Lori Fusaro has a mission near and dear to her heart: changing the perception people have about adopting older dogs. Her Silver Hearts project focuses attention on the many positives older animals can bring to your home.
A photographer by trade, Fusaro often donates her time to taking pictures of the dogs in Los Angeles’ many pet shelters to try to encourage their adoption. As time went on, she became horrified by the number of older dogs languishing in shelters simply because people wanted puppies. She found that many senior pets get abandoned at shelters as their elderly family members are sent to nursing homes.
She also found that senior dogs have a particularly hard time in shelters because they often have gotten used to living the life of Riley in the family home. The crowded, noisy shelter can make them extremely nervous and shy, making it even less likely they will be adopted.
Although elderly dogs are more likely than puppies to have health problems, they are also calmer, less likely to chew your shoes, and usually fully housebroken.
The senior dog that Fusaro fell in love with has cancer. She knows she will have to make some heartbreaking decisions, but says, “I always come back to the idea that no dog should have to die alone. Even if she got just two months of joyous, happy life, it’s worth it for my heartbreak.”
To call attention to these dogs, Fusaro is working on a collection of photographs which will eventually be bound into a book called “Silver Hearts”. Proceeds of the book will be donated to shelters that do a particularly good job of placing older dogs, including Peace of Mind Dog Rescue in Grove, Calif., Willy’s Happy Endings in Woodlawn, Tenn., and Louie’s Legacy Animal Rescue in Ohio and New York.
She is still seeking funding for her project. Find out how you can help on the Silver Hearts Project page.
Until next time,
Good day, and good dog!