Dogs Trust Canterbury has launched a new initiative to help their OADs (Old Age Dogs) find a home. The centre has opened a register of people willing to rehome a golden oldie, so that as soon as an elderly dog arrives at the centre, they can hopefully be matched to a suitable family more quickly.
Dogs Trust Canterbury is frequently asked to take in older dogs who, through no fault of their own, suddenly find themselves without a home. Having known but one home since puppy-hood, the prospect of moving into a kennel environment can be a daunting time for many of these senior citizens. In addition, misconceptions about elderly dogs mean they are often overlooked by prospective new owners.
However, the reality is that these pooch pensioners make fantastic companions. Older dogs tend to be house trained, require less daily exercise and are often much calmer than younger dogs. It can also be an extremely rewarding experience building a special bond with a dog in their golden years.
Dogs Trust Canterbury Supporter Relations Officer, Nikky Kimble said:
‘My own rescue dog, Cleo, is now 14 years of age. She spent seven months at our Canterbury Rehoming Centre and was continually labelled as being ‘too old’, ‘too arthritic’ and ‘too boring’ by the visiting public. But people couldn’t have been more wrong about her.
Having settled into her new home, Cleo seems to have found a new lease of life. Not only does she love to play wrestling games with her soft toys but we’ve also discovered she enjoys a good swim in the river. She tends to sleep a lot more than a younger dog would but this suits me fine as I know she’s content to be left if I need to pop out for a few hours here and there.’
Many people are also worried about higher vet bills associated with older dogs, but Dogs Trust runs a foster scheme for certain dogs that are elderly or who have on-going medical complications. Under this scheme, Dogs Trust will offer to pay for all veterinary treatment, apart from routine vaccinations, worming or flea treatment, with the proviso that the adopter will be required to pay the first £5 of the bill for each visit to the vet.
The register has already found 14 year-old Sophie, a Jack Russell Terrier, a home, having spent just a week at the Rehoming Centre. The new owner had already rehomed a golden oldie from Dogs Trust and had expressed an interest in adopting another at a future date and proved a very suitable match for Sophie.
For anyone interesting in rehoming a more mature dog, they might like to consider Tizzy, a 13 year old male Jack Russell Terrier, who was taken into Dogs Trust Canterbury due to a marriage break up. Tizzy is a lovely dog, but can be very nervous, so is looking for calm adult-only home with no cats. He mixes well with other dogs but would prefer to be the only dog in his new home so he can receive all the TLC he deserves.
If you feel you can offer a retirement home to one or a pair of golden oldies, or would like to go onto the charities golden oldie waiting list, please contact Moira Wiltshire at Dogs Trust Canterbury on 01227 792505.