Tears As Elderly Dog, 21, Abandoned at Shelter by Owner for Being ‘Too Old’. There was heartbreak at an animal shelter in Ireland after a 21-year-old dog was surrendered having been deemed “too old” to take care of by her former owner.
Holly the Labrador mix was brought in to Carrick Dog Shelter in County Monaghan earlier this month by a Monaghan County Council dog warden.
“She had been surrendered to him by her owners, presumably to be euthanized,” Helen Hewett, the manager of Carrick Dog Shelter, told Newsweek. “The warden had been advised that the dog was 21 years old, housed outside on a chain and that the owners could no longer care for the dog.”
Hewett and the rest of the staff at the shelter quickly discovered that Holly still had plenty of life left in her. “Despite hearing and sight issues (age related) the dog had a healthy appetite for food and human company and had a lovely friendly temperament,” she said. “On assessment we realized that this dog could still have a good quality of life in the right environment and placed her details on our Facebook page to help find her a placement.”
Holly the 21-year-old abandoned dog.
Holly the 21-year-old dog who was abandoned for being “too old.” She is now in a new and happy home. HELEN HEWETT/CARRICK ANIMAL SHELTER.
In the U.S, older dogs are significantly less likely to be adopted from animal shelters than young ones. According to Pet Pardon, an organization campaigning to bring an end to the use of kill shelters, it’s estimated that older dogs spend as much as four times longer in shelters than younger ones.
However, over in County Monaghan, staff at Carrick Dog Shelter were determined to ensure Holly did not fall foul of that particular statistic, so turned to social media for help. Writing in a post shared to the shelter’s Facebook account, they explained how she had been dumped by her owner “for being too old” adding that “sometimes it’s very hard to have faith in the human race.”
That faith was quickly restored by the response to the post, with animal lovers flocking to offer help to Holly. “The response to the plea was overwhelming with many people offering her a retirement home as well as some animal rescue centers,” Hewett said.
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In the end, they accepted an offer from Almost Home Animal Rescue, an established animal welfare charity in Northern Ireland that works to rescue, rehabilitate and rehome companion animals and other small animals.
“They offered a space in their specialized dog retirement village,” Hewett said. “We opted for this offer as we knew that a full vet assessment and continuing veterinary care would be provided along with all the other support required.”
Hewett is delighted with how things turned out for Holly, given the heartbreaking circumstances in which she arrived at the shelter.
“Despite being initially shocked that such an old dog was surrendered to the pound by her owners, the outcome for Holly has now been the best ever we could have wished for,” she said.
She paid tribute to the work of everyone connected with Carrick Dog Shelter, which was first established in 1995. Since then, working under Monaghan County Council , staff, volunteers and supporters across social media have been doing everything in their power to share the plight of the dogs that end up in their care, in the hopes of rehoming as many as possible.
“The results have been phenomenal with the ‘kill rate’ hugely reduced,” Hewett said. “Monaghan now has one of the lowest pound kill rates in the country.”
Holly, in the meantime, is settling into her new home. A Facebook update from Almost Home Animal Rescue NI confirmed: “After a long and no doubt confusing journey from Monaghan, [Holly] was settled in with her new friends. Despite the disruption in her life, this sweet girl’s tail hasn’t stopped wagging. Who knows how much longer [Holly] has but one thing we can promise is that for whatever time she has, she will be truly loved and cared for…Welcome to the family.”