Rescue Rewards Featured Group - January 16, 2013

Baby Loretta, a beautiful 8-10 year old Chow/Shepherd mix, was found running down a busy highway and taken to a suburban animal control facility where her owner never claimed her. A sweet-natured easy-going dog, Baby Loretta gets along well with everyone

Old Dogs Make Great Friends

The Sanctuary for Senior Dogs, based in Cleveland, Ohio, is a very special Rescue Rewards partner. Their mission is to make sure that older dogs are not tossed away or euthanized in animal shelters, just because of their age.

They save senior dogs from shelters and adopt them to loving homes, often to senior citizens through their “Companions” program. Through Companions senior dogs are available to qualified adopters 60 years of age and older at a reduced adoption fee. Companions also sponsors the use of senior dogs in the community as therapy dogs, working with people in need of the companionship only an old dog can give. Their work ranges from visiting people in nursing homes, hospitals and assisted living communities to helping children in reading programs.

Because the euthanasia rate for senior dogs at shelters is extremely high, the Sanctuary for Senior Dogs only takes dogs from shelters and no longer can accept owner relinquishments. All senior dogs that come to the sanctuary have a place for life in a Forever Foster home whether they are adopted or not.

The group includes excellent information on its website (, encouraging adopters to consider the benefits of senior pets. We are sharing this excerpt with their kind permission.

Why Should I Adopt a Senior Dog?

Many people automatically think of a puppy when they think of adopting a dog. Puppies are warm and cuddly, and everyone wants to hold and pet them. But puppies demand patience and energy to help them become wonderful family members and companions. Older dogs, however, can be as cute and lovable as puppies, and they often come with many wonderful qualities that puppies take years to grow into.

Maybe you are reluctant to adopt a senior dog because you fear that your time with your new best friend will be short, bringing that painful time of loss closer. But the privilege of loving a senior dog makes every single day special, as you and your companion share love, friendship, and a special relationship that grows stronger with the knowledge that you have given this fine old dog a second chance at life. The love that grows from this knowledge is stronger than the pain of eventual separation.

So spread the word! Adopting a senior dog is a wonderful experience for you and your new dog. You will gain a faithful companion. You will save a life. And don't forget, senior dogs and senior people bring out the best in each other. Old dogs make great friends!

Reasons to Adopt a Senior Dog

  • Senior dogs love to sleep and cuddle the day away. They enjoy a brisk daily walk, but the best part of the day is the nap. They love for you to join them.
  • Senior dogs have a tremendous amount of love to give. When you rescue a senior dog, you have a best friend for life.
  • Senior dogs reward your care with an unwavering devotion. Nothing matches the love of a senior dog for his rescuer.
  • Senior dogs have learned many of life's lessons. They know, for example, that shoes are for walking and bones are for chewing.
  • Senior dogs know that great outdoors is for eliminating and the house is for relaxing. Your carpet will last longer with a senior dog.
  • Senior dogs can learn new tricks and be valuable family and community members. They make excellent therapy dogs.
  • Senior dogs often fit into your household with ease. They find the softest, warmest spot in the house and claim it for their own, but they will share with you, too.
  • Senior dogs make excellent companions for everyone, especially senior people.
  • Senior dogs are often the first to be killed in area shelters. Passed over for cute and cuddly puppies, they often do not have a chance and must go to make space for more puppies.
  • Adopting a senior dog saves a life!