Hope Rescue takes in all stray dogs from across six local authorities, this is regardless of age, breed or medical condition so we do care for a number of senior dogs each year.

In terms of dogs from owners, we try to prioritise those with the greatest welfare need so we do see numerous senior dogs coming into us this way. We try to prioritise senior dogs going into foster homes as they can often find kennel life a bit more challenging than some of the younger dogs. Many are starting to experience some physical changes with their sight, hearing, and perhaps arthritic changes so they especially benefit from additional TLC and routine in a foster home. Often older dogs may need additional medical treatment – dental treatment being the most common.

We are lucky to have a dedicated team of foster carers, many of whom are willing to open their heart and home to a senior dog. Occasionally we may have a senior dog who has a number of health problems meaning they may not be adopted but they still have a good quality of life. In these cases, the dog will join our Palliative Paws scheme where we will continue to pay for the dogs care for the rest of their life but they live happily in the foster home.  

Hermione is an example of one of palliative paws dogs. Hermione, a 9-year-old mastiff came into as a stray with a host of medical problems including eye and ear infections and needing an extensive dental with multiple extractions. She also had a number of lumps, which biopsies showed were an aggressive form of melanoma. Although these were removed there was a high likelihood of recurrence. Hermione also started medication for some arthritic changes in her hind legs and hips. Despite her medical issues Hermione is an incredibly sweet lady who is still enjoying life and having a wonderful time in her foster home.

Emily is a 10-year-old crossbreed and Hope Rescue’s only permanent resident. After a very difficult start in life Emily came into our care and despite effort from staff and adopters since then she has never managed to settle in a home and finds ‘normal’ home life very difficult. However, she is very happy at the centre and her dedicated team of staff and volunteers ensure she gets the best possible care. Emily has osteoarthritis and receives daily medication for this but is otherwise in good health and receives regular health checks.

Emily has recently starting her own blog to help followers of Hope Rescue gain an insight into the goings on across the organisation each month. Her first post is here for you to enjoy.