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Rescue Groups with a Special Focus on Helping Senior Dogs

Rescue Groups with a Special Focus on Helping Senior Dogs

Imagine a senior pet, once dumped by their family with no hope of ever making it out of a pound alive, living out their golden years in a place full of love and laughter, with room to roam and stretch, where ear scratches and belly rubs know no bounds.  (I came across this saying and loved it’s meaning)


The Grey Muzzle Organization
Formed in 2008, and focused on supporting rescue groups and shelters that help senior dogs, The Grey Muzzle Organization provides funding for senior dog programs nationwide. If you are a shelter or rescue group, you may qualify for a grant. To find out more about applying for a grant, see the  website. For individuals wishing to support The Grey Muzzle Organization by donating a dog bed, for example, please read more.


PPT1907Berkeley East Bay Humane Society, Berkeley, CA
A private non-profit located in Berkeley, California. Devoted to finding forever homes for dogs and cats of all ages. A ‘Golden Paws Program’ promotes awareness and adoption of senior animals. Through the Golden Paws Program, senior people can adopt senior pets for half-price. All senior pets receive 20% off vaccines at the Society’s hospital for life, among other perks and freebies.

H.A.R.T. (Humane Animal Rescue Team), Fillmore, CA
H.A.R.T. (Humane Animal Rescue Team) is a non-profit organization devoted to rescuing senior dogs from senior individualswho have become too ill to take care of the dog, have to go into a retirement home, or have passed away. The H.A.R.T. sanctuary can take in 50 dogs at a time, and has an 80% success rate in adopting out dogs to loving families. Their adoption policy is strict, screening prospective adopters very carefully, performing a house check, and carefully matching the right dog to the right family. H.A.R.T. takes on the very tough cases, and depends on donations as well as people to adopt and foster their seniors and special needs dogs. If you are interested in adoption of a senior dog or a long-term foster arrangement, H.A.R.T. may be able absorb all associated veterinarian costs during the dog’s lifetime. Of course, donations are also most welcome.

Muttville, San Francisco, CA
A non-profit, 501(c)3 organization dedicated to improving the lives of senior dogs. On a local level, Muttville rescues senior dogs and finds them foster homes or gives them hospice. On a global level, Muttville provides information about caring for older dogs and support for people who do. Through associations with shelters and other animal organizations, Muttville finds senior dogs that have been given up and are not likely to find adopted homes. Through outreach and networking, Muttville finds suitable foster homes for these dogs. Ultimately, Muttville will have its own facility to house dogs that are not yet placed, or that are unlikely to be placed.

Nike Animal Rescue Foundation, San Jose, CA
Northern California-based program that matches seniors (over 62 years of age) with senior dogs (over 6 years). 

Senior Mutt Match, San Diego, CA
The mission of Senior Mutt Match is to help promote the adoption of senior dogs (ages five and older) from shelters and rescue groups in the San Diego community. Focus: to educate the San Diego community in general and senior citizens specifically, about the wonderful benefits of adopting a senior mutt*. Objective: a life-time match between a senior dog and his or her new forever family — a win-win situation since many amazing senior dogs will have their lives spared and just as many citizens, young and old, will have their lives enhanced by animal companionship. If that wasn’t reason enough, there are also many research studies that show the connection between better mental health, improved physical health and having a pet in your life. (* All dogs in shelters are lovingly referred to as “mutts” whether they are a purebred or a wonderful mix of breeds.)


Atlanta Animal Rescue Friends (AARF), Atlanta, GA
Phone: 678-318-1886. Their “Silver Paws” program matches older dogs with senior citizens. They pay for all medical care and offer to board the dogs when needed.


Young At Heart Pet Rescue, Palatine, IL,
Formed in 2005 to aid in the rescue and re-homing of older dogs and cats in the Chicagoland area. 100% of the animals rescued come from municipal pounds with high euthanasia rates for older animals. Goals: to find a new home for every adoptable older animal that comes through our door, to educate the public on the benefits of adopting older pets, and to decrease the euthanasia rate for older, adoptable dogs and cats in Illinois. Each dog or cat rescued receives the best veterinary care; animals are not turned away if they need a little extra medical attention. All are vaccinated, tested for infectious diseases, are microchipped, spay/neutered, and the majority receive a geriatric screening and a dental. A non-profit 501(c)3 organization with an all-volunteer staff, so all donations go directly to the care of the animals. The generosity of pet-lovers supports the mission o this organization and the rescued animals. E-mail: phone: 847-529-2025 address: Young At Heart Pet Rescue, PO Box 1293,Palatine, IL 60078

Pets for Seniors, Peoria, IL
Organized in late 1999, this group of volunteers specializes in matching senior humans (age 62 and older) with senior pets. For information, e-mail: or call (309) 446-9721.

The Hinsdale Humane Society, Hinsdale, IL,
A 53-year-old not-for-profit agency dedicated to the care and adoption of unwanted and abandoned animals and the offering of humane education programs to prevent suffering and neglect. A “Friends for Life” Program places animals six years of age or older with seniors 65 years of age or older at no charge. Hinsdale Humane Society, Hinsdale, IL. Telephone 630-323-5630; Email:


Indiana Petite Paws Rescue Angels, Inc., northwest Indiana
Rescuing toy dogs from Indiana, Kentucky, Illinois, Michigan and Ohio. Focusing on the rescue of the Yorkshire Terrier, but no paw is too small. Offering a “seniors for seniors” program. Volunteers and members available statewide. A 501(c)(3) non-profit, all-volunteer organization. All donations are tax-deductible. Always in NEED of volunteers and foster homes. 


House with a Heart – Pet Sanctuary, Laytonsville, MD 
We received our 501c 3 nonprofit status in December of 2006. Mission: to care for senior dogs that have been turned into shelters either by owners or as strays and give them a loving and safe place to live out the rest of their lives. Also care for the pups of those who wish to pre-plan for their pet’s care when they are no longer able to be there for them. Phone for more information: 240-631-1743. Additionally, HWAH provides care for pups whose owners are unable to give their pets the time and attention they may need at the end of their life. Owners can arrange for “Hospice Care” for their older pup by contacting Mindy Felinton, Attorney at Law. For more information about House with a Heart’s programs, see the website.


 St. Louis Senior Dogs Project, St. Louis, MO 
St. Louis Senior Dogs Project has been around since 2002 and now rescues and places more than 500 dogs a year, most of them over the age of 5. The St. Louis Senior Dog Project is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. We are an all-volunteer organization that rescues dogs of all ages, but especially dogs five years of age and older, actively promoting their adoption. We spay/neuter all dogs, bring them up to date with shots, worm, microchip and test for heartworms. We provide our dogs with all necessary veterinary care, including treatment for such things as heartworm disease, kennel cough, pneumonia, intestinal parasites, urinary tract infections, fleas and ticks. Visit the website and the blog.

7 Bells Sanctuary, Cole Camp, MO
senior dog rescue that operates a program called “Senior Pets for Senior Homes.” The program sends senior dogs out into the field to visit senior care centers. The senior adults in the care centers become acquainted with the dogs, and the dogs become familiar with medical equipment and not fearful of it. The group’s goal is to encourage permanent adoption of the pets into senior homes or homes with a low-energy lifestyle.


Senior Dog House & Rescue, Bigfork, Montana
The Senior Dog House and Rescue is a non-profit, private organization in the state of Montana. This group is dedicated to rescuing, living with and adopting senior dogs. Though the focus is on older dogs, this rescue also includes the special needs, abused and neglected animals of all ages. The ages may vary but the need is the same, they all need great, loving homes of their own. Volunteers house, love and provide medical attention in a safe, healthy home environment to as many seniors as resources allow. All animals taken in will remain here for the rest of their lives if the right home for each animal does not appear. Animals come from statewide shelters and occasionally from shelters in other states. Also accepted are strays from the local area; every attempt is made to return lost animals to their guardians. Owner surrenders are accepted when there is room.


Posh Pets Rescue, New York City, NY
Is dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation and placement of homeless animals, many of whom are rescued at the very last moment from euthanasia at the city shelters. Safe haven is provided to all those who find their way here through whatever circumstance, whether abandoned, injured or neglected. No matter the breed, health or age, Posh Pets believes that all should live secure, healthy lives and the group works tirelessly to find the right homes with people who will love their pets for a lifetime.

North Shore Animal League, Port Washington, NY
Special services and fee-free adoption are offered by the North Shore Animal League via their “Seniors for Seniors” program. Telephone: (516) 883-7900.

S.A.I.N.T. Program of the  Goshen, NY, Humane Society 
“Senior Animals In Need of Thee” matches senior citizens with senior companion animals carefully and with concern for the well-being of all. E-mail:

Warwick Valley Humane Society, Warwick, NY
Senior citizens over the age of 60 (verification required) are able to adopt a designated senior dog or catAll adoption fees including spay/neuter costs are waived with the exception of the dog license fee, which is required by New York State Law. Please stop by the shelter for an application and a visit with one of the senior animals currently waiting to become your lifelong friend. 48 Public Works Drive, Warwick, NY 10990, P.O. Box 61, Warwick, NY 10990. Phone: (845) 986-2473


The Sanctuary for Senior Dogs (SSD), Cleveland, OH
Dedicated to the rescue, adoption, and life-long care of senior dogs. The founder, Deborah Workman, lists the objectives of the organization:



  • To rescue senior dogs in need
  • To provide lifelong quality care for rescued senior dogs
  • To adopt appropriate dogs into loving, permanent homes
  • To develop programs that match senior dogs and senior people to their mutual benefit
  • To foster an awareness of our lifelong responsibility to our companion animals
  • To strengthen the bonds between humans and animals by teaching respect and compassion for all living things.

The Sanctuary for Senior Dogs also has a Senior Dogs for Senior People program.


Senior Dog Rescue of Oregon 
(SDRO) rescues, rehabilitates, and re-homes senior dogs. Every day shelters take in unwanted and homeless older companion pets. Many face certain death. That’s where SDRO comes in. Senior Dog Rescue of Oregon takes in these unfortunate dogs and places them into new, loving homes. But, your help is needed to continue this work: needed are people willing to foster a homeless dog temporarily until a new home is available. SDRO hopes you will open your home and heart to an older pet and give the best gift of all – the gift of life!


South East Dallas Humane Society, Dallas, TX
Runs a ”seniors for seniors” program that waives their customary adoption fee and all veterinary fees. Once an approved application is accepted and there is an appropriate dog available, the adoption can be completed. Spay/neuter, heartworm testing, de-worming, vaccinations, and any necessary veterinary medical attention are all included — all for free! E-mail: wendy@sedhs.orgTelephone: 469-831-7833


Old Dog Haven, Arlington, WA 
Is a non-profit, no-kill rescue organization dedicated to placing senior dogs in foster or adoptive homes. All too many dogs of advanced age are given up to shelters when they are of no longer of use or too much trouble to their families. In many cases, they are left behind when an elderly person dies or needs to move into a residential care facility. Instead of living their last years as cherished members of a loving family, these animals are dumped at shelters where their chances of adoption are almost nil; or else they may be passed around from one family member to another, often to be left ignored in the yard. Many of these dogs are in poor physical condition as well, making them even less appealing to prospective adopters. The goal of Old Dog Haven is to ensure that the last years of unwanted senior dogs are happy and that they live their last days in safety and at peace, knowing they are loved. If you subscribe to this concept and would like to help in this mission by fostering or adopting a senior dog, please visit the Old Dog Haven web site.

Seniors for Seniors Program, just north of Seattle, WA
The PAWS “Seniors for Seniors” adoption program is all about rediscovering the joys of having a cat or dog in your life. Over the years, companion animals have brought joy to our lives and warmth to our homes. The “Seniors for Seniors” program places mature cats and dogs (typically over 7 years of age) with qualified senior citizens who are 60 years of age or older.

 The Humane Society for Tacoma and Pierce County
The Humane Society for Tacoma and Pierce County is the largest shelter in the state of Washington. Their mission is to protect and promote the well-being of animals and to nurture the relationship between people and animals.


SAINTS – Senior Animals in Need Today Sanctuary, Maple Ridge, BC, Canada
Mission Statement:
 ”We are an end-of-life sanctuary for senior and special needs animals that have no where else to go. We provide a special place to be loved, cherished, and receive proper medical care for the rest of their days. All animals deserve to have hope for a better tomorrow. Because of their infirmities and physical challenges, many homeless senior and special needs animals have very little chance of finding a new home. At various shelters throughout B.C., dedicated staff and volunteers work tirelessly to find these special animals a place to finish their journey in comfort and in love. SAINTS exists to help senior and special needs animals when all else fails. If we can, in time, find them a special home of their own, then we do. If that very special home never comes, they will be safe and cherished until the end of their days. We pledge to love them, to care for them, and make their dreams come true. We promise each of them that they will never be alone again…”

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