Seniors for Seniors: Dogs’ Refuge Home hosting foster program


Joan and Mike Gourley have taken in Hazel, fostering her until she finds a new home. Picture: Matt Jelonek
Joan and Mike Gourley have taken in Hazel, fostering her until she finds a new home. Picture: Matt Jelonek

A 10-year-old cattle dog called Hazel is one of the first dogs to take part in a ‘Seniors for Seniors’ foster program organised by the Dogs’ Refuge Home in Shenton Park.       

The organisation rescued Hazel when she was abandoned by her previous owner, and she is now being fostered by Duncraig residents Michael and Joan Gourley until a good home can be found for her with retirees.

The animal-loving senior couple has been fostering Hazel for several weeks, and say she is a happy, affectionate older dog who is house trained and would make a loyal companion.

“Hazel is a friendly, obedient dog who loves short walks, human company and playing with the ball,” Mrs Gourley says.

“She really is a joy to have around the house; although she has a couple of health issues, she would be perfect for an older person who still enjoys walking and having a four-legged companion in the house.”

Hazel is one of a dozen dogs currently looking for homes with senior owners, who may be keen for the companionship of a dog, but do not want to adopt a younger pet that needs training.

The program aims to re-home dogs more than eight years old by matching the right older dog with the right older owner.

Refuge president Karen Rhodes said senior dogs have many benefits for older owners who would like the companionship of a dog, but are unable to make the “17-year commitment” involved with a puppy.

“The benefits of owning a dog are well documented, as dogs can offer older people companionship, provide a reason to get out of the house, and offer many health benefits associated with daily walking,” she said.

“It is understandable that older people feel unable to take on the responsibility of young dogs, which is why the refuge has a program specially tailored for seniors who want the companionship of a four-legged friend.”

Anyone interested in learning more about the ‘Seniors for Seniors’ program can visit the refuge at Lemnos Street in Shenton Park, go to www.dogshome.org.au or call 9381 8166.