Even if they don’t have much time left, all dogs deserve a loving home. While senior dogs are sometimes overlooked in favor of younger puppies, they deserve a permanent home to spend the rest of their lives in.
But one woman has made it her life’s purpose to provide these aged shelter dogs with a loving last home, transforming her own home into a sanctuary that currently homes 80 senior canines.
Valerie Reid, a 44-year-old woman from Hermitage, Missouri, decided to care for older dogs after a personal experience showed her the problems older dogs face.
According to SWNS, as her father was dying of illness, she attempted to find a home for her father’s aged Doberman. She couldn’t take the dog since she had already exceeded the city’s pet limit and no other rescue would accept her.
“We tried around for any rescue that might assist, but none would take her because of her age,” Valerie recounted.
Finally, she found a foster home for the Doberman at a farm that specialized in caring for older dogs. It was a joyful conclusion for the puppy, who remained quietly in their care for another year and a half—and the incident served as an eye-opening motivation for Valerie.
“It got me wondering about what happens to older dogs who were previously treasured companions,” she said to SWNS. “My eyes were awakened to how many pets out there needed assistance… It is definitely a neglected sector of the rescue world. ”
So, in 2017, Valerie and her husband, Josh, founded the Whispering Willows Older Dog Shelter, a non-profit sanctuary for senior dogs. They purchased a 3,000-square-foot property near Hermitage, with enough space for hundreds of canines to live out their last days in luxury and quiet.
“We accept dogs over the age of 12.” “Sometimes it’s special needs, sometimes it’s hospice,” she said to Ozarks First. “Sometimes people simply come to us seeking a place to lay their heads and die.”
She stated that many of the pets come from abusive and neglectful homes; one dog, Peanut, was discovered tied up in 100-degree temperatures.
“They come in broken-hearted, emotionally or physically,” she said to KY3.
Valerie, on the other hand, says her objective is to provide them with a sense of normality and trust, as well as a secure permanent home in which to spend their last days.
“Once they arrive, they don’t go.” They are not required to leave. This is their eternal home, so they won’t have to go through another tragedy or loss. ”
“They know they’re safe when they arrive.”
The rescue has evolved over the years; according to SWNS, the hospice now has 17 full-time staff members who care for the dogs, and they can accommodate up to 80 canines at a time.
“The sanctuary genuinely developed and grew to be much larger than I had anticipated.” “I adore how many small hearts love us back.”
Valerie claims that, throughout the years, they have cared for 790 pets. Because of the dogs’ age, fatalities are common: roughly five die each week, and about as many are brought in.
While it might be a heartbreaking job, Valerie takes delight in providing these pets with a loving home at the end of their lives.
“Our objective is to help individuals prepare for the end of life, since none of us know what tomorrow holds,” she told SWNS. “We get to send our elderly home in style and comfort.” Yes, it hurts, but loving and caring for them is an honor. ”
Senior dogs need a caring environment in which to spend their last days, and we are grateful that there are individuals like Valerie who will take these creatures in when no one else will, providing them with the love and care they require.