It is our great pleasure to tell our readers about one of the latest recipients of financial aid from The Dr. Jane Foundation. This month’s featured award winner is a dedicated group of rescuers committed to improving the lives of abandoned, abused and neglected senior dogs in Ohio.
Founded in 2000, The Sanctuary for Senior Dogs is a non-profit group with a commendable mission … to improve the quality of life of older canines. Unfortunately, the number of people open to adopting older dogs (ages seven and up) pales in comparison to those seeking youthful pups.
With a small staff and core set of daily volunteers, the group also manages a network of 70 additional volunteers who do everything from fostering to fundraising and everything in between.
Sanctuary has no restrictions when it comes to breed, all are welcome. Most of their dogs come from nearby animal shelters in and around Cleveland, where they’re passed over for adoption again and again.
When the non-profit first formed, senior dogs rarely made it out of local shelters. Very few resources were dedicated solely to elder canines or their needs. But now, thanks to Sanctuary’s tireless advocacy, people are increasingly open to the idea of adopting an older animal.
In addition to their rescue efforts, the group also operates a therapy dog program. They visit nursing homes, group homes, activity centers for developmentally disabled people, schools and colleges during finals week, and much more.
Eventually, they hope to build an urban sanctuary that brings together senior citizens and senior dogs. As part of the center, they will offer volunteer services, such as assistance with walking, shopping and other activities associated with caring for senior dogs.
One of their most impressive undertakings is their hospice program, Forever Foster. Canines who will never be adopted because they are too old, too scarred from mental and physical abuse, or suffer from serious health complications (including terminal diseases) are provided care for the remainder of their lives. These desperate cases, commonly referred to as “leftover” dogs, have increasingly become a focus for the group’s energies.
The Sanctuary depends on sponsorships to help offset the costs of long-term care for these dogs. One such senior is Mason, a 10-year-old Pomeranian mix.
When Sanctuary located Mason, he was living in an inner-city pound. Prior to that, he had been surviving by his wits, alone on the streets of Cleveland. He was very afraid and had obvious medical issues. His vision was very poor, but his friendly personality was clear to see.
After being taken into care, Mason lost what little vision he had left. Veterinarians discovered a growth on one of his legs that was hindering his mobility, and that he was suffering from congestive heart failure. Thankfully, the surgery to remove his tumor was successful. However, given his blindness and tenuous medical condition, he's been accepted into the Sanctuary's hospice care program.
Mason making the most of life thanks to The Sanctuary for Senior Dogs.
Mason has adjusted well to his new surroundings. Thanks to the program, he will always have access to excellent medical care. According to Deborah Workman, Executive Director for Sanctuary, they will also be sure he has "more love than he knows what to do with". She added, "his resilience is an inspiration to everyone who meets him".
When it came time to vote on this funding application, the Foundation’s board was unanimously supportive. Board Director, Dave Mattox said, “As opposed to puppies in shelters, many senior dogs have lived in a home before. Losing a caretaker and then being placed in a rescue can be a terrible shock, and due to their age, it just goes on and on … for months, maybe even years. They desperately want to be back in a familiar environment. When you adopt an older dog, they are almost universally very loving and exceedingly grateful.” He added, “What Sanctuary does, it’s incredibly vital work.”
In response to the award, Workman said, "Thank you from all of us here at the Sanctuary for Senior Dogs for your help in our life-saving work, but most especially, thanks from Mason."
If you or someone you know would be interested in adopting a senior dog in Ohio, we strongly encourage you to visit The Sanctuary for Senior Dogs (sanctuaryforseniordogs.org). You never know … you could end up finding your new best friend!
As the charitable arm of Life’s Abundance, The Dr. Jane Foundation provides financial support to small and medium-size rescue groups who work to prevent animal homelessness, abuse and chronic neglect. Every time you purchase a Life's Abundance product, a small donation is made to the Foundation’s operating fund.
And there’s more good news … we are now accepting applications for 2016 funding. If you know of an animal rescue organization that deserves special recognition and financial support, please encourage them to fill out an application
Check back next month for more good news from The Dr. Jane Foundation. Together, we’re making a difference!