Dog owner turns home into sanctuary so homeless seniors can spend last days loved

senior dogs sleeping on sofa dog-happy © Whispering Willows Senior Dog Sanctuary, Inc. - Facebook

It’s heart-breaking to see pets without homes. Especially pets who are old and have spent their whole lives with their owners. This woman decided to do something about it.

By Justine Seraphin

Published on the , Updated on the

Valerie Reid first thought of starting a senior dog sanctuary after her father passed away and she struggled to find a place to take in his ageing Dobermann. She personally couldn’t adopt him because she already had too many dogs, but sadly, shelters were also reluctant to take the dog in due to his age. Thankfully, a foster family stepped up and took the Dobermann under their wing until he passed away, a year and a half later.

Dropping everything to help dogs

The whole experience got Valerie thinking about what happened to old dogs if their owners passed away, had to be hospitalised, or go to a nursing home, for example. Often, people forget to plan for their pets, and if there’s no family or friends around to help, they end up homeless.

Related video:


Valerie, along with her husband, decided to move out of the city into a large home in Hermitage, Missouri. There, she set up the Whispering Willows Senior Dog Sanctuary. She started taking in dozens of senior dogs who had nowhere else to go, enabling them to live out their final months or years in comfort, joy, and love.


Stewie just wants to be held. He was picked up by animal control and his owner never came to get him. He is mostly blind...

Posted by Whispering Willows Senior Dog Sanctuary, Inc. on Friday, March 6, 2020

A saviour for seniors

Today, Valerie has up to 80 dogs at any one time. She has 17 full-time staff who care for the dogs 24/7. Her goal is to help as many as possible – but also to raise awareness about how important it is to plan for our pets, especially as we get older.

She truly is a hero! Thank you Valerie!

Leave a comment
0 comment
Confirmation of deletion

Are you sure you want to delete the comment?

Connect to comment