Independence dog sanctuary gives elderly dogs a place to call home

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. -- A new retirement home is opening, but this one is going to the dogs. Shep's Place Senior Dog Sanctuary will give senior dogs who haven't been adopted a place to call home.

Shep is a 10-year-old beagle basset hound mix, and was adopted by Shep's Place founder Russell Clothier. Shep is just getting settled into his new digs. He's got a comfy couch, plenty of space, and is looking for some old dogs, just like him, to share it with.

"We want it to be as homey as possible," Clothier said. "We want it to feel like home. Most of these dogs came from a home, and also for the volunteers. It's just comfortable. We want it to be like you're own house hanging out with your own dogs."

Clothier came up with the concept after he started volunteering at shelters and saw elderly dogs never finding a new home.

"Why are you still here?" Clothier said. "We need to get you out of here. You need to be spending your golden days in retirement."

So, he bought them a house in Independence.

"Their first eight to ten years they've been in a home, and suddenly their home is gone," Clothier said. "To be able to give them that feeling again and make their remaining years a golden time for them it makes all of us feel good."

Clothier renovated the home with a special shower for dogs, and kennels for around twenty dogs to be housed together. There is also a large yard with a pen for them to wander in the grass. Clothier said giving them a home not only helps dogs, but shelters as well.

"Even if we're not taking dogs directly from the public every dog that we take from a shelter or a rescue opens up another spot for a dog to come in," Clothier said. "We're trying to help throughout the community."

Shep's Place won't take doggos directly because they want every dog to have the chance to find their own home.

"If a dog needs finding a home they should try that first, and if that works - that's best for everybody," Clothier said. "If there are dogs that fall through the cracks there, and don't find a family, that's what we're here for to give them a place to go."

All dogs go to heaven, but he said they deserve to have a place to call home first.

Shep's Place is looking for about 30 more volunteers, especially if you have time during the day. They are also accepting donations, and have a wishlist for their biggest needs.

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