Meet Valerie Reid, the amazing lady who couldn’t bear the idea of any elderly dogs dying alone, so she turned her home into a hospice!
The non-profit Whispering Willows Senior Dog Sanctuary in Missouri now looks after up to 80 pups at the same time.
The sanctuary was created in 2017 after Valerie had trouble finding a home for her father’s elderly Doberman.
“My husband and I were at our city’s pet limit and we were unable to take her. We looked everywhere for any rescue that would help and due to her age none would home her,” she said.
Now Valeria takes in all elderly dogs whose humans have passed or moved into a retirement home and have spent too long at a shelter.
“The dogs live with us openly and go between the two buildings. anywhere we go, they go and are treated as part of the family.”
“The best part is the transformation they go through when they know that they are safe and loved.”
“Our vision is to help people prepare for the end of life, none of us are guaranteed tomorrow.”
“We get to send our seniors off in comfort and love. Yes, it hurts but it is an honor to love and care for them.”
“I had wanted to help those that were in a situation like my dad and could truly no longer care for their beloved senior dogs, but then my eyes were opened to just how many dogs out there needed help. It truly is a forgotten segment of the rescue world.”
So Valerie and her husband Josh moved out of their home in Kansas City to their new house/sanctuary in Hermitage Missouri.
They have a 3,000 square foot home with a 1,700 square foot outbuilding just for the dogs.
“The sanctuary truly evolved and became bigger and bigger than I had even thought. I love having so many little hearts that love us back.”
All Valerie wants is for the dogs to “leave this earth knowing they were cherished.”
Now she has 17 full-time staff who offer 24 hours care for all 80 dogs! Since their opening, they’ve managed to comfort over 790 dogs into their next lives.
“Our goal is for them to leave this earth knowing they were cherished. We hold each one and usually cry together. They are family members and all of us love them,” she said.
“All of us need to plan for the future, that not only includes spouses and children but also beloved pets. Death is not scary, it is a privilege to grow old and we all must face death someday.”
“We help as many senior dogs as we can but we are overwhelmed with the quantity and then the medical expenses. We hope to raise awareness showing the great need for senior care as well as awareness for our sanctuary.”