Advocacy and Action
THERE ARE MANY WAYS TO HELP OUR PSDS PACK:
FINANCIAL DONATIONS, PLANNED GIVING, SPONSORING A DOG OR VOLUNTEERING—TO NAME A FEW.
Winston, Our Adorable Little 'Lion Dog':
There was so much we did not know about Winston when he first arrived, coming to us from another sanctuary who was unable to care for him due to overcrowding at that facility. But we knew he was all alone since the death of his owner. We estimated his age at somewhere between 12 and 15. There were some health issues—some of which would require immediate attention— including a good deal of hair loss, significant bloating, and a strange growth around one of his eyes. Despite his numerous physical flaws, medical/health challenges, and aesthetic shortcomings, he was adorable. The small amount of hair that remained on Winston’s body formed a kind of mane around his neck, and we all agreed that he resembled a small, black lion.
After the emotional trauma he had been through, we anticipated a relatively slow adjustment period. But much to our surprise, he warmed up rather quickly. Initially, a few of the other dogs were hesitant to accept him into their pack, but by the next morning, they were all becoming fast friends.
Winston loved a good romp in the snow. With each fresh snowfall, he liked to be the first to break the smooth surface, running from one spot to another in gazelle-like fashion, stopping only long enough to bury his face deep in the white, fluffy snow as if hoping to sniff out some secret, hidden treasure under the surface. It was like watching a carefully choreographed dance. Continued >
Colorado shelters are beginning to make some progress in increasing adoption rates of animals, including senior dogs. The Pet Animal Care Facilities Act (PACFA) is a state licensing and inspection program dedicated to protecting the health and well-being of animals in facilities throughout Colorado. PACFA’s 2019 Annual Report noted that Colorado shelters and rescues took in 69,692 adult dogs. Of those, 3,890 were euthanized, and 38,024 were adopted (while the remaining dogs found additional outcomes, including transfer to other shelters, return to owners, etc.) While these figures show improvement over previous years, it is not yet determined whether or not this is actually the beginning of a trend or just a temporary fluke. Regardless, we still have much work to do.
Changing The Culture
While we are seeing progress being made on behalf of senior dogs on several fronts, it isn’t enough. Far too many senior dogs are still being unnecessarily euthanized every day. But the Pepper’s team is ready to make a difference. We envision, through advocacy and action, a model to change the culture of care and adoption of senior dogs. We will build upon the growing recognition of dogs that are in greatest need of hope, help, and a home. It would be wonderful if we could change everyone’s mindset so that senior dogs were adopted at the same rate as their younger counterparts. While that vision is unrealistic, we believe we can improve our culture so that, in ten years, we see a 30% increase in the number of households and families into which senior dogs have been adopted.
Through effective social impact programs, strategic messaging and targeted campaigns, we hope to influence opinions, shatter stereotypes, and debunk myths about senior dogs as household pets, encouraging people to give greater consideration to inclusion of senior dogs into their families. But we know that even with the most compelling messaging, there will still be those for whom senior dog adoption is simply not desirable. And that’s why organizations like Pepper’s exist, to provide a forever home for those senior dogs still unable to be adopted from shelters, allowing them to live out the remainder of their lives in a comfortable, caring, and nurturing home-like sanctuary. While we may not be able to completely eliminate the problem of senior dog homelessness, we will have made a significant difference in our culture and in how our society views and treats senior dogs. And we’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that many will still be alive solely because of our efforts.
Our Supporters and Partners Make It Possible
We are grateful to our partners like Denver Dumb Friends League, National Mill Dog Rescue, Best Friends Animal Society and Little Old Dog Sanctuary, and to volunteers and donors like you. Without your ongoing support, we would not be able to realize this beautiful and necessary dream that is designed around helping those who cannot help themselves. We invite you to become a part of the PSDS family through choosing to volunteer, donate, or give to our Capital Campaign and we thank you for being here.
“Older dogs have always needed a safety net, as they are the most overlooked and vulnerable population in shelters. The world needs more places like Pepper’s Senior Dog Sanctuary.”
—Hope Morgan, Owner of Little Old Dog Sanctuary