There isn't a city or county in the nation where dogs don't need help -- where they don't wind up on the street or neglected on chains in backyards, don't get dumped at municipal shelters out of ignorance or mere convenience, don't outlive their owners and find themselves among strangers who don't know what to do with them. It is why animal rescues exist. It is what animates volunteers to take up the cause and advocate for the welfare of companion animals. And it's what drives the diverse organizations who have been awarded Grey Muzzle grants.
Osteoarthritis, or Degenerative Joint Disease, is a common disease in our older pets. While many owners chalk the stiffness and decreased mobility seen in these pets as just “old age”, they can dramatically impact a pet’s quality of life. Dogs with osteoarthritis rarely vocalize their discomfort with cries or a non-weight bearing lameness. The changes are often subtle and can involve symptoms such as stiffness, reluctance to climb stairs, weight shifting when standing still and a decreased desire to go on walks. Osteoarthritis is a combination of changes seen in a joint. In a normal, healthy...
The Loneliness Epidemic. Is Loneliness a Bigger Public Health Threat than Obesity? Feeling Lonely Can be as Deadly as Smoking. These are just a few recent headlines about social isolation and loneliness, which appear to be increasing in all segments of the population but disproportionately impact seniors, who are more likely to live alone and lack social support.
Like candy, organizations that help senior dogs come in different colors and flavors. Some operate on a shoestring, while some have six-figure budgets. Some are foster based, while others have shelter facilities. And some coalesced recently, while others have built their organizations over decades. These programs' commonalities, however, are greater than their differences, and their shared goal, as succinctly expressed by Kelly Wolfe, is "to keep animals with people."
Senior dogs are AWESOME. They’re calm, mellow, sweet, loveable, and they’re usually already house-trained. All of these traits make them so much easier than puppies — and yet, as wonderful as animals over the age of 7 are, they often represent the highest-risk population at shelters across the United States, where nearly 3 million dogs and cats are put down each year.