A happier ending for senior dogs

  • Charles County,St Mary's County,Calvert County,Prince George's County,Anne Arundel County
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Hollywood, MD- Sunday, April 30 is National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day. Shelters might be the first place people visit when considering adoption in hopes of finding a cute puppy or an active adolescent dog. By why not consider helping homeless senior dogs?

Lisa Lunghofer, executive director of the Maryland-based Grey Muzzle Organization, stated, “In the past few years we have been thrilled to see increased attention to senior dogs and the joys of adopting them.” The Grey Muzzle Organization is dedicated to helping homeless senior dogs by providing funding and resources to animal welfare organizations nationwide. “In 2016 we gave grants to 38 nonprofits in 25 states totaling more $225,000. In 2016 our grant awards helped more than 1,000 senior dogs,” Lunghofer boasted.

As the requests for senior dogs increase, so are the requests for grants from non-profits who are interested in starting or expanding programs specifically for older dogs. “Last year The Grey Muzzle Organization received more than 160 proposals from animal welfare organizations nationwide seeking grants to implement or expand senior dog programs. This year we received 220 applications. We will be making grant awards in June and hope to fund even more programs than last year,” Lunghofer said. The success of the Grey Muzzle Organization is directly connected to the generous donors who support the group’s efforts.

Lunghofer said there are many reasons why people should consider adopting an older animal. “When you adopt a senior dog you truly are giving that dog a second chance at a happy ending. I think senior dogs sense that. Their capacity to show love, loyalty and gratitude is truly amazing. Once your heart has been touched by a senior dog it's hard not to want to give another senior a second chance. I think that's why we see so many people coming back time after time to adopt senior dogs.”  

When it comes to finding the right home for a second chance at life, the grantees look for adopters who can provide senior dogs with the love and care they need for the remainder of their lives, whether that be years, months, weeks, or days. Lunghofer encourages people to consider welcoming a senior pet to your family. “There are so many wonderful dogs in shelters and rescues across the country who need homes. Sadly, hundreds of thousands of shelter animals are euthanized each year. By adopting a rescue dog—particularly an older one--you are giving that dog a second chance at a happy ending.”

Lunghofer also volunteers with Lucky Dog Animal Rescue in Washington, DC, serving as a member of the foster screening team and puppy foster. She lives just outside of the city with her husband and three rescue dogs.

To learn more about the Grey Muzzle Organization, click here.

Contact Joy Shrum at

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