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.
“We were unable to take her since we had exceeded the city’s pet limit with my husband and I. Her age made it impossible for her to find a new home with a rescue organization, she explained.
Valeria now accepts all elderly dogs whose owners have died or moved into a retirement home and who have spent too much time at a shelter.
“The dogs live openly with us and go freely between the two buildings.” They accompany us wherever we go and are treated as members of the family.”
“The best thing is seeing how they change when they realize they are protected and loved.”
“Our mission is to assist people in preparing for the end of life, because none of us have a guarantee of tomorrow.”
“We get to send our seniors off in style and comfort.” Yes, it hurts, but loving and caring for them is a privilege.”
“I had intended to help people who, like my father, could no longer care for their beloved senior dogs, but then my eyes were opened to how many dogs there were out there who needed help.” It is truly a forgotten sector of the rescue world.”
So Valerie and her husband Josh relocated from Kansas City to their new home/sanctuary in Hermitage, Missouri.
They live in a 3,000-square-foot house with a 1,700-square-foot outbuilding dedicated to the dogs.
“The sanctuary genuinely blossomed and grew to be far larger than I had anticipated. “I adore that we have so many little hearts that love us back.”
Valerie’s only wish is for the dogs to “leave this earth knowing they were loved.”
She now employs 17 full-time staff members who provide 24-hour care for all 80 dogs! Since their inception, they have assisted over 790 pets in transitioning to their next lives.
“Our desire is for them to exit this world knowing they were loved.” We usually embrace each other and cry together. “They are family members, and we all love them,” she explained.
“We all need to plan for the future, not just our wives and children, but even our cherished dogs.” Death is not frightening. It is a gift to grow old, and we must all confront mortality at some point.”
“We assist as many senior dogs as we can, but we are overwhelmed by the volume and then the medical costs.” We intend to raise awareness about the critical need for senior care as well as about our sanctuary.”