Valerie Reed opened Whispering Willows Senior Dog Shelter in 2017, providing a relaxing getaway for senior dogs.
The animal lover couldn’t bear the thought of dogs dying alone. Therefore, she decided, together with her husband, to create a shelter for these good old four-legged companions in her own estate.
The trigger came from his late dad’s Doberman. It’s hard to find a family willing to adopt an elderly dog… Finally, after a long and long search, the foster family, who had heard of his story, offered to help. The latter lived with several older canines that roamed freely around the farm, according to People magazine.
“My father’s Doberman Pinscher lived there for another one and a half happy years,” said Valerie Reed, “It made me think about what happens to older dogs that were once beloved pets. I wanted to help those who were in the same situation as my father’s dog. So Valerie Reid opened the doors of the Whispering Willows shelter for senior dogs in 2017 in the Hermitage, Missouri (USA).
Currently, about 80 elderly and terminally ill dogs live in the «nursing home». Some graying hairballs come from shelters, others arrived after the death of their owner. “Dogs live with us, they follow us everywhere and are considered part of our family,” said the director of the shelter.
Residents can safely walk around the fenced area of 2 hectares, as well as relax in comfortable baskets scattered around the territory. Of course, furry residents are pampered with toys and treats.
But providing round-the-clock care for so many animals is not easy. So Valerie and her husband are assisted by 17 other employees. The team has rescued about 800 dogs since the facility opened.
“Our goal is for them to leave this world knowing that they are valued,” said Valerie Reed, “We care for each of them and usually cry together when they leave us. They are family members and we all love them.»