Pepper's Senior Dog Sanctuary provides a compassionate, loving, lifelong home where elderly dogs are cared for during their good days, bad days, and last days.
Above All, Compassionate and Loving Care
Pepper’s Senior Dog Sanctuary (PSDS) is a Colorado-based 501(c)(3) that provides a compassionate, loving, and lifelong home for elderly dogs. Founded in 2019 by Justin Klemer and his mom, Mary, and Leigh Sullivan, these Colorado natives are lifelong animal advocates and proud foster fails who have rescued dozens of dogs. They have made it their mission to rescue elderly dogs and nurture them on their good days and bad days and guide them gently and safely on their last days.
When did you officially open?
We officially opened in 2023 after completion of our full-scale sanctuary. We have already welcomed a number of dogs who currently reside with our leadership team, and are continuing to raise funds to complete our $5 million construction campaign.
What are the PSDS Sanctuary and grounds like?
The sanctuary encompasses more than 50 acres of land, with plenty of room for expansion. Our property is located in beautiful Littleton, Colorado‚ south of Denver. It's a rural paradise, framed by rolling hills and the Rocky Mountains. Luxury individual dog bedroom suites are housed inside a beautiful barn featuring a large common area. The spacious, secured outdoor play space complements the year-round indoor dog park. Our health and wellness space includes hydrotherapy treatments specifically designed for low-impact walking and rehabilitation. Construction will be completed in 2023.
Can I adopt or foster one of the dogs from Pepper's Senior Pet Sanctuary?
No. Senior dogs in particular require stability and have very specific needs that often require ongoing commitments and medical attention. The sanctuary is firmly equipped to address those needs, and since the comfort and well-being of our dogs is our number one priority, we have made the decision to give our dogs a happily ever after home until they pass. There are numerous local shelters, however, that house adoptable dogs, and we encourage you to always adopt. Always.
Is my donation tax-deductible?
Yes - donations are tax-deductible under section 170 of the IRS Code and directly benefit the dogs at Pepper's Senior Dog Sanctuary, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Our Tax ID number is: 87-3612767.
What is the cost of care per dog?
Basic necessities like food and veterinary care, nail trims, teeth cleaning and vaccines, cost roughly $2,500 per dog, per year. Pepper's does not receive government funding and thus relies on fundraising efforts, volunteers, donations, and sponsorships. Donations are 100% applied to helping our senior rescues.
Who's responsible for oversight of the sanctuary?
Pepper's Senior Dog Sanctuary is governed by a fiercely dedicated Board of Directors. See their bios
How many dogs are residents at PSDS?
Legally, we are allowed to provide forever homes to 50 dogs. Our goal is to grow slowly and ensure that our sanctuary is equipped to maximize this capacity. We accepted Winston, our first senior dog, in September of 2019 and by 2022 we had space for 50 senior dogs at the sanctuary.
I have a senior dog that I need to surrender. Can you help?
No, unfortunately, we can't. Our sanctuary is NOT a shelter, and we do not accept dogs from individual owners who, for whatever reason, choose to relinquish their dog. We only accept senior dogs from other shelters, rescue groups and dedicated dog care facilities. The reason is because shelters and rescue groups are frequently at capacity - we must reserve our limited space for senior dogs that are in imminent danger of being prematurely euthanized. We understand how disappointing it feels to have your dog turned away, and while we wish we could take every dog, we must be strict in our policy and mission.
I'd love to help. What can I do?
Thank you for your interest! You can make a monetary donation, volunteer your time, donate supplies from our Amazon wish list, purchase gift cards to local pet stores, and provide rescue sponsorships. For more information visit Ways to Help
Can I visit the PSDS sanctuary?
At this time, we do not allow unscheduled visits to the sanctuary and we are not open to the public. However, once we are fully operational, we'll host a groundbreaking ceremony and open-house for guests and potential volunteers. Sign up for our newsletter in the footer below to be kept up-to-date on opening details and events.
What types of dogs does PSDS accept?
We typically accept dogs that are 10 years or older, but every breed is different in terms of what denotes a "senior dog‚" so we are certainly open to exceptions. Our sole mission is to provide a forever home for special-needs senior dogs that have little to no chance of being adopted—whether it's because of specific medical needs, high veterinary bills, time commitments and/or overcrowding. We do not have a size limit of dog and every senior dog is eligible for a permanent home at PSDS. Dogs that are NOT good candidates for our facility include those that are easily adoptable, puppies, and aggressive dogs. All of our dogs share a common area and co-mingle and since community and safety are at the heart of PSDS we are not able to accept dogs
with aggressive tendencies.
What's the protocol for taking care of your senior dogs?
The well-being of our dogs is paramount. We ensure that our senior dogs live in a home-like environment, surrounded by a dedicated staff of employees and volunteers whose primary mission is to give every dog--some of whom have been dealt a tough hand--everlasting love. We care for our dogs for life, which is part of what makes us unique.
Many senior dogs have health concerns, and upon arrival at the sanctuary, they undergo a comprehensive physical examination by our onsite veterinarian. Following the examination, our vet performs baseline blood, urine and fecal testing. Provided that our dogs are stable and/or healthy enough to undergo surgical procedures, they will be spayed or neutered, and have dental procedures, if necessary. More advanced diagnostics and therapeutics, along with medications and holistic supplements, are determined after initial intake exams and testing. From the moment our dogs arrive to when it comes time to cross the rainbow bridge, they're carefully monitored by our on-staff veterinarian.