Everyone comes to BRSM to adopt their ideal beagle --- young, active,
occasionally a couch potato --- but those dogs are rare compared to those who
have been left behind, the ones who were discarded in favor of obtaining a
newer, younger dog.
What is the story
behind the older dogs in shelters?
Sometimes these dogs had spent their lives loving a family, only to
be abandoned when their age meant they were more couch potato than
playmate, and the costs of veterinary care rose. Sometimes they were used
as hunters --- penned out in the back of someone's yard --- never knowing a warm bed
in winter or the love a house pet takes for granted. And because they are
older dogs, it doesn't matter that they are friendly, loving, outgoing, and make
wonderful house pets. Because of their age, they are either dumped in
shelters or put out of a car and left to fend for themselves. Their last memory is
often an emotionally exhausted shelter volunteer closing their eyes forever, or
of finally starving to death outside in winter . . .
They deserve better than that!
What is a "Friend of Winston?"
Winston was the founding dog of BRSM, an older gentleman who never
made it out of foster care, but found himself loved nonetheless. BRSM took care of his health concerns and allowed him to die
peacefully at his own time, not
earlier because of someone else's neglect or indifference. Most of Winston's
friends are in the same situation, and will never be adopted --- but we rescue
them from the shelters anyway. BRSM provides them with veterinary care and
finds a permanent foster home to love them. The permanent foster takes care of
the dog's routine vetting, but BRSM provides support for any
extraordinary vetting that is required.
In Winston's memory, BRSM provides
that vetting support through the Friends of Winston senior dog fostering program.
Friends of Winston participants include a network of families willing to
bring older dogs into their homes and provide them with love until
they pass over the Rainbow Bridge in their own time. We support each
other and the dogs, and form a unique sort of family.
Aware: If you become a Friend of Winston foster, it is unlikely your
foster dog will ever be adopted --- he's probably with you for life! If you
cannot help with the vetting costs (for basic care), BRSM will assist with this,
but you must use a BRSM-approved vet who is willing to discount to
rescue organizations! We realize it's not convenient when your own vet is just
across the street. But we do our best to help as many dogs as possible, and
rescue-discount vets are an integral part of that process. (And we've done a
fair job --- big pat on the back to the Friends of Winston foster homes!)
Please consider opening your heart and home to one of Winston's friends. They
don't require the non-stop attention of one of our younger dogs --- they just want
to cuddle with you when movie time rolls around. And they are fine spending their
day home alone; that means they can sleep undisturbed! It may be difficult
to think that they will be gone sooner than a younger dog, but the rewards are
ample compared to the challenges. Each of these dogs has a story of abandonment --- can
you help us make sure the remainder of their lives are happier?
If you can foster a Friend of Winston, please contact us at
It's a small way to make a huge difference, and you can make a
Please Note: Friends of Winston are always available for
regular adoption, but in the
event that they do not find their forever home, we want them to live out their
lives with a loving foster family.
All of the
BRSM programs, including Friends of Winston, are supported through
donations and fundraisers run and supported by our volunteers. BRSM does not receive any local, state, or federal funding that supports the
rescue. Our volunteers work very hard to make a program such as Friends of
Winston possible, and we very much appreciate the efforts and support of the
Friends of Winston