Just as there is a home for elderly people, there is now also a home for elderly dogs in Hermitage, Missouri, United States.
Meet Valerie Reid, the amazing lady who couldn’t bear the idea of any elderly dogs dying alone, so she turned her home into a hospice! Founded by a pet lover known as Valerie Reid, the home has housed and taken care of 790 elderly dogs. In the home, the dogs are provided with food, toys, and other play items, as well as love.
The non-profit Whispering Willows Senior Dog Sanctuary in Missouri now looks after up to 80 pups at the same time.
The sanctuary was created in 2017 after Valerie had trouble finding a home for her father’s elderly Doberman. “My husband and I were at our city’s pet limit and we were unable to take her. We looked everywhere for any rescue that would help and due to her age none would home her,” she said.
Valerie now takes in dogs who have spent a long time in a shelter, whose owners have passed away or have moved into a retirement facility.
“The dogs live with us openly and go between the two buildings. anywhere we go, they go and are treated as part of the family. The best part is the transformation they go through when they know that they are safe and loved. Our vision is to help people prepare for the end of life, none of us are guaranteed tomorrow. We get to send our seniors off in comfort and love. Yes, it hurts but it is an honor to love and care for them ”
The foster home already had multiple older dogs who roamed free on a farm.
‘My Dad’s Doberman lived another year and a half happily on her farm,’ said Valerie. ‘It started me thinking what happens to senior dogs, who were once beloved pets. I had wanted to help those that were in a situation like my dad and could truly no longer care for their beloved senior dogs, but then my eyes were opened to just how many dogs out there needed help. It truly is a forgotten segment of the rescue world.’
Valerie upped sticks with her husband Josh Reid, 42, away from Kansas City in Missouri to their current property in Hermitage. The home is 3,000 square feet, with a 1,700 square foot outbuilding to house the dogs, and Valerie got in touch with the local vet to help with medical costs.
Whispering Willows officially opened its doors on July 19, 2017, and now has up to 80 dogs at any one time.
Valerie, a mother-of-one, said: ‘The sanctuary truly evolved and became bigger and bigger than I had even thought. I love having so many little hearts that love us back.’