Sanctuary receives grant for elder dogs

  • Contributed photo

    Rainbow Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kurtistown on the Big Island has received a grant for elder dogs, and Oscar, at right, is thankful.

HILO — Old dogs have something to wag about this summer as The Grey Muzzle Organization announced Rainbow Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kurtistown as one of the recipients of its annual grants.

The sanctuary was chosen to receive the first-ever grant from the House with a Heart Fund for Seriously Senior Dogs.

This grant will supplement Rainbow Friends’ existing program that provides dental and medical care for senior dogs to include the special needs of seriously senior dogs — dogs who are age 12 and older. The funding will also be used to provide medical treatment for senior dogs that remain with their low-income owners.

“This grant will help us give senior dogs like 13-year-old Oscar the veterinary and dental care he needs so he’ll be ready to go to his forever home,” said Mary Rose Krijgsman of Rainbow Friends. “No one is more grateful or loving than an old dog, and we’re looking forward to helping more senior dogs get the second chance they all deserve.”

Rainbow Friends will develop and implement a lecture program called “Aging is Not a Disease” to educate pet owners and sanctuary volunteers about the canine aging process and encourage their partnership in the care of their aging dogs. The free lectures will be provided regularly by the Rainbow Friends spay/neuter veterinarian. Announcements for days and times will be announced on the Rainbow website, Facebook and Instagram.

Over the past decade, the national nonprofit Grey Muzzle Organization has provided nearly $1.5 million in grants to support its vision of “a world where no old dog dies alone and afraid.”

“Thanks to the generosity of our donors, we’re delighted to help deserving organizations like Rainbow Friends make a difference in the lives of dogs and people in their communities,” Grey Muzzle’s Executive Director Lisa Lunghofer said. “Many senior dogs in Eastern Hawaii are enjoying their golden years in loving homes thanks to the wonderful work of Rainbow Friends.”

Rainbow Friends Animal Sanctuary is a no-kill/animals-alive sanctuary formed in 1999 to assist Hawaii County residents in alleviating the animal abandonment and overpopulation issues facing the island, as well as promoting the social, emotional and health benefits of animal companionship.

For more information, visit rainbowfriends.org or call 982-5110.

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