KENTVILLE – Elizabeth Deamone loves dogs, and loves people. And as the head of the Kings County ElderDog group, she helps both quite a lot.
Deamone was one of several ElderDog volunteers at the Paws on Pawrade ElderDog walk Sept. 29, where dogs and their humans walked around Miners Marsh in Kentville to raise awareness and financial support for the charitable organization which aims to help elderly people care for their elderly dogs.
Deamone said hello to both people and dogs as she told them about the charity and the work it does to help care for older populations.
“Let’s say your grandparent has a dog, and loves their dog, but can’t take it to the vet, to the groomer – we will do that stuff for them, free of charge,” she said.
The Kentville event was part of a cross-Canada walk raising awareness for the organization, which was founded in Lunenburg.
Along with providing free help for canine care, the organization also has a foster and adoption program for senior dogs whose owners can no longer care for them.
The process starts with a foster, and ends with adoption if the owner will no more be able to care for their dog. The organization takes each dog to the vet for a health checkup and then places them with approved fosters and later, in some cases, new owners.
Once it’s determined a dog will need to be adopted, Deamone says the organization formally adopts it – meaning if its new owner can no longer care for the dog, they re-foster until a new approved adopting person is found.
The organization is also against euthanizing older dogs, even if they are on palliative care. At that point, Deamone said it’s all about finding the right fit of dog and owner.
“Once we take a dog, it becomes our dog. Even if the dog is in palliative care, we don’t put them down. We find someone to foster them even when they’re at that point of their life,” she said.
With initial check ups averaging $500 per dog, costs rise quickly for the organization. That’s why raising awareness, recruiting volunteers and financial assistance is always a huge help, said Deamone.
Juanita LeBlanc and Rebecca Sanford both attended the walk with their dogs. LeBlanc owns a rescued Galgo named Celina, and Sanford owns a beagle named Daisy.
The sisters said they went for the walk to raise awareness for the rescue group Carlota Galgos Rescue Canada that sponsored Celina’s adoption, and other “positive” charities like ElderDog, an organization LeBlanc said she “has huge respect for.”
“There are too many dogs that are overlooked, for different reasons. Older dogs make awesome pets, and ElderDog does such a great job of helping people care for their dogs, or adopt new ones,” she said.
“These dogs deserve loving homes too.”