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    Old Dogs Learn New Tricks: Senior Dogs Fetch Lifesaving Grants

    Old dogs have something to bark about as The Grey Muzzle Organization announces more than $705,000 in grants to 78 animal welfare groups—shelters, rescue groups, sanctuaries and other nonprofits working to save and improve the lives of senior dogs. This brings the national Grey Muzzle Organization’s total grant funding to more than $3.8 million since 2008.

    This year’s grantees, selected from among 344 applicants, will use the funds to provide critically needed medical and dental treatment; foster and hospice care; adoption promotions; and programs to keep old dogs in their homes and out of animal shelters.

    “There is a huge surge in shelter and rescue group intake right now, putting senior dogs most at risk, so our grants are timely in helping the most vulnerable dogs—and people,” Grey Muzzle’s Executive Director Lisa Lunghofer, Ph.D., said. “Although they have so much love and companionship to give, senior dogs are among the first to be euthanized and last to be adopted. These grants will give thousands of old dogs the second chance they all deserve.”

    Here are a few examples of how senior dogs and the people who love them benefit from Grey Muzzle grants:

    When Razz’s owner lost her housing, she was desperate not to lose her dog, too. Funding from Grey Muzzle enables SICSA Pet Adoption and Wellness Center Safe Pets Program in Southwest Ohio to provide veterinary care and temporary homes for senior dogs like Razz who are displaced by emergency situations. After receiving needed medical care and spending a month in a foster home, Razz was reunited with her person, who found stable housing for herself and her best friend.

    Support from Grey Muzzle will allow Pet Rescue Pilots to perform a seniors-only rescue mission flying precious furry passengers eight years of age and older out of overcrowded rural California shelters, where they have less than a 25% adoption rate, and landing where they belong: in loving arms. Funds will cover costs associated with the flight carrying between 20 and 30 at-risk senior shelter dogs like Nell, who found himself in an overcrowded facility with little chance of being adopted. With more families looking to adopt pets in the Pacific Northwest than are available in shelters, Nell hopped a flight with Pet Rescue Pilots to Oregon where his forever family was waiting on the tarmac. A future seniors-only flight will not only land at-risk senior shelter dogs in loving homes but will also raise awareness that senior shelter pets need foster and forever families; highlight the many benefits that come with welcoming an old dog into your home; and increase adoption of at-risk senior shelter pets beyond those on this very special rescue flight.

    A grant to High Country Humane in Arizona will fund a program to help prevent families from having to surrender their senior dogs to shelters by providing them with veterinary care. The primary goal of the Grey Muzzle grant is to reduce the number of senior dogs surrendered for medical conditions that their families cannot afford to treat. The grant will also provide diagnostic and medical treatment for senior dogs in High Country Humane’s care. Bubba’s family never came forward to reclaim him, so High Country Humane removed his masses, started him on medication for hypothyroidism and arthritis, and found him a great foster home while continuing to search for his forever home.

    At first glance, Sophia and Rudy may seem an unlikely pair, but they complement each other perfectly. Sophia, an 11-year-old basset hound, and Rudy, a 12-year-old Yorkie-mix, were surrendered to the Animal Care Centers of NYC by their owner. Little Shelter Animal Rescue and Adoption Center did not hesitate to rescue the bonded pair. Both senior dogs had medical issues that required immediate treatment. Sophia had severe dental disease, inflamed ears, and nose bleeds. Rudy had a cancerous growth that needed to be removed, in addition to severe dental disease. Thanks to funding from The Grey Muzzle Organization, both dogs got the surgery they needed and have recovered nicely. This bonded pair will now live out their days together with their new family, while the grant will continue to provide at-risk senior dogs with needed veterinary care. 

    “We are so grateful to our compassionate donors, senior dog adopters and grantees for making this year’s record-breaking grant funding possible,” Lunghofer said. “Thanks to you, more old dogs in communities all around the country will spend the rest of their lives in homes with people who love them.”

    Here is a complete list of 2022 Grey Muzzle grantees:

    Animal Fix Clinic

    Animal Rescue Foundation

    Animal Rescue Mission

    Animal Rescue, Inc.

    Arizona Humane Society

    Asheville Humane Society

    Auburn Valley Humane Society

    Austin Humane Society

    Austin Pets Alive!

    Belleville Area Humane Society

    Brother Wolf Animal Rescue

    Carolina Poodle Rescue

    Charming Pet Rescue

    Community Spay Neuter Initiative Partnership (C-SNIP)

    Connecticut Humane Society

    East Bay SPCA

    Fences for Fido

    Found House Interfaith Housing Network

    Forever Loved Pet Sanctuary

    Friends of Foothills Animal Shelter

    Friends of The Animal Shelter and Guardians of The Homeless Animals

    Gold Ribbon Rescue

    Harbor Humane Society

    Hearts Alive Village

    HeARTs Speak, Inc.

    Helping Hands Humane Society

    High Country Humane

    Hope Animal Rescue

    Humane Society for Hamilton County

    Humane Society of Indianapolis

    Humane Society of North Texas

    Humane Society of Sonoma County

    Humane Society of West Michigan

    Jacksonville Humane Society

    Kohala Animal Relocation and Education Service (KARES)

    Leave No Paws Behind, Inc

    Little Shelter Animal Rescue & Adoption Center

    Live Like Roo

    Massachusetts SPCA (MSPCA)

    Maui Humane Society

    Max's Helping Paws Foundation

    McKamey Animal Center

    Misty Eyes Dog Shelter & Humane Education Learning Center

    Montreal SPCA

    Mostly Mutts Animal Rescue & Adoption, Inc.

    Muttville Senior Dog Rescue

    Nebraska Humane Society

    Neighborhood Pets

    Nevada SPCA


    No Kill Pima County

    Norfolk SPCA

    Oshkosh Area Humane Society

    PAWS Atlanta, Inc.

    Peace of Mind Dog Rescue

    Pet Animal Welfare Society of CT (PAWS)

    Pet Community Center

    Pet Rescue Pilots LLC

    Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society (PAWS)

    Poodle & Pooch Rescue of Florida

    Sacramento SPCA

    Safe Harbor Lab Rescue

    Scatter Joy Acres

    Second City Canine Rescue

    Seniors' Pet Assistance Network (SPAN)

    Shelter from the Storm Animal Rescue

    SICSA Pet Adoption & Wellness Center

    Silicon Valley Pet Project

    SpokAnimal C.A.R.E

    St Augustine Humane Society

    Stop the Suffering

    The Animal Foundation

    The Humane Society for Tacoma & Pierce County

    The Pet Cottage, Inc.

    Two by Two Animal Rescue

    Upper Pininsula Animal Welfare Shelter, Inc (UPAWS)

    Vieques Humane Society and Animal Rescue, Inc.

    York County SPCA

    The Grey Muzzle Organization saves and improves the lives of at-risk senior dogs by providing funding and resources to animal shelters, rescues, and other nonprofit groups nationwide. We envision a world where every senior dog thrives, and no old dog dies alone and afraid.