Saturday, June 23, 2018
Pets

Canine senior citizens in demand for adoption

Erin O'Sullivan wants to change lives by finding new homes for old dogs.

Visitors to her popular Facebook page say she has done just that by helping them discover the pets they didn't know they were missing. O'Sullivan's page tells stories about pooches past their prime that need loving homes and taps into the wellspring of animal lovers seeking calmer, well-trained dogs or those wanting to care for pets in their twilight years. Shelters will ask her to help place older dogs that aren't as sought-after as puppies, many of which have extensive health problems that can stall adoptions.

"I think more than food or water, companionship is lifeblood to a dog," said O'Sullivan, who lives in Los Angeles. She is convinced that when an older dog is adopted, they will live longer.

Many shelters and rescues online and off focus on senior dog adoptions that are growing in popularity. But O'Sullivan's page, Susie's Senior Dogs, has gotten more attention than most thanks to a big boost from her boyfriend, an Internet star who owns a dog named Susie.

Brandon Stanton of Brooklyn is the author of a much-read blog called Humans of New York, which claims 4 million followers on social media and chronicles the lives of New Yorkers.

Three years ago, Stanton adopted Susie, an 11-year-old Chihuahua.

"She is the greatest dog in New York ... I didn't realize what it meant to have an animal attach itself to you so her only concern in life is being close to you," he said.

O'Sullivan had set up a Facebook page for Susie, which had about 10,000 "likes" the morning she changed its purpose to finding other old dogs new homes. Stanton pitched the page on his blog, and by nightfall the page had 10 times as many followers. That number has since grown to more than 150,000, and she has helped nearly 200 dogs since January.

That includes a 12-year-old pooch that Britany Spangler of Grand Rapids, Mich., found on the page.

"I never intended on getting a dog until I saw our Molly," she said.

The Lhasa apso was missing teeth, was infested with worms and fleas, had an allergy that made her hair fall out and suffered kidney problems.

Despite those issues, the dog gets along well with her three children, who are all under 3, Spangler said.

"It was like they had been together forever," she said. "She came potty-trained and full of love. If she is with us for six months, she blesses us for six months. If she is with us for five years, she enriches our lives for five years."

Meanwhile, O'Sullivan and animal rescuer Elli Frank are trying to help Tanya, an 8-year-old pit bull mix that was all but forgotten after being dumped at a shelter as a puppy.

Frank is the founder of New York City's Mr. Bones and Co., which takes in a few animals at a time. It won't acquire other dogs until Tanya has a home. The dog has been adopted twice but then returned. Frank has since sent her to an obedience school.

"I want her to be the most adoptable dog she can be," she said. "It's so wrong that she doesn't have a home."

Comments
Find A Friend: Tum Tum and Colt, the kittens

Find A Friend: Tum Tum and Colt, the kittens

Why is June named National Adopt-a- Cat Month? Because thousands of orphaned kittens across the country are ready for adoption in the warm spring and summer months. Tum Tum and Colt were part of a litter left on a doorstop. They went from cardboard b...
Published: 06/19/18
Hernando Pet of the Week for June 22

Hernando Pet of the Week for June 22

Hernando County Animal ServicesDusty is a 3-year-old black and brown tabby. She was found wandering in a yard off Spring Hill Drive and brought to the shelter. Dusty is sweet, friendly and looking for a forever home. Inquiries about adopting Dusty or...
Published: 06/18/18
Updated: 06/20/18
Find A Friend: Sky the hound

Find A Friend: Sky the hound

It’s time to salute fathers, and Second Chance Friends has exactly what dear old Dad wants: a perky, young, blonde. Sky is a 2 and a half-year old fawn hound that came into rescue at the brink of starvation. Now a healthy 41 pounds, Sky deeply loves ...
Published: 06/15/18
Find A Friend: Charlie the Maine Coon Cat

Find A Friend: Charlie the Maine Coon Cat

There’s so much to celebrate, like Adopt-a-Cat Month and Father’s Day. In a proper salute to dads everywhere, Second Chance Friends proudly presents a very cool cat: Charlie, the man-sized Maine Coon. He’s large, rugged, golden-eyed, and so-o-o-o goo...
Published: 06/11/18
Updated: 06/12/18
Find A Friend: Molly the Tortie Cat

Find A Friend: Molly the Tortie Cat

June is national Adopt-A-Cat month, and Molly’s ready. She’s all over this calendar celebration. Molly was rescued around Easter, just in time to give birth and TLC to five little ones. Now, it’s Molly’s turn to be a pampered inside kitty. The pretty...
Updated one month ago
Hernando Pet of the Week for June 15

Hernando Pet of the Week for June 15

Hernando County Animal ServicesNadaysha is a beautiful 2-1/2-year-old red female terrier mix. She is a sweet and shy dog. Nadaysha is being treated for flea allergies, and has been spayed, microchipped, vaccinated and has a 1-year county animal licen...
Published: 06/06/18
Updated: 06/13/18
Find A Friend: Delilah the puppy

Find A Friend: Delilah the puppy

Dedicated volunteers for New Life Dog Rescue often have their hands full turning around the community’s neediest pets. But they also save and foster perfectly healthy pups, too, like Delilah. This 9-week-old, 10-pounder is the princess of spunk. She ...
Updated one month ago
Hernando Pet of the Week for June 8

Hernando Pet of the Week for June 8

Humane Society of the Nature CoastBonnet is a 2-year-old pit bull terrier. He’s a show stopper and is looking for a family to love. Inquiries about adopting Bonnet or other dogs and cats can be made at the Humane Society of the Nature Coast shelter a...
Updated one month ago
Animal house? Colleges saying yes to pets

Animal house? Colleges saying yes to pets

Most dorm residents at Southeast Missouri State University will show up this fall with bedding, a laptop, a backpack and other typical accessories. A few dozen others will tote something furrier — and breathing: Their pets.The school in Cape Girardea...
Updated one month ago
Find A Friend: Jewel the Cat

Find A Friend: Jewel the Cat

June is National Adopt-a-Cat-Month, and this one’s a diamond in the rough. She once lived as a stray where neighborhood kids had created a homemade collar out of fishing line, adorned with a shiny little bead. That led the community to give her a pro...
Updated one month ago