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Diamonds In The Ruff: Why Senior Dogs Rock

(ANIMAL RESCUE/SENIOR DOGS) Life can be pretty challenging for senior animals. The sad truth is every day older dogs are passed up for cute, bouncy puppies. Because people have preconceived notions of senior dogs, they are typically the least adopted pets.

But senior pets deserve to live their golden years in a loving, supportive home. Even though they are no longer young pups, senior dogs still have a lot of life to live and even more love to give.

There are so many amazing reasons to adopt a senior dog–i.e. they are already house broken, have better focus, are grateful for a second chance, and what you see is what you get.

In the article below, read the touching stories from organizations who take senior dog rescue extra seriously, including our own story involving Global Animal’s founders and their beloved senior rescue dog Stanley. — Global Animal

Photo Credit: Rita Earl Photography

Consumers Advocate, Scott Smith

Today I’d like to share this is a very special feature on the plight of abandoned senior dogs in need of re-homing. As I was researching this issue, I was fortunate enough to connect with organizations who take senior dog rescue with the seriousness it merits. These groups understand that while all of animal rescue is a sensitive matter, with senior dogs, it’s even more sensitive.

Life can already be challenging for senior animals without being discarded like a broken piece of furniture. When this happens, many of them have a hard time getting adopted because they’re old. The last thing they need is for people use their misconceptions to stack the decks even further against them.

Simply because it isn’t illegal to discard an animal doesn’t make it right. As your parents, grandparents, or other family members age, would you drop them off to live in a place they’ve never seen before? After a lifetime of familiarity with you, your home, and your family, would you discard them like an old sock without a pair? Of course not. Generally, people don’t do that to their loved ones.

Just because senior dogs can’t call out their owner’s name as they’re abandoned, doesn’t mean they’re not crying out in pain. More often than not, abandoned animals crawl into a corner and suffer deep depressions. The point is, while it’s unthinkable to treat a person in such a way, it’s equally wrong with your companion animal.

In order to obtain a closer look at this particular predicament for senior dogs, I reached out to organizations and people that work with these animals on a daily basis, and best know their needs. After reading on and learning more about senior dogs, it should become evident that they can make incredible companions, just as good as younger ones. Even more importantly, we can hopefully find the featured adoptable dogs some new, loving homes.

Most dogs reach seniorhood between seven and ten years. This varies from breed to breed, as larger dogs reach old age quicker than smaller ones do. Typically, dogs that weigh less than 20 pounds are considered senior when they’re between seven to nine years old. For bigger dogs, this happens around six or seven years of age.

As our dogs get up there in age, we need to pay particular attention to their overall wellness, just as we do with humans. Scheduling routine medical checkups at least twice a year is crucial. Even as they age, if we stay in front of possible health risks, we can still improve their overall health, as well as extend their lifespan.

Several of the dogs featured below are up for adoption. If any of our readers is interested in providing a new, loving home for one of them, I’d be happy to help and facilitate in any way.

Without further ado, let’s read on and find out what these organizations on the front lines of senior dog rescue have to say.

Mufasa (right) was rescued by Hope for Paws. in Los Angeles, California

Let’s begin with Hope for Paws, a non-profit animal rescue operation based out of Los Angeles, California.

Back in 2015, Hope for Paws received a call about a senior dog living in a water treatment facility. Lisa Arturo and Eldad Hagar of Hope for Paws responded to the call. When they arrived, they found senior dog Mufasa surrounded by toxic chemicals. He was leery and weak, and Eldad and Lisa knew that Mufasa needed to trust them before he would let them get close.

Lisa started approaching him slowly while offering him some food. Still, Mufasa kept his distance. Eventually, Eldad had to come up from behind Mufasa to surprise him. After just a moment of resistance, the worst was over.

They say a picture speaks a thousand words. There’s no better depiction of this adage than the collage above with Mufasa before and after his rescue.

You can see Mufasa’s story on video, here.

We reached out to Hope for Paws for comments, and this is what they said:

“Honestly, I don’t know how anyone could dump any animal, but a senior is just worse. That dog knows nothing but being with his family his entire life. Growing old is NOT a disease and to be discarded is just cruel, selfish and lazy! If you commit to an animal, commit. I have witnessed senior dogs going into major depressions when their family abandons them. They stop eating, lose weight and just curl up in a corner. It’s just not fair and really shows how heartless people can be.”

This senior dog named Edith was rescued by PETA in 2016.

Next up is Edith, who was rescued by PETA.

If you ever wanted to know what dedication, faith and destiny looked like together, look know further than PETA’s, Jes Cochran and Senior dog, Edith.

When PETA’s caseworker, Jes Cochran first started visiting Edith in 2007, the dog was a young, wriggling bundle of soft, fluffy black fur who was tied to a barrel in a patch of bare dirt.

Edith’s owners left her outside and insisted on keeping her. So over the years, Jes continued visiting her, regularly bringing her straw for her doghouse, toys, treats, and affection.

Then one day in 2013, Jes went to visit her, but she was gone. Her owners had moved, and Jes feared the worst. Edith remained MIA for three years, but in 2016, her new location was found. Her owner had to move again and handed Edith over to PETA.

Jes knew that she had to take her home. She couldn’t risk losing her again. Now, the two are making up for lost time, and Edith is experiencing all the things that make life wonderful for dogs, including going for long walks and car rides, having play dates at the dog park, snuggling on the couch, and getting tummy rubs every day.

Read her full story here. And here’s a Video of Jes and Edith’s story

Let’s hear what Vice President of Cruelty Investigations, Daphna Nachminovitch, has so say about Senior Dogs;

“While buying a puppy fuels the homeless-animal overpopulation crisis, adopting an animal saves a life, and that’s extra special for homeless senior dogs who are roughly the equivalent of a displaced 65-year-old human whose loved ones have suddenly and mysteriously vanished. Many people can attest that senior dogs are especially grateful to those who give them a second chance at a safe and comfortable life by adopting them. And while senior dogs can require extra veterinary care and special attention, as they may walk slower or feel drafts more, they already know the ropes—from where to relieve themselves, to how to walk on a leash, and there are also few surprises in store with regard to their size, energy level, and personality”

Rosie the dog was rescued by Almost Home Animal Rescue & Adoption in New York.

This is Rosie. This beautiful boxer mix was adopted out of “Almost Home” over seven years ago, but now into her senior years, she finds herself back at the shelter.

Rosie needs a loving family and home. She’s calm, well-mannered, housebroken and crate-trained. Though she’s a low-maintenance kind of gal, she’s playful and filled with fun, and prefers being the lone pet.

If you’re interested in adopting Rosie, please visit Almost Home Animal Rescue & Adoption.

This 12-year-old pit mix named Chance was rescued from Grand-Paws Senior Sanctuary Rescue and is currently available for adoption.

This is adoptable, Chance, from Grand-Paws Senior Sanctuary Rescue

Chance is a 12 year old pit mix. We rescued him from the Lancaster Shelter, a very high kill LA County Shelter, after his owners decided they didn’t have time for him. He was moments away from being put down. They don’t come any sweeter than Chance. All he wants is belly rubs, his tennis ball, and of course treats.

He is available for adoption or a permanent foster home. He would like to be the only dog, even though he likes most dogs, he prefers all the affection goes to him. I think at his age and with what he’s been through he deserves what he wants.

Here’s what “Grand-Paws Rescue” has to say about Senior Dogs;

“Dogs of all ages are wonderful, but senior dogs know what’s going on. If you’ve rescued or adopted them as a senior they know what you’ve done for them and they’ll show you their appreciation everyday. Not to mention they’re generally easier to care for because for the most part they’re trained and you’re not having to hide your shoes from them.”

Chance would make a wonderful addition to any family. Please step up.

Thank you “Grand-Paws”

Senior dog siblings, Zule and Jolie, are currently up for adoption with Bideawee in New York City.

Next up is Bideawee out of NYC.

Siblings, Zulu and Jolie, 8-year-old, black Labrador siblings. These beautiful girls were surrendered to our Westhampton location together when their owner had to move overseas. They are affectionate, playful and always happy to receive belly rubs and cuddles. For more information on Zulu and Jolie.

Let’s hear what Bideawee has to say about Senior Dogs;

“It’s so important to highlight senior dogs because they can often be overlooked in shelters, and they make such wonderful pets. Many senior animals are already trained and understand a variety of commands, and they are much more calm and settled, resulting in an ideal companion for any age.” — For more on why Senior pets make great companions by Melissa Treuman of Bideawee.

Thank you Bideawee. Very nicely said.

Gretel (left) and Hansel (right) are available for adoption from the Frosted Faces Foundation.

Next up is Frosted Faces Foundation out of San Diego, California.

Gretel, and her friend, Hansel, were once owned by a homeless woman living in a van. When she suddenly had a stroke and became incapacitated, Hansel, Gretel, and eight other dogs living in the van were confiscated and brought to Riverside Shelter.

Both of these angels are up for adoption at Frosted Faces Foundation. It would be ideal if they can be placed together. Greta and Hansel are very happy when they’re together.

As the writer of the story, I would be happy to help anyway I can. Let’s keep them together.

Frosted Faces Foundation has a top to bottom program ensuring the best lives possible for senior dogs that come their way.

Checkout their Foster Family Program. It’s very impressive. Foster Families care for Frosted Faces until a Forever Family is found. How great is that!!

Frosted Faces has a Funding program, where they offer financial assistance to owners whose senior pets unexpectedly become ill or develop chronic conditions.

Checkout the Frosted Friend’s program, a place to board the public’s senior dogs in their absence. Donations for this service directly benefit our Frosted Faces.

For more information about Gretel and Hansel, please see links below.

For more on information on Gretel.

For more information on Hansel.

Thank you Frosted Faces Foundation.

This is Drago from the American Kennel Club.

Say hello to Drago, a ten-year-old Spinone Italiano that does it all. He comes to us from the American Kennel Club. Drago already has a very loving family and home, but he’a a dog that the American Kennel Club is very proud of.

He has excelled in the conformation ring, the field, the obedience ring, in the public arena promoting responsible dog ownership and as a therapy dog. His favorite activity is a day in the field hunting. Drago is caring, a loving companion and has a sweet, people-friendly disposition.

Let’s hear what Gina DiNardo, Vice President of the American Kennel Club, had to say;

“Senior dogs are excellent companions. They are generally less active than adults dogs and are usually already house-broken. They make great companions and enhance the lives of their families. Senior dogs are great for owners who are not interested in going through a dog’s “puppy phase, and if they have been raised with children will be tolerant of them as they continue to mature.”

I want to thank American Kennel Club for participating in our feature story. It means a lot to have them on board. Gina, very nicely said on senior dogs.

Senior dog Stanley may have congenital arthritis, but that doesn’t get in the way of his love for life.

This is Stanley from our friends at Global Animal

Let’s hear what Global Animal has to say;

“Stanley is 13 years old. We rescued him when he was about a year-old and were only going to foster him until he found a home. That lasted all of three hours before he stole our hearts. — We can relate to that.

Stanley gets Physical Therapy every week for his congenital arthritis. He got a bum rap with two malformed “elbows.” He’s a total alpha dog and loved to hike and scramble when he was young.

Now his outings are limited to daily trips in his dog stroller, which he loves and feeds his adventurous spirit.

Although Stanley is immobile, completely deaf, and getting on in years, he still loves life. He lives for belly rubs and cuddles and curls up between us every night. In addition to the physical therapy, he’s on metacam, tramadol, and gabapentine to manage his pain.

We are determined that as long as Stanley is enjoying himself, we will do everything to keep him comfortable and engaged.

The picture above is Stanley at Physical Therapy just the other day. — His therapy includes acupuncture and massage and really works! (Covered by pet insurance, the best purchase we ever made).”

Thank you Global Animal. Amazing story.

Sammy may be 12 years old, but he still looks like a young, sprightly pup!

This is my boy, Sammy.

Sammy just turned 12 years old on March 14th, 2017.

As he’s gotten up there in years, our bond has grown stronger and stronger. It’s very similar as with people. As time marches on, our friendships grow bigger and deeper.

A big part of the problem is animals are still considered replaceable property. And as such, people do whatever they like with property. This creates an immediate disadvantage for companion animals.

As a society, our thinking towards animals is inverted. If you look at pets like you do a product, of course you might be susceptible to thinking as your pet gets older, he or she becomes less useful.

The problem with that is your comparing apples to oranges. Animals are sentient beings, products are not. So to put both under the umbrella as the same kind of replaceable “Property,” is serving a large injustice towards animals.

As animal lovers, it’s imperative we continue to distinguish between “sentient” and “property” — Whether the laws change one day or not, and I hope they do, we can be that change right now.

In closing, let’s help find these dogs ready for re-homing, with new, loving families. I’m here to help, and / or facilitate.

Sincerely, Scott Smith — Community and Pet Editor for Consumers Advocate. I also run the “Everybody Loves Sammy” online community.

More Consumers Advocate: https://www.consumersadvocate.org/features/senior-dogs-diamonds-in-the-ruff

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