PETALUMA, Calif. (KRON) — The last week of October is Saving Senior Dogs Week and this year the event is gaining momentum across the country.

Alice Mayn runs Lily’s Legacy Senior Dog Sanctuary in Petaluma. Of the countless animal shelters and rescues across the country, only a small fraction focus on senior dogs.

“Well, we estimate, it’s not clear exactly how many senior dog rescues there are in the country, but I don’t think they’re more than 50. Probably 50, 55,” said Mayn. Thirty-two senior dog sanctuaries are a part of the newly formed group, Saving Senior Dogs USA. Their goal is to rescue the dogs others gave up on.

“You know, they deserve a good ending. They don’t deserve to end up in a shelter or alone on a street, you know, being neglected,” said Mayn.

Mayn said you do not have to worry about chewing or potty training with older dogs.
She said they are much calmer and even more grateful to have a new home.

“The gratitude just pours out of them and they’re easy dogs. They fit into a family easily for the most part. You have very little behavioral problems, you have very little training problems,” added Mayn.

She said older dogs are quick to adapt to new surroundings and yes, you can teach an old dog new tricks. “Oh yes, you can. Absolutely. They haven’t given up their brains and we’ve taught a lot of old dogs new tricks,” said Mayn.

Bringing an older dog into the family also helps children learn how to treat seniors.

“One of the things that’s really interesting about the young families is that they say what a good role model it is for their kids to learn about senior beings, and taking care of seniors, and honoring seniors and respecting them. I get a lot of comments like that from parents of people that have small kids,” said Mayn.

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Mayn said if you think you’re doing an old dog a favor by adoption, you’re only partially right. The real winner is you.

“The rewards are endless for us. You know, we’d like to think they’re endless for the dogs too, but we get so much more out of it than we could possibly ever give the dogs. It’s just really a heartwarming thing to do,” said Mayn.

If you’d like to find out more about Senior Dog Week and saving senior dogs please visit:

Lily’s Legacy Senior Dog Sanctuary and Saving Senior Dogs USA