When an elderly person dies, it is often down to friends and family to sort out the deceased person’s possessions. If the elderly person was a pet owner, then friends and family must also arrange for someone to care for the animal. However, it is a little trickier when the person who has died owned 14 dogs that all need care. The situation is even more difficult if the relatives are unable to care for the animals, and that is when rescue groups and animal shelters are needed to step in and help. That is what happened when two rescue groups were called out after an elderly woman died, says The Ron Project. All the rescue groups knew was that the woman had died unexpectedly, leaving behind 14 dogs. They did not know what to expect when they arrived at the house. It was the relatives of the elderly woman who had made the call to the rescue shelters, and they explained that they did not have the means to care for the 14 dogs themselves. Therefore, they needed the assistance of the rescue groups. That is when Five Acres Animal Shelter and the Stray Rescue of St. Louis were needed to take action.
The Physical Condition of the Dogs
Nothing could have prepared the two rescue groups for what they saw when they arrived at the house. None of the 14 dogs had ever received any medical care. As a result, they were all suffering from Demodex mange and dental disease. Many of the dogs also had visible lumps and masses. Despite their poor physical condition, the dogs were cooperative and friendly. It was almost as though they knew that the rescue groups were there to help them. Therefore, the groups had no problems transporting the dogs to the shelters.
How the Shelters Helped the Dogs
The dogs were divided between the two shelters, as 14 was too many for a single shelter to cope with at the same time. On their arrival at the respective shelters, all 14 dogs received the medical attention they so desperately needed. Many of the dogs will need extensive medical treatment. Therefore, it was not a simple case of treating the dogs and then immediately rehoming them. Some will continue to need treatment for quite some time. In addition to receiving medical attention, the staff at the shelters also groomed the dogs and gave them plenty of love and care. They wanted to make the experience as stress-free as possible for the dogs. The rescue centers sent out a plea, as they needed help to care for the dogs. There were insufficient space and funds to care for so many dogs at the shelters, and they were desperate for people to help out by giving the dogs a temporary home.
Fortunately, many foster families came forward to help the dogs. The volunteers offered to welcome the dogs into their homes and to care for them until permanent homes were found. It meant that the dogs could live comfortably in a loving, family environment, rather than spending their days in the shelter. However, although the dogs are happy and comfortable in their temporary homes, it is not a permanent solution. They still need to find people who are willing to welcome the dogs into their homes on a permanent basis, and this is the most challenging part of the process. The main issue is that all the dogs are seniors, and senior dogs are notoriously difficult to rehome. Most people who are willing to adopt rescue dogs prefer to welcome a younger dog into their family, and there are several reasons for this.
Why Is It Difficult to Rehome Senior Dogs?
The first issue is that senior dogs are nearing the end of their life. Those who adopt rescue dogs want a dog that will become a part of their family for many years, and this is something that a senior dog does not offer. Second, senior dogs are more likely to suffer from health conditions due to their age. Adopters are often reluctant to take on a dog that will need additional care, as this is a big commitment on their part. Also, there is an increased likelihood of the dog needing expensive veterinary appointments and medication. A further issue is the dog’s mobility. Senior dogs are often less mobile and less likely to enjoy long walks or playing ball games. They may even have trouble getting around the house and have issues navigating the stairs. Therefore, those who are willing to adopt senior dogs are few and far between, and this poses a problem for the two shelters who now have 14 senior dogs to rehouse. Finding so many homes is a challenge they are ready to take on, as the staff just want to make sure that all the dogs are happy and loved.
Reasons to Adopt Senior Dogs
Although senior dogs can pose challenges, there are many reasons that people should consider welcoming a senior dog into their family, says Dog Time. First, they are already trained, so you will not need to put effort into teaching them commands or housetraining them. Similarly, the dogs are already socialized, so this is not a training stage that you will need to undertake. Another reason to consider a senior dog is that they often need less exercise. Therefore, they are a better option for people who do not enjoy spending time outdoors or for those who also have mobility issues. Furthermore, senior dogs can often make excellent companions, so they are ideal for someone who is lonely and needs some company in their home.
Still Looking for New Homes
Hopefully, there are people out there who understand the positives of senior dogs, and they will come forward to adopt these dogs. They have gone through a difficult time, but they are loving and friendly dogs who still have a lot to give. The dogs desperately need to find homes with families who understand their needs and who are willing to offer them a comfortable and happy environment in which they can live out their later years.