Old Dog Haven is a small nonprofit group using a large network of foster homes to provide a loving safe home for abandoned senior dogs in western Washington. When we have room and the means, we take these dogs into our homes. We adopt out those dogs with a reasonable life-expectancy. We care for the rest as members of the family in permanent foster homes (what we call “Final Refuge”) for as long as they have good quality of life. In addition, we try to assist owners in finding new homes for their senior dogs through our website and referrals.
The mission of Old Dog Haven is to provide loving safe homes for senior dogs, age 8 and up, in western Washington, who have been abandoned or will become homeless at this stage of their lives. This may include:
- Taking the older dogs into our homes and caring for them as members of the family as long as they have good quality of life, with preference to the oldest dogs including hospice situations;
- Taking dogs with a reasonable life-expectancy into temporary foster homes and adopting them into a permanent home with people who will devote themselves to the dog;
- Assisting owners in placing their senior dog into an appropriate new home, without asking for compensation.
We intend to keep these dogs as healthy and comfortable as possible by providing excellent veterinary care, without heroic measures intended only to extend life.
We are committed to helping these dogs find peace in their last years, regardless of our judgment of the humans who have left them.
Why We Do It
All too many dogs of advanced years find themselves terrified and confused at shelters, where their chances of adoption are almost zero. Others are desperate for a new home because of an owner’s death, a move, owners working much longer hours, trouble with small children in the home, or bad financial circumstances. Many of these dogs are in poor physical condition as well, making them even less appealing to others. Helping them is sometimes challenging, is often expensive, but is very very rewarding. Our goal is that their last years are happy and that they die safe and at peace, knowing they are loved. Wouldn’t we all wish this for our own pets and for ourselves?
A Brief Introduction
Old Dog Haven was founded in 2004 to provide safe, loving homes for abandoned senior dogs who have almost zero chance of adoption in a shelter. We do not have a kennel; all our dogs live in homes as members of temporary or permanent (Final Refuge) families. We take dogs 8 years and older from shelters and occasionally from owners in Western Washington (due to county regulations, we cannot take in strays). We adopt out dogs that have a reasonable life expectancy; however, more than 90% of our dogs are Final Refuge (permanent foster) or hospice residents – too frail, old or sick for adoption. ODH’s mission is to give these dogs a loving family and good quality of life in their final months, years, weeks or even days. We also assist owners who need to re-home their senior dog and help shelters and other rescues place their seniors
As of December 2016 we have had at least 300 dogs in our care at one time. We always have a waiting list of dogs in need, some very near a deadline to get to a safe place, and we always need more Final Refuge homes. ODH pays directly for all veterinary care and medications and provides a great support system. Experience with senior dogs is helpful, but not required. However, not every situation will work for our dogs so please check the foster information available here.
We depend on our donors! Not everyone is able to take in another dog, but our generous donors make a vital contribution that allows us to take good care of these dogs, many of whom come to us in poor physical condition – malnourished, sick, teeth rotting, and worse. Our medical costs in 2015 average $$80,000 per month and over 90% of our expenses are for dog care. We appreciate even the smallest donations and welcome you as part of our efforts to keep wonderful old dogs from dying alone. We are a 501(c)(3) IRS charitable corporation and contributions are tax-deductible.