Finally Home Retirement Home: A Place Where All Senior Dogs Are Loved
In a world in which the adoption rate for senior dogs is lower than for all other age groups combined, we need more people like Laurie Dorr. In 2019, Dorr and her husband founded Finally Home Senior Dog Rescue and Retirement Home to provide a loving forever home to abandoned senior dogs.
Located in North Yarmouth, Main, Dorr’s five-acre estate is currently home to 15 grey-muzzled seniors. This amazing non-profit organization is run by Dorr and her husband with the help of a handful of volunteers and supporters all of whom have the same goal - to make old dogs feel loved till the end.
Dorr adopts senior dogs that need homes, mostly from shelters or older people moving into nursing homes.
“Our dogs come mainly from owners here in Maine who can no longer care for their pups due to unforeseen circumstances,” said Dorr to Newsweek.
The thing that sets Finally Home apart from other non-profit rescue organizations is that it doesn’t adopt out any of its dogs, but it gives them their own retirement home.
“The dogs are adopted into our home, and remain here until it is their time to pass on,” explained Dorr. “We provide them with excellent veterinary care, food, treats, bedding, and everything else they so desperately need, including our love and the love of all awesome friends and volunteers who help to keep them happy and healthy.”
However, Dorr’s noble work on behalf of senior dogs doesn’t end there. She has set up two funds named after Teddy and Sierra, two very special dogs who have died. These funds are there to help dog owners in need (who are below 150% of the federal poverty guidelines) and can’t pay for their older dog’s medical bills.
“Most people want puppies or younger dogs,” said Dorr. “Senior dogs often have been passed around many times and are often overlooked at shelters. That’s why I’m focusing on seniors.”
According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), approximately 3.1 million dogs end up in shelters across the U.S. every year. Around 390,000 shelter dogs are euthanized each year.
Evidence showed that older cats and dogs are particularly at risk for euthanasia at shelters because people are less likely to adopt a senior pooch. Sadly, older dogs are the last ones to get adopted and have a 25% adoption rate, compared to the 60% adoption rate of puppies and younger dogs.
Dorr, who has always been a dog lover, said that she likes all dogs, but has a soft spot for those that have been around for a while.
Taking care of so many senior dogs is time-consuming, even for a retiree, but Dorr, along with her friends and selfless volunteers, is doing everything to keep her dogs happy.
“We take the dogs for car rides and to local trails and parks, and recently took the dogs to Range Pond State Park for some fun in the water,” Dorr said. “The dogs loved the beach and wooded trails and had some special snacks there as well.”
The dogs’ day on the beach was captured in heartwarming footage that was posted on Finally Home's Facebook page.
“I have always loved animals and wanted to help senior dogs by taking them in if needed, and caring for them. It was one of those things where I said ‘one day’ or ‘someday’ I will do it. Finally, I decided that I had to do it while I was still young and healthy enough, so I would not miss out on my dream. I am so glad that I decided to do this.”
Nevena is a freelance writer and a proud mom of Teo, a 17-year-old poodle, and Bob, a rescued grey tabby cat. Since childhood, she had a habit of picking up strays and bringing them home (luckily, her parents didn't know how to say NO). When she's not writing for her fellow pet parents, Nevena can be found watching Teo sleep. To her defense, that's not as creepy as it sounds!
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