(KRON) — When people go to an animal shelter to adopt, they are usually looking for a good fit for their family — and the dogs not often considered are older ones.

But a North Bay woman has set out to change that.

Alice Mayne started a national program called “Saving Senior Dogs Week”. 

“The goal is to on a national basis, educate the public about the plight of senior dogs that are homeless and the joys of adopting them,” Mayne said. “And it makes me cry to think about it and to build a collaboration among the few senior dog, rescues that there are in the country. There are only about probably 40 of us that do strictly senior dogs.”

“We get calls all over from people all over the country, and it’s been really wonderful as our collaboration has built and new rescues have joined, joined in with us to have to have a place that we can send people to say, you know, and now we have a website savingseniordogsweek.org, and people can go to that website and learn about the program or the campaign,” Mayne continued. “And also there’s a rescue. There’s a link to all the rescue so they can find somebody in their area.”

“I think we’re making a difference, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s a long process. there are a lot of senior dogs out there that really need help and they kind of get lost in the shelters,” Mayne said. “A lot of people that go to shelters want younger dogs and so they can get lost. all of the shelters have been really good about reaching out to us. Senior dogs are amazing, amazing creatures, and they are grateful and they’re loving. and you know, you just, you have a house full of just constant love thrown at you.”

It’s estimated there are about 14,000 animal shelters in the U.S, but only about 40 of them focus on senior dogs and cats.

Thanks to the work of Mayn, that number has been growing.

To find out more about “Saving Senior Dogs Week”, tap here.