As Grey Muzzle and so many of our grantees know, when senior dogs enter shelters they often face an uncertain future. The ASPCA reports the adoption rate for senior dogs (defined as seven years or older) is lower than that of all other ages combined and the live release rate is just over 50% (ASPCA, 2015). The Grey Muzzle Organization is one of the only national organizations dedicated specifically to advancing life-saving efforts on behalf of senior dogs. We improve the lives of at-risk senior dogs by providing funding and resources to animal shelters, rescue organizations, sanctuaries, and other nonprofit groups nationwide. Grey Muzzle grants provide senior dogs with medical and dental care; adoption, foster and hospice services; and other supports to improve well-being and quality of life. We also provide resources and information on the care of senior dogs to both the public and animal welfare organizations across the country and around the world. While we have made important strides in supporting animal welfare organizations’ efforts to meet the needs of homeless and at-risk senior dogs, there is much to be learned about the programs and strategies that are most effective in promoting their well-being. Information on best and promising practices to promote the adoption of senior dogs is essential to save senior dogs’ lives and decrease the length of time they spend in shelter or foster care.
With the support of Maddie’s Fund, Saving Seniors: An Evaluation of Strategies to Increase the Adoption of Senior Dogs will allow us to collect needed information by conducting an in-depth analysis of the lifesaving work of current Grey Muzzle grantees to identify best and promising programs and practices. Our goal is to use the project findings to inform development and dissemination of programs and practices to increase timely adoption of and live outcomes for senior dogs.
“All of us at Grey Muzzle are thankful to Maddie’s Fund for this generous grant,” said Lisa Lunghofer, PhD, executive director. “We are looking forward to learning more about the successes and challenges our grantees face with senior dog welfare, and are eager to analyze and compile helpful information and practices to be shared far and wide to save more senior dogs.”
Maddie’s Fund is a family foundation created in 1994 by Workday® co-founder Dave Duffield and his wife, Cheryl, who have endowed the Foundation with more than $300 million. Since then, the Foundation has awarded more than $237.6 million in grants toward increased community lifesaving, shelter management leadership, shelter medicine education and foster care across the U.S. The Duffields named Maddie's Fund after their Miniature Schnauzer Maddie, who always made them laugh and gave them much joy. Maddie was with Dave and Cheryl for ten years and continues to inspire them today.