Senior dogs at CARE need forever homes
It’s heartbreaking walking into an animal shelter and seeing all of the cats and dogs in need of permanent homes, but what really tugs are your heartstrings to see older dogs in the stretch run of their lives in temporary housing, waiting to be rescued.
Lately, that’s been the case at the Colorado Animal Rescue shelter located across from the Colorado Mountain College campus at Spring Valley as many senior dogs have come to the shelter recently. That’s led to a push to find forever homes for the dogs in great need of loving care and attention.
“It’s really stressful for senior dogs to come into the shelter at this stage in their lives,” CARE Adoptions and Office Coordinator Samantha Pickard said. “It’s very unfortunate that they end up here, but we really strive to make them comfortable and take care of them to make them healthy, but it just takes a special adopter, and we’re always looking for people to come and open their hearts to dogs that are a little bit older.”
Currently, CARE, a no-kill shelter, has four senior dogs available for adoption, starting with a 12-year-old pug named Obi, who is blind and diabetic. As an older dog, Obi is house trained and doesn’t require as much attention as, say, a puppy would. Although blind and dealing with other medical issues, Obi is as fun-loving as they come and really just needs the right person to come and rescue him from the shelter in the late stages of his life. He gets around well, according to Pickard, but he would need a little bit more monitoring than some of the others.
Along with Obi, 9-year-old Louie, a Jack Russell terrier and rat terrier mix, was surrendered to the CARE facility in the last two weeks and appears as energetic and excited as small dogs come, but he’s very shy and scared of meeting new people. As an older dog, Louie is in good shape healthwise, but like any older dog, will require consistent visits to the vet to keep up on his health.
The final two older dogs at the shelter happen to be sisters and have been together since birth. Another combination of rat terrier mixes, Lady and Ella are 12 years old and are really friendly and quite the balls of energy from the moment you walk into the room.
Despite being in the shelter for the last month or so, Lady and Ella seem very happy, but as senior dogs they’re not meant for the shelter life. Ideally, CARE would like both of them to go to the same home, considering they’ve been together from day one. It would be stressful on both dogs to split them up in the future due to the fact that Lady has diabetes and is deaf. Ella is very healthy for a senior dog, but when interacting with the dogs in person, it appears that Ella looks after Lady.
In fact, Lady and Ella will be recipients of the new Fuzzy Fund, founded by Justin and Rebekah Ortell, to help senior dogs get placed into forever homes more quickly. The Ortells’ offer is to help support some of the medical expenses for some of the senior dogs in the shelter, while also donating their time and money to take senior animals to different events to help promote their future adoption.
“Lady and Ella will be the first senior dogs sponsored by the Ortells under the Fuzzy Fund,” CARE Executive Director Wes Boyd said. “We felt that as a pair they were the perfect fit to bring in this new fund created by the Ortells, so we’re hoping it goes well and the fund can help provide financial support medically to the future adopters of Lady and Ella.”
For Lady, the Ortells could potentially provide financial help for her diabetes and other medical expenses once she’s adopted with Ella, which makes for quite a unique experience at the shelter during the adoption process.
At CARE, the adoption process is fairly smooth and painless, often resulting in same-day adoption, should the shelter feel comfortable with the prospective adopter on a case-by-case process.
With senior dogs, Boyd emphasized that there isn’t a certain type of person required to adopt Obi, Louie, Lady and Ella, but he did say that it’s imperative that the adopter has time to provide the proper love and attention to the dogs once they leave the shelter.
“We recommend all age groups, but it depends on level of activity required,” Boyd said. “The great thing about senior dogs is they can often fit into their new homes much quicker and don’t require as much exercise, and they’re usually house-trained. We see a lot of successful adoptions of older pets into family homes that are busy and don’t really have the time for an active animal, and we also see senior dogs as good companion pets for seniors themselves that are kind of perfect.”
For more information on the four senior dogs spotlighted above, visit http://www.coloradoanimalrescue.org, or take a trip to the shelter and meet the dogs for yourself.
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