A Chicago-area rescue that focuses on saving senior cats and dogs from open admission shelters is looking to the future with plans for a new center to help them save more animals. The ultimate goal for Young At Heart Pet Rescue (YAH) is to open an adoption center and sanctuary that will help them save more animals looking for a home and enable them to give refuge to animals that may be too sick or to old to actually find a home.
“We decided as a board that if we were going to truly rescue senior pets, we needed to give them a happily ever after even if it was for a short time,” says Dawn Kemper, executive director of YAH. “If we rescue a dog or cat that has medical issues out of the reach of what is normal – advanced kidney disease, cancer or other issues, we transfer those animals into sanctuary.”
Because YAH doesn’t currently have a facility, they create a “Sanctuary of the Heart” program. When the rescue pulls animals from other shelters, the goal is to find them a home. However advanced age or severe health problems often make that difficult if not impossible and those animals need sanctuary.
“Because we don’t have a facility, we have designated foster homes that take in the dogs and cats and care for them for the rest of their lives,” says Kemper. “Young at Heart covers the cost of food, medical and other treatments, and the home is a safe haven for the animals. Some last just a few weeks and others for several years. They get a family and the love the deserve at the end.”
The organization would like to purchase 25-acres in the Northwest suburbs to build the new Sanctuary and Adoption Center. They started a grassroots campaign a few years ago to help make this dream a reality.
“Unfortunately, the economy tanked shortly after that. However, it is our long-term goal to build this facility,” says Kemper. “We currently just don’t have the capacity to take in all the senior animals that need a second chance because we get 30 requests a day from open admission shelters in Illinois. With a sanctuary and adoption center, we’ll be able to increase the number of animals we can rescue considerably.”
Learn more about the sanctuary and how to donate online and follow them on Facebook.
November has been designated Adopt-A-Senior Pet month to help promote the adoption of senior pets from shelters and rescues. During November, I’m highlighting the benefits of adopting senior pets, programs available for adopting senior pets and some of the products and services available to assist older pets.
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