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Giving up Your Senior Dog
Are you thinking about giving up your senior dog?

Please read valuable tips on keeping your companion dog in your home at  Can We Help You Keep Your Dog?

Read more valuable tips and advice to solve common problems at Pets for Life.

Find Pet-Friendly housing at

Will the Sanctuary take my senior dog?

Due the ever increasing demand for our services, The Sanctuary for Senior Dogs accepts dogs from shelters and pounds, primarily in Northeast Ohio. Dogs from shelters in other areas are accepted on a space-available basis only. Unfortunately, we can no longer accept dogs directly from the public or from other rescues.

If you are thinking about giving up your old dog, please exhaust every possibility for keeping your best friend in the home he knows and finds comfortable. According to the Humane Society of the United States, 6-8 million animals enter the sheltering system each year; only half of them leave alive. That means that 3-4 million animals are killed each year in shelters across this country. Clearly, there are not enough homes for all the dogs in need, especially for old dogs.

Here in Northeast Ohio, senior dogs are surrendered to shelters or euthanized in area vet clinics in truly alarming numbers. Please do not add another dog to the vast numbers of the homeless unless you have absolutely no other choice. Before you decide, please click Can We Help You Keep Your Dog? And search for pet-friendly housing at

How can I find a home for my senior dog?

If you really cannot keep your older dog, try a listing on, an ad in your local newspaper, and flyers in your vet clinic, grooomer, pet supplies store, or anyplace animal lovers might gather.

If you use these placement tools, however, please screen your potential adopters carefully. The life and safety of your dog may depend on it. Unscrupulous people may pose as caring individuals only to later sell your dog to research or to a fighting ring. Some of them pose as loving families, bringing young children along to meet the dog. Please use caution in dealing with people you do not know; they are not always what they seem.

We suggest the following steps to help find the right home for your companion animal:

Ask for and contact both personal and veterinary references; the vet reference is especially important in verifying an acceptable standard of care for past animals.
Visit the potential new home personally. Watch family interactions and treatment of other animals in the home. Require all family members to be present at the home visit. Don't leave a dog in the new home after the first visit. Go home and think it over.
Collect a cash adoption fee to help guarantee that your dog is not sold into research or used as fighting dog bait . If you are not comfortable taking money yourself, you can ask for a cash donation and offer to send it to an animal charity in the adopter's name. Send the donation yourself; do not accept a verbal promise to donate. The adopter will receive a year-end tax deduction, and you will have added peace of mind. Please do not give your dog away to a stranger; even a seemingly nice stranger, sometimes accompanied by young children, can sell your dog to research or worse.
Check the drivers license of the potential adopter to make sure you have the correct name and contact information. The address on the license and the address of the home you visit MUST match.
Ask for the right to follow up on a prearranged schedule: every three months, twice a year, or whatever is comfortable for both parties.
If you have doubts about the person interested in your dog, contact your local animal control agency and make sure the potential adopter does not have a history of animal abuse. If you have serious doubts, just look for another home.
Never rush to find a home for your dog.

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