.Petaluma Senior Dog Sanctuary Leads National Campaign to Save Elder Pups

Formed in 2009, North Bay nonprofit organization Lily’s Legacy Senior Dog Sanctuary rescues, re-homes and fosters senior large-breed dogs throughout Northern California.

This week, Lily’s Legacy extends its reach across the country once again with its third annual Saving Senior Dogs Week, partnering with two dozen other senior dog rescues throughout the US to raise awareness about the needs and benefits of senior dogs everywhere.

Saving Senior Dogs Week, running Oct. 25–31, is a weeklong national social media campaign to highlight the struggles of homeless senior dogs as well as the joys of adopting them. The campaign also aims to reduce unnecessary euthanasia, and to provide existing senior dog rescues in the United States with much needed funding to carry out their missions.

“We are thrilled to be going into our third year of Saving Senior Dogs Week and seeing all the support we have gained for our cause over the last two years,” says Alice Mayn, Executive Director of Lily’s Legacy Senior Dog Sanctuary, and creator of Saving Senior Dogs Week. “The continued and growing support from our sponsors and rescues has been phenomenal. We still have a long way to go but I feel incredibly positive about the progress and difference we are making.”

This year’s Saving Senior Dogs Week features 25 participating senior dog rescues from across the United States who will be sharing several adoption stories, facts and myths of adopting senior dogs, resources to assist senior dog owners, and how the public can help.

New for 2021, Saving Senior Dogs Week is also partnering with the New York Dog Film Festival, which supports animal welfare organizations across the country that focus on the most vulnerable dogs. A portion of every ticket sold across the country will benefit all the participating rescues of Saving Senior Dogs Week.

It is estimated that approximately 670,000 shelter dogs are euthanized each year in the United States. Although there are an estimated 14,000 animal rescue organizations nationwide, approximately 50 of them are dedicated exclusively to rescuing, rehabilitating and re-homing senior dogs.

In 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic presented a new set of problems for homeless senior dogs. While the pandemic led to a surge in pet adoptions across the United States, it also saw an increase in pet surrenders due to Covid-19 financial hardship.

“We still haven’t seen the full effect of the pandemic as it relates to homeless senior dogs, and I don’t think we will for some time,” said Mayn. “We are seeing more owners having to surrender due to Covid-19 financial hardship, and we are also seeing surrenders due to owners re-entering the work force who no longer have the means to care for their dogs. We certainly have our work cut out for us now more than ever.”

All of the funds raised during the weeklong campaign will go towards saving thousands of homeless senior dogs. Seventy-five percent of the proceeds from the fundraising campaign will be divided equally among the participating senior dog rescue organizations. The remaining twenty-five percent of the funds will go into the Saving Senior Dogs grant fund to provide veterinary care and dog supplies for new nonprofit senior dog rescues.

For more information on Saving Senior Dogs Week, or to donate, visit savingseniordogsweek.org.

Charlie Swanson
Charlie Swanson is a North Bay native and an arts and music writer and editor who has covered the local scene since 2014.
North Bay Bohemian E-edition North Bay Bohemian E-edition