OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — In this house, it's all about dogs. It's home to 28 furry residents, elderly dogs who have nowhere else to go, and will likely pass away soon.
"Lots of owner surrenders, shelter dogs, every once in a while, i'll get a call if someone has surrendered an older dog at one of the shelters and then they call us and ask us if we will take them and I make those dogs a priority because I just don't think old dogs belong in shelters. Most of the dogs that join us are between 13 and 18 years old." Cathy Graeve said, owner of Promise 4 Paws said.
Graeve opened the sanctuary in Missouri Valley, Iowa in 2010 before moving to this new house in Council Bluffs in December.
"A group of us all worked together volunteering together at an animal shelter. And we were taking dogs home like adopting taking them home, trying to find them homes, the ones that were unadoptable. we did that for years and then finally we decided we needed to become a rescue because we couldn't do this anymore - we had too many dogs, all of our friends and family wouldn't answer our calls anymore they're like, oh no, there's going to be a dog involved in this phone call," Graeve said.
The new home is designed and maintained to cater entirely to senior dogs.
"They just do what they want all day and on nice days they'll go outside and hang out for two to three hours, come in get a drink, get a new bed in here," Graeve said.
Each one with their own favorite napping spot, and their pictures hanging on the wall, even honoring the ones who have passed on.
"No one suffers while they're here," Graeve said.
The doggy senior retirement center is run around the clock by volunteers.
"They're pretty lucky dogs. Most dogs don't have their people with them 24/7 like them do so they all have types of moms and dads," Graeve said.
Volunteers who appreciate the wear and tear of these seniors, whose time is limited. They help make sure those days are as happy as they can be.
"We just want them to have a good quality end of life and be comfortable... as long as they're still moving, eating, and going outside and wagging then they're still okay. This is ideal for me because you can have a bazillion and be a dog hoarder and it's legal. i'm a legal dog hoarder," Graeve said.