Thanks for visiting Homer J's Senior Dog Sanctuary. We have been inspired by the senior animals in our lives and sadden by the rate at which these gentle, loving creatures are euthanized in traditional shelters.
We are thrilled to be part of a larger community of animal welfare advocates, people and organizations that are dedicated to protecting those that cannot protect themselves. We are especially proud to be associated with the many great organizations that try to improve outcomes for senior dogs who find themselves in shelters across the country.
When we conceived of the sanctuary, we thought the Homer J's would be unique in its mission. Little did we know that others had been touched by the grace of senior dogs, and were actively working to protect and shelter them.
Despite the work of these amazing groups, many seniors who find themselves in shelters will never again have the opportunity to be part of the pack, share a nap on the couch, or the joy of an evening constitutional with their favorite human. We hope our story and continued efforts will demonstrate to others the benefits of senior dog adoption and inspire them to take action.
In the Begining
It all started in 2006 when I decided to fulfill a life long dream by adopting my first canine companion. Living alone in an apartment, working full-time, I knew a puppy was out of the question. Although my living situation was not ideal, for some poor mutt, it was a better choice than in the shelter.
When I showed up at the SPCA that fateful day in the Spring of 2006, and asked the shelter staff to bring me the dog that was least likely to be adopted. When they led Billie Holiday, a nine year old Aussie Healer into the meeting room, it was love at first site. She labored over to m feet, sat down, and waited for petting.
It was not long before we got to bond over a few "senior moments". First, we had to learn how to boost Byllie into the back of my Jeep. That inconvenience appeared slight when once I realized Byllie was unable or unwilling to navigate the 15 steps up to my apartment. When it became clear dangling treats in front of this old black woman was not going to get her up the steps, I knew what had to be done.
I carried that beautiful dog, all 80lbs plus, up the steps, 3 or 4 times per day. We eventually moved into a house with a backyard, and Billie lived out the remainder of her days coming and going on her own terms.
There is an epidemic in this country that is not getting better. Shelter statistics are just estimates, but according to the Humane Society more than 6 million dogs and cats will enter shelters this year and half of them will not be leaving. While these numbers are a significant improvement from estimates 30 years ago, they are just estimates and we are still slaughtering these animals at a 50% rate.
Aren't we the richest country in the world? Certainly we can do better than that. As stated in Mattew 25:40, "Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ As animal-loving individuals in this society, we must take steps to demonstrate our reverence for all life in hopes of shifting the paradigm that keeps these shelter statistics high.
What is it about our society that keeps these shelters so full? America has become a "throw-away" society that values the new, flashy, and hip, over that which may be perceived as out-dated, out-of-touch, or old news. We also tend to have very compulsive tendencies when it comes to satisfying our consumerism. This compulsion often leads to purchases that are not well researched or well-thought out, and are made without consideration for long-term repercussions.
Long-story short, we want puppies and kittens. Do you know the busiest months for shelters in this country? February and March... because people have grown tired of and become frustrated with the animals that were given as gifts over the holiday season.
We value the difficult work undertaken at shelters across this country. We see it as a response to a problem, not a solution. These shelters are over-crowded, under-funded, and despite all the creativity and passion in the world, are not able to adopt these pets at a fast enough rate. What is required is a shift of paradigm that changes how people satisfy their need for animal companionship. At Homer J's Senior Dog Sanctuary, we embody the idea of Re-Purposing in hopes of shifting attitudes about shelter dogs and opening peoples hearts in minds to the value of all life.
Northern Nevada Animal Welfare
Senior Rescue Groups
We will adopt senior dogs (defined as age 6 years or older) from traditional animal shelters like The Humane Society, SPCA, and countless scores of smaller organizations in the vicinity of Reno, NV and give them a forever home at our sanctuary. These lucky few (known as Sanctuary Residents) live out the remainder of their years under the care of our organization’s staff and volunteers.
Sanctuary Residents won't just sit back and enjoy their retirement years; these dogs will play an important role as ambassadors for senior dog adoption. By finding unique ways to share their inspirational story, as well as their calm disposition, general ‘love-ability’, as well as their aptitude for animal therapy and emotional support work, we hope to open the hearts and minds of those in our community to the benefits of adopting a senior dog.
To increase the reach of our message, we will document their adventures, as well as our experiences at the sanctuary, both here and on our Facebook Page. With this body of evidence, we will prove once and for all that you can teach an old dog new tricks.