An Interview: The Old Dog House
You may not be able to teach old dogs new tricks but you can give them a new lease on life at The Old Dog House.
I had the opportunity to talk with Kim from The Old Dog House, a nonprofit dog rescue located in Jacksonville Florida. They have been saving older dogs in our community for many years now. By rescuing the dogs that would otherwise be ignored at the shelters they provide them a place to live out their golden years. In doing so they save them as well as foster and provide adoption opportunities.
1. How did the old dog house first start out?
When I worked at the humane society about ten years ago, I realized that older and senior dogs were not getting the opportunity for adoption that they deserved. The shelter was open admission at this time, so space was always an issue and hard decisions had to be made. When I left the humane society, I decided to be an advocate for older and senior dogs. That is how The Old Dog House started in 2006.
2. How many senior dogs do you take in?
We have an average capacity of 15 dogs. Our adoption numbers are low with 4 to 8 getting placed in new homes each year. Dogs can stay with us anywhere from a few days to the remainder of their lives, which could be years. Adoption is our ultimate goal with each dog we bring into the rescue.
3. Are all the seniors up for adoption or foster?
Most of our dogs are available for adoption. However, there are times when we take dogs off the adoptable list because of medical issues. There are very few families looking for healthy older and senior dogs, much less ones with medical issues like cancer or kidney disease. These dogs, along with all of our dogs, are available for sponsorship and will stay with us for the duration of their lives. Of course we would consider adoption if a family was interested and understood the medical needs and considerations of the particular dog.
4. What age do you classify a senior dog eligible for The Old Dog House?
Because we focus on the larger breed dogs, we consider dogs that are 7 years old to be senior. Sometimes, a dog we take into the rescue ends up being younger once evaluated by our veterinarian.
5. How can the community help?
There are many ways the community can make a difference in the lives of the dogs we take into the rescue. The obvious ways to help are by adopting, fostering, donating, and volunteering. Other ways to help include sharing our dogs on social media, organizing fundraisers to benefit our organization (yard sales, donation drives at work/school/social groups, etc.), online shopping through links that benefit our organization.
6. Do you only take dogs in from the shelters or are private intakes also done?
We focus on the dogs in local shelters, mainly Jacksonville Animal Care and Protective Services and Clay County Animal Care and Control. There are still too many seniors in the shelters that we are unable to help. We do try to assist owners in finding alternatives for their dogs.
7. Does the old dog house need donations of goods as well as monetary?
Veterinary care is our largest expense, so monetary donations are always needed and greatly appreciated. We can also use items like canned dog food, treats, towels/blankets/sheets, large dog beds, laundry detergent/bleach, gift cards to Pet Supermarket for dog food (Taste of the Wild).
8. What would you like the community to know about the old dog house.
We are passionate about saving senior dogs and want the community to know they are a good option for adoption. Age is not a disease and the dogs we bring into the rescue have love to give and make wonderful companions.
It was a pleasure getting to learn a bit more about The Old Dog House. They are one of the great nonprofits in the North Florida area that are rescuing dogs out of a labor of love. With groups like this one along with community involvement we will continue to strive to maintain the no-kill status on the First Coast. To learn more about how you can help The Old Dog House be sure to check out their website for more on events, donations and more.
Would love to hear your comments, please share below: Have you ever adopted or fostered a senior or older dog? If not would you consider helping out The Old Dog House or any other nonprofit in your area that is providing these older dogs a safe place to live out their years?
About Charles Johnston
Charles is a Christian, husband and father of fur-kids who shares his walk with others in hopes to help other's along the way.