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Imagine suddenly losing your family and home – and now you are in a cage surrounded by unfamiliar sights and sounds.
Sadly, many old dogs experience this and are brought to shelters because their owner has passed away or their family no longer wants them. Senior dogs have so much love to give and deserve to spend their golden years in a loving home, not a shelter.
Russell Clothier was a volunteer at his local shelter in Missouri. He witnessed countless senior dogs passed over for puppies and it broke his heart. “But every time I’d come back, the old dogs would just be there. And I just love the old dogs,” he told Fox 32. His beloved old rescue dog, Shep, a 10-year-old beagle, inspired him to do something for all the other senior shelter dogs.
Clothier said, “So my wife and I said we need to do something to get them out of there and into a house, so they can live like a normal dog.”
They sold their home and bought one with 4 acres that would work as a sanctuary. They started Shep’s Place Senior Dog Sanctuary and the doors officially opened on April 6, 2019.
The sanctuary works with local shelters only to help senior dogs. “We focus on senior dogs who have already spent time in a shelter or rescue, waiting to find a family,” as stated on their website.
All senior dogs will have a loving home at the sanctuary and spend their golden years playing and sleeping as they choose. “Old dogs still need the love and affection of a human, someone to walk them, cuddle with them, make them feel safe and part of the pack.”
The volunteer run sanctuary is starting out small with a few dogs, but hopes to expand as volunteers and donations increase. Their mission is “a facility devoted to their care, where we take the time to pamper and love every dog, and allow it to play and run and live out the rest of its life as happily as it can.”
The first dog they welcomed to the sanctuary was a 10-year-old lab mix, named John Wayne. The beautiful chocolate lab is a “sweet and mellow guy”. The next two to join the pack were Rusty and Willie. Rusty is a “14 year old Australian Shepherd / terrier mix, who recently had hip surgery, but is recovering nicely. Willy is a 12 year old whippet mix. He has a permanent limp and is missing an eye.”
They are looking for volunteers, so if you are in the Kansas City area be sure to stop by. Clothier is a great example of being the change you wish to see in the world.