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April Charity Spotlight on Old Dog Haven

By 4Knines Staff. | Giving Back

Confused. Abandoned. Terrified. Medically fragile. Older dogs in this stage of life have almost zero chance of being adopted from a shelter. Senior dogs find themselves in these desperate situations for a variety of reasons: an owner’s death, a cross-country move, owners working longer hours, trouble with small children in the home, or dire financial circumstances. Many senior dogs are in poor physical condition, making them even less appealing than other dogs - after all, caring for such a dog can be challenging, expensive, and heartbreaking. Old Dog Haven is committed to helping homeless senior dogs find peace in their final years, with no judgment of the humans who have left them.

Founded in 2004, Old Dog Haven is a nonprofit group in Washington state. Using a large network of volunteers, Old Dog Haven provides secure homes for senior dogs who have been abandoned. Dogs who are 8 years and older are rescued from shelters and placed in temporary or permanent homes. Adoption is the goal for dogs with a reasonable life expectancy, but more than 90% of the rescued dogs are hospice residents. When too old or frail for adoption, dogs live permanently with loving families who provide comfort and quality of life during their final days.

Old Dog Haven does not have a kennel. All dogs live in homes as members of temporary or permanent (Final Refuge) families. At times, volunteer families care for up to 300 dogs at one time, and there is always a waiting list. Foster families provide much-needed care for up to 12 weeks while suitable homes are found for adoptable dogs. Final Refuge volunteers provide end-of-life care for dogs who are medically fragile or too old for adoption. Caregivers keep dogs comfortable and safe while providing a loving final refuge.

Heartbreaking? Yes. But Old Dog Haven volunteers are convinced the rewards outweigh the pain of losing a friend.

Like all nonprofits, Old Dog Haven receives no state of federal funding and relies on donations and fund-raising efforts to raise revenue. Old Dog Haven pays directly for all veterinary care and medications. Many senior dogs arrive in poor physical condition – malnourished, sick, rotting teeth, and worse. Medical costs average over $80,000 per month, which accounts for 90% of monthly expenses. 

Old Dog Haven is grateful for all donations, large and small. 4Knines is proud to shine a light on the valiant efforts of Old Dog Haven, and we encourage our readers to join us by making a tax-deductible donation to this worthy group of volunteers. Old Dog Haven is launching a one-day online giving GiveBIG campaign on May 9. Let's do all we can to help senior dogs live out their golden years in the care and comfort of a loving family. 

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