A couple of weeks ago, Best Bully Sticks held a one day contest where our fans could nominate their favorite rescue or charity to win 30 cases of treats from BBS. We had almost 1000 people vote over an eight-hour period and fans clearly wanted The Old Dog House in Jacksonville, Florida to win.  In honor of their win, we thought we would share with our fans a little more about this admirable charity.

As their name suggests, this rescue in Northern Florida’s sole mission is to place older dogs with families.  Most individuals or families looking to adopt a dog, really only look at puppies, but The Old Dog House chooses to educate the public of the joys of adding an older or senior dog to their lives.

Our intent is to “rehome” the older and senior dogs we rescue and rehabilitate. Sometimes, “rehoming” is not an option due to medical, behavioral, or physical issues. In these cases, the dog will remain a resident of The Old Dog House for the remainder of their life. We call these dogs ‘Permanent Residents’.

Every dog at The Old Dog House is viewed and treated as part of the family. We do not have kennels, runs, or cages, rather they live in a true home environment with all of the comforts of home.”

As Kim Stordahl describes, it all started with a dog named Cindy.

After working for a couple of years at a kill shelter, I realized just how few older and senior dogs that were admitted into the shelter actually made it into adoptions.  They were overlooked simply because of their age.  One day, a dog named Cindy was turned into the shelter by the family of her owner.  He had been admitted into an assisted living facility and, of course, Cindy was not allowed and none of the family wanted to take her.  She was about 12 years old and a shepherd mix.  Cindy’s owner adopted her from the same shelter when she was just a puppy.  I asked my supervisor if we could have her for a week in adoptions to try and find her a home.  Fortunately, my request was granted.  Cindy was adopted within the week and I was ecstatic!  Unfortunately, Cindy’s new owner brought her back a week later indicating Cindy was urinating in the house.  I was devastated.  Tests indicated she was in the early stages of renal disease.  I did some research and felt it was a manageable disease, so I took her home to live with me.  We had Cindy two and a half more years! My husband and I were in a position to accommodate Cindy’s need to get outside more frequently.  It made me very sad to think what we would have missed out with Cindy had she not come to live with us.  When I left the shelter and was contemplating starting a older and senior dog rescue group, a veterinarian friend told me this, “Age is not a disease.” So, The Old Dog House was established in February of 2006.”

Kim also shared with us the benefits of rescuing an older dog.

“One of the main benefits of adopting an older or senior dog is that you know exactly what you are getting.  The dog’s personality is developed and she is fully grown. Also, there is no ‘puppy stage’ to endure, or the ‘crazy teenage’ years!  Many older and senior dogs are still very active and enjoy all of the activities that younger dogs do, but maybe at a more relaxed pace or duration.  The chances are good that an older dog is already spayed or neutered, house trained, and knows at least basic obedience commands.  Many people are concerned about the limited time they may have with an older or senior dog, but like in Cindy’s case, I wouldn’t have missed those two and half years for the world and would gladly do it all over again!”

Congratulations again to The Old Dog House! (The image to the left shows Jackson, a resident of The Old Dog House enjoying the donated Plato’s Thinker’s Treats from BBS! Image courtesy of Kim Stordahl)