Young at Heart – a safe haven for senior pets


Senior pets, who find themselves homeless in their twilight years, often top the list of at-risk animals at open-admission animal control agencies. Unfortunately, most potential adopters walk into shelters seeking out puppies and kittens, rather than the animals who have already given the majority of their life to someone else.

Homeless pets in northern Illinois are fortunate to have a non-profit rescue organization to help them find an adoptive home to live out the remainder of their life in. Young at Heart Senior Pet Adoptions operates on the belief that “Love Has No Age Limit.” The rescue group, which was founded in 2005, pulls 100 percent of their “grey muzzles” from open admission shelters. The pets are then rehabilitated and adopted to loving homes in the Midwest.

The rescue agency is currently working on a bigger dream. Currently, dogs and cats leave the open-admission shelter and enter a foster home with a rescue group volunteer, but Young at Heart hopes for something better – an actual sanctuary and adoption center for senior pets.

Dawn Kemper, Executive Director of the rescue agency, commented on the inspiration for an adoption center and senior sanctuary:

There are very few resources for senior pets when their guardians can no longer care for them. By building a home-like facility, we can provide more senior pets with a second chance.

All of us at Young at Heart have worked very hard for 11 years to save senior pets in need, working with a small army of foster homes. The addition of a cage-less adoption center and sanctuary would allow so many more homeless senior pets to get the second chance they deserve in their golden years.

Fundraising efforts for the adoption center are already underway. Kemper commented on plans to break ground:

With the help of donations from pet lovers, we plan to break ground in the Spring of 2017. We own eight beautiful acres in Woodstock, IL that are zoned and ready for our safe haven for senior pets. An incredibly generous and talented team of pet-loving architects and engineers have helped us lay out the plans. We’re busy raising the remaining $550,000 of our goal to break ground.

She enthusiastically added:

I cannot wait until the moment Young at Heart’s adoption center opens its doors, providing safe place that wraps senior dogs and cats in love and care while they adjust to a new life. Being able to provide a homelike environment where the cats can bathe in the sun and the dogs can lounge on couches while they wait to meet their new families is going to be a dream come true.

Read more about this project, and how you can help, at this link to the online fundraiser.

Find Young at Heart Senior Pet Adoptions’ website here.

Follow the rescue agency on Facebook at this link.

Penny Eims

Penny is a freelance writer who provided content to her National Dog News column at for 8 years. She is a current contributor to Fido Friendly Magazine, as well as a newly formed website, Pet Rescue Report. Penny is married and she has two rescued German shepherds and two kids.

1 comment

  1. Tinamarie says:

    I just know if you all talked to Oprah Winfrey about this , some hoe, some way , you wouldn’t have to waste time raising that kind of money because she’s the type of Woman that would gladly help out in an urgent need like this ?❤️?

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