If you are looking for a new pet why not consider adopting an older dog which will fill your home with love, affection and joy?
EVERY YEAR, countless pets are given up or abandoned by their owners and the search for a new home for them begins.
But while young, healthy, sprightly dogs are often sought after, older pets can be harder to re-home despite often being the most wonderful, loving companions.
The Oldies Club is a national organisation which works specifically with older dogs – and it was the plight of Ted – a 13-yearold dog discovered lost on the streets of Warrington – which saw the charity founded.
Chairman Carolyn Astbury explains: “A small group of like minded people, linked by their love of dogs and members of the same forum, read of Ted’s plight and decided to do something to help him. Ted had been found straying in Cheshire, and sent to kennels. No owner came forward, so they decided to try and help him. An offer of a foster home came about and seeing him flourish, lots of people offered to give Ted a permanent home. There were so many people wanting to offer an older dog a home, and so many older dogs needing a home – they decided to put these two groups in touch. And that is how the Oldies Club started.”
She says while some oldies might still be very active and need a daily walk, perfect for families and children, others might just want to potter around the garden and snooze by your feet – which, she says, can be perfect for someone seeking a dog as a companion but who cannot satisfy the exercise demands of a young dog.
“Also they are usually past the chewing stage, are calmer, house trained and easier to manage than an adolescent,” she smiles.
There are many reasons why older pets need re-homing. An owner might pass away, be seriously ill or need to go into a care home or different accommodation where pets aren’t allowed.
The charity doesn’t have rescue centres, instead it has a network of dedicated foster carers, opening up their homes and hearts to older dogs while a permanent home is sought. Anyone can apply to become a fosterer depending on certain criteria. There are several in East Anglia already and the charity is always looking for more.
“We aim to support our fosterers as much as we support our dogs, and everyone has a dedicated foster support person; we cover all vet’s bills for our oldies in foster care and only ask that you provide their food, unless they require a special diet.
“It is our aim to ensure that an Oldies Club dog is shown respect from the minute they come into our care for the rest of their lives. We insist on adopters going to meet the dog in its foster home, so if things don’t work out, the dog isn’t affected. We have a superb aftercare coordinator available for the rest of the dog’s life, and if for any reason an adopter is unable to continue looking after their dog, we will always take it back.”
To become a fosterer, or to adopt a dog, see www.oldies.org.uk