An advantage of adopting a senior dog is that they often need less training. However, Mikkel Becker, Vetstreet.com trainer and Grey Muzzle Advisory Board Member, suggests that we should see training as something more, a way to bond with our older dogs and bring them joy; in short, an "investment of love."
In large shelters, older pets can be overlooked. To address this, Great Plains SPCA, the largest animal welfare organization in the Kansas City area, uses the innovative program SASSY and a Grey Muzzle grant to find adopters for its senior dogs and support the relationship between senior citizens and their pets.
Our time with our dogs - especially our adopted senior dogs - is far too short, but the difference we can make for them is immeasurable. Facing the impending loss of a beloved senior foster dog, Grey Muzzle board member Maria Stoerrle considers the gifts she was able to offer him in the time they had together.
In Appalachia and the rural Southeast, homeless dogs face understaffed and poorly funded shelters. Raising Aid for Dogs at Risk (RADAR) was founded to support these “below the radar” country-road shelters in caring for the most vulnerable and at-risk dogs, such as seniors and those with medical issues.
In an interview, veterinarian and Grey Muzzle Advisory Board member Dr. Marty Becker discusses the mobility challenges faced by his adopted dog Gracie, offers advice for older dogs with similar issues, and tells us how the love of older or special needs pets "can be stronger than you would ever imagine."
Senior dogs are better able to tolerate the stress of a shelter environment and have more of a chance of getting adopted when they sleep well. Therefore, in addition to its grants program, Grey Muzzle helps senior dogs in shelters through donations of beds that get old dogs off cold, hard shelter floors.
As part of our focus on hospice care for homeless senior dogs, we share a new video by filmmaker Kacey Klonsky, in which Laura Oliver, founder of Lionel’s Legacy Senior Dog Rescue , reflects on the joy of caring for dogs at the end of their lives. The video is part of Klonsky's "Unconditional Stories" series.
Shelters can be frightening and dangerous for any senior dog, but especially for those that are blind. Blind Dog Rescue Alliance (BDRA) is one of the few rescues in the U.S. that specializes in rescuing visually impaired dogs. In this post, Debbie Marks writes about being a foster for BDRA's old and special needs dogs.