This is the second in a series of 12 blogs celebrating Old Dog Haven’s 20th anniversary. Last month I focused on our dogs and this month I want to talk about the importance of our mission as it relates to our success.

In 2004 when our founders Judith and Lee Piper saw that shelters were filled with homeless, old dogs, they knew that something like Old Dog Haven was needed. Judith said, “Somebody needs to do this. Dogs just can’t be abandoned at the end of their lives. We could do this.” And they did.

How often have you heard someone say “Someone needs to do something?” Or, perhaps you’ve made the same comment. Instead of standing around wringing their hands, Judith and Lee did something. They walked their talk, as they always have, and Old Dog Haven became more than just an idea.



Twenty years later we still follow the mission developed by Judith and Lee:



Our Mission
Old Dog Haven is committed to the belief that all senior dogs should live peacefully in their final years as members of a caring family. To this end we:

  • Provide permanent foster homes for unadoptable, abandoned or soon to be homeless, senior dogs in western Washington, age eight and over. We focus on the oldest and those with serious health issues.
  • Assist owners, shelters, and rescues in finding homes for their adoptable senior dogs age eight and over by posting those dogs on our website and social media pages.
  • Educate the public about the value of senior dogs in our lives and the unique gifts they bring us.


We intend to keep Old Dog Haven foster dogs as healthy and comfortable as possible by providing excellent medical care, but without heroic measures intended only to extend life. We are committed to helping these dogs find peace in their final years without judgment of the humans who have left them.



When quality of life is no longer present for any senior dog we believe that euthanasia is the ultimate gift we give 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, often expensive, but very, very rewarding.  Our goal is that their last years are happy and that they die safe and at peace, knowing they are loved.

Next month I’ll focus on our foster families and how important they are to our mission and what we’re all about as a senior dog rescue.


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