Foster owners give 17-year-old dog a new home to ring in the new year

·2 min read

Happy New Year, Caesar.

The 17-year-old dog, a Cane Corso with arthritis, is being welcomed into a palliative-care "forever" home, just days after his situation was posted online by the SPCA in Cape Breton.

Heather Woodin, director of programs and administration for the Nova Scotia SPCA, said the organization will continue to cover Caesar's medical bills.

"He still has a really good quality of life, he's still really happy and bouncy, and you wouldn't know he is the age he is," said Woodin.

People have 'lots of love to give'

In many circumstances, older dogs and cats have to be given up to shelters like the SPCA when their owners can no longer afford the medical care for the animal. The owner may also have moved into a nursing home or another arrangement.

Woodin said many people are looking for a pet, but may not be able to afford one, so they will foster an older animal.

"The people we've had coming forward have been amazing. They have lots of love to give and sometimes they just aren't able to take on the expenses," said Woodin.

Woodin said this year with so many people forced to be home it has been particularly good for older animals looking for their palliative-care home.

Finding the right home

Many of the animals do have medical issues, so they require a lot of attention and love from their foster owner. To not shock the animal, they like to place them in foster homes that are similar to the ones that they were used to.

"A quieter home with not a lot of activity, but one where they will still have a lot of enjoyment and get to go for walks, however short they are," said Woodin.

Woodin said the organization's ultimate goal is to keep senior animals in their own home with their original owners. They have programs to help make sure that is the case.

Paws and Support can help owners who may have to be away from their dogs for reasons like an extended stay in the hospital or in a domestic abuse situation. The SPCA will board their animals until they can get them safely back to their owners.