them.

Sweets at the shellterYou may find it inconceivable then that a treasured member of the family would be tossed away when signs of old age appear, when extra care is required, or after the kids leave home. But this is an all too common occurrence. Old dogs are left at shelters, or simply turned loose or left behind, confused and frightened. Abandonment can also happen right at home - old dogs who are no longer wanted are sometimes banished to the garage or exiled to the back yard with little human companionship. And sadly, sometimes people or families who love their old dog are forced to give the dog up due to difficult circumstances. Sweets, shown at left, ended up in animal control in Missouri duing a snowstorm.

At this time, there are very few rescue groups in the United States that specialize in helping homeless senior dogs, though the issue of geriatric rescue dogs is found in every municipal animal shelter and humane society, and with rescue leagues of all shapes and sizes. There is a great need for special programs that are unique to old dogs, such as in-home hospice care or health care programs for dogs in loving homes that may need a little financial assistance as their dog ages. We believe much more can be done.

The Grey Muzzle goal is to enable animal welfare organizations to improve their ability to provide care, comfort, and loving homes for old dogs. The organizations that we are supporting are chosen carefully and all have a commitment to senior dogs. We also encourage the formation of new non-profit organizations to care for senior dogs, such as hospice care.

We do this by raising money that is distributed annually, via grants, to animal welfare organizations and applicable rescue groups. These funds are raised through public donations; we are not a privately endowed foundation.

By providing support through grants, we help to build programs around the country that meet the special needs of senior dogs. We support only programs run by non-profit animal welfare organizations - we personally evaluate each organization and program we support, and we require accountability. (See Grants for more information about how we administer our financial support.)

Examples of programs that Grey Muzzle supports are shown below. Read about the organizations and programs we support, from Washington to California, to Missouri to New York. Meet some of the dogs that benefit from these programs.
  • In-home hospice care programs for senior dogs who are not adoptable
  • Seniors for Seniors adoption programs: Helping senior citizens adopt senior dogs
  • Medical assistance and beds for old dogs at shelters and rescues
  • Educational materials to encourage adoption, and quality care, of senior dogs. The article Caring for your Senior Dog is free to the public and available to shelters and rescue organizations.
Your donations will help fund programs like these around the country. Dogs can’t pick their human companions, but they give so much of their lives to us that they deserve our love and care in their senior years.

 Sweets safe in foster care
Sweets safe in foster care. Click the photo to learn more.