Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Senior Animals Part TwoLooking at Kirsten's post about our senior animals made me think back to where the program all began. It started in 2003 with a chow mix named Oscar at one of our local shelters. For months we'd go to take dogs from that shelter, and I would see him in his kennel. He was a perfectly nice looking dog with a bright orange coat, but we weren't taking him because he was too old. As spay/neuter and responsible pet ownership contined to improve, there were less easy to adopt out dogs at local shelters. We finally made the decision to take a chance on this dog that I'd had my eye on for so long.
He certainly didn't fly out of our shelter, either. It took time, but he finally found a home. On the day he left, May 13th, 2003, I got this e-mail from R:
I think you heard already today about Oscar getting adopted. N and I are going to try to help out the adopters a bit more than normal with after adoption medical stuff just so you know.
Just wanted to say thanks for taking a chance on taking Oscar in. If it wasn't for you, he might still be at [the original shelter] patiently waiting...
After receiving this e-mail, I began to think about other older dogs who tend to languish in shelters due to their ages. I responded to R's message, saying that I'd love if we could always reserve a couple of kennel spaces for Sr. animals. From there, the Silver Muzzle Club was born. After a great group effort from the Canine Associates, R, N, and other staff, we put together a program for dogs and cats eight years and older. We set a number of each that we could take into both our Oakland and Tri Valley shelters, a special intake procedure including a sr. dog vet check and blood panel, and of course our new name and logo (created by one of our younger volunteers).
Since then, we've seen many older animals come and go through our shelter. Many have been among the favorite canines and felines of staff and volunteers. Kirsten has already shown our current bunch, but I'd like to feature a few 'old timers' (pardon my pun). Everyone who knew these dogs during their time at the shelter will never forget a single one of them. Apologies in advance to cat lovers...as canine manager, I don't know the cats well enough to know which ones were seniors.
Right: Oscar, the unoffical founder of the SMC
Below: Babs, 2003
Ethel , 2004
Jack (above) and Juno (right), 2005