Would you abandon your dog if he or she started showing signs of old age? Hopefully, your answer is the same as ours: NEVER! Our dogs are our family. From the moment we welcome them into our homes, we make a commitment to love and look after them forever. The idea of throwing them out on the streets purely because they require a little more care than usual isn’t something that would even cross our minds. Yet it’s actually a common occurrence. Senior dogs are frequently tossed on to the streets or left at shelters, afraid and confused. Sometimes, old dogs are left behind when their guardians fall ill or pass away, again leaving them feeling distressed. The fact is, our canine companions need us most in their old age and deserve just as much love as any other.
Unfortunately, few rescue groups in the United States offer the specialized care senior dogs need, leaving a great need for special programs such as in-home hospice care and financial support for dogs in loving homes. Enter, The Grey Muzzle Organization. This fantastic organization raises money that is distributed, via grants, to animal welfare organizations throughout the U.S. to enable them to provide the necessary care and attention for old dogs.
This year the Grey Muzzle Organization is awarding over $225,000 in grants to organizations across the country to provide love, comfort, medical assistance, and adoption support for senior dogs. That’s because they believe that ‘’No dog should die alone and afraid.’’ Here are a few of the folks they’re helping.
Bosco, a 14-year-old rat terrier mix, arrived at Tyson’s Palace Animal Rescue after his beloved guardian died in hospice care. Traumatized by his loss, it took a few weeks before he settled into his new foster home. Without his beloved guardian, Bosco couldn’t cope. Eventually, he got used to his new surroundings, and now he’s blossomed back into a happy, loving pup.
“Bosco’s favorite thing to do, along with walks, is to stick his head out the car window and just let the fresh air hit him,’’ says his current caretaker. ‘’You can see the pure joy on his face when he has his head hanging out the window.’’
With a Grey Muzzle Grant, Tyson’s Place will be able to provide advanced medical care for senior dogs who need it, increasing adaptability for their animals.
When her guardian became ill not long ago, Lily was relinquished from her home and sent to the Canine Adoption and Rescue League (C.A.R.L.). She’d had a home for thirteen years, and now she was more or less homeless. This Pomeranian and Chihuahua mix is currently up for adoption and waiting for a forever home. For now, she’s pretty happy in her temporary foster home.
“She likes to be around wherever I am. I call her a couch potato because she loves her naps!” her foster mom says. “I find it a privilege to care for Lily in her golden years. To make sure she is safe and comfortable is quite fulfilling.”
A Grey Muzzle grant would help provide more financial assistance to the Golden Oldies Program through which the C.A.R.L. rescue old dogs from the local Venture County shelter and rehome them.
A former puppy mill mom, Camille spent her life in a cage repeatedly producing puppies for the internet trade and pet stores. In April, she was brought to the National Mill Dog Rescue in Colorado Springs, CO, where she finally found freedom after nine years of misery. Thanks to Grey Muzzle, this Pekingese pup has received spay surgery, vaccinations, microchipping and deworming, as well as treatment for severe dental disease. When asked about Camille, her current caretaker says: “Although she enjoys being outside, Camille is happiest snuggling on someone’s lap or snoozing on a nice soft bed.”
A Grey Muzzle grant will help the National Mill Dog Rescue with funding medical expenses to treat and rehabilitate dogs, like Camille, from puppy mills. Generally, dogs in puppy mills receive little to no veterinary care so they need a lot of medical care when they arrive.
Over a decade ago, a dog was found tied to a rope on the gravel edge of a desolate road and taken to the Rainbow Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kurtistown, HI. Zumi, as he was later named, is now 15 years old and is receiving swim therapy rehabilitation for his injured back legs. In spite of being deaf and almost blind, he never forgets Marcia, his caregiver who visits him every year.
“The recognition that Zumi gives me even after all these years of loving him provides a feeling of deep connection,” said Marcia.
The Grey Muzzle grant will help fund medical and surgical care for other senior dogs, like Zumi, living at the sanctuary and supports pet guardians by providing them with financial support for veterinary care, ensuring that their dogs can stay with them.
Will You Help Senior Dogs?
Senior dogs don’t deserve to be abandoned as soon as they start showing signs of old age. They deserve to be loved just as much as any other. Their golden years are a time when they need us most and we need to give them as much love and care as possible. Your canine companion will be loyal to you right until the very end. The least you can do is be loyal back and give them the attention they need. If you don’t have a dog or you’re interested in adopting, here’s why you should consider adopting a senior dog.
The organizations above are doing such incredible work to give senior dogs the love and care they deserve in their golden years. And it’s precisely the Grey Muzzle Organization that’s making their dreams come true. Thanks to their financial backing, the animal welfare groups mentioned above can help the forgotten and hard-to-adopt dogs that deserve just as much love as any other. They’ll be announcing the grant winners on July 20 so stay tuned!
Here are some easy ways you can help this fantastic organization in order to help more senior dogs:
- Donate. You can donate money, a bed, or a vehicle.
- Volunteer. There are lots of volunteering opportunities if you’re up to it!
- Spread the word. Tell your friends and family about Grey Muzzle and ask for their support.
All image source: The Grey Muzzle Organization