As many people know, we purchased a property in Wheatfield that did not work out for us. Consequently, we are searching for a new home we are confident we will find. Meanwhile, this experience taught us that there are many misconceptions about the project that we want to address.
One of the most frequent concerns of people regarding living near a senior dog sanctuary is their fear of endless barking. I currently live with five old dogs. Do they bark? Twice a day at mealtimes for about a minute when I am on one side of the door pouring out the food, and they are on the other. Other than that, they bark if someone rings my doorbell. And again, for a minute or two.
These are old dogs, and they mostly sleep.
Our dogs at the sanctuary will not be separated from one another. Dogs that are housed separately in kennel situations experience stress for many reasons, and stress can lead to excessive barking.
Here are two quotes from two separate articles our intrepid volunteer, Joe Fecio, was able to find for us:
“Cohabitation is another way to reduce both noise and stress. Dogs housed in social groups vocalize less, sleep more and show fewer abnormal behaviors. Cohabitation has worked well in both Germany and Japan, but it is slow to catch on in the US.
A common noise problem in shelters occurs when dogs are placed in gated kennels along the perimeter of a large room. The dogs receive negative stimulation when they see other dogs, especially when they see other dogs receiving attention.”
- Crista Coppola, Adjunct Instructor in Veterinary Medicine
"Keeping dogs in groups leads to a significant reduction in noise emissions."
- Petra Mertens and Jay Unshelm, 'Effects of group and individual housing on the behavior of kenneled dogs in shelters.'
Our dogs will not be running free. When outdoors, they will be safely behind fences or at the end of leashes. Unlike young, exuberant dogs, these guys will mostly be lying around and content to have their ears rubbed. They will be indoors at night, behind sound-proofed walls. (And despite comments to the contrary, you really can sound-proof spaces. I know. I lived on top of a recording studio in my youth!
And a last but not insignificant component, I will be living on the premises, which means I will be right there to intervene should someone’s barking get out of control.
My pledge to you - White Whiskers will be a good neighbor. We will maintain a clean and litter-free property. We will keep our doors open to interested parties who will be able to stop in and see what we are about. We will maintain an open dialog with the residents of our community and work to resolve any problems or issues that arise.
We want to be loved – just like our dogs – and we will work hard to make that happen!
When we rang in 2020 last year, none of us could have predicted the kind of world changes we were about to experience. To say it’s been a tough one is an understatement.
When I realized what I wanted to do with the rest of my life in the summer of 2019, I knew it wouldn’t be easy. Creating a much-needed senior dog sanctuary here in WNY, which would also benefit humans, seemed like a pipe dream. There was no way to predict how challenging this quest would be during a pandemic.
But many people bought in right away! With a dedicated team of volunteers, including a wonderful 12 member board of directors, the support we realized was gratifying!
We received our 501c3 charity designation on Christmas Eve, 2019. Ace of Spades Design came forward and offered to construct our website, and through our Facebook page, we began to accrue a passionate following. Long-time dog-enthusiast friends climbed onboard. A talented local artist, Mary Gross, created White Whiskers Artistic Creations, a Facebook page of local artists and crafters, all of whom donate their works to the cause. This page brought in well over $10,000 in 2020 alone. And this, despite the pandemic!
We also decided to partner with local rescues and shelters to help them find homes for senior dogs. The White Whiskers Senior Dog Adoptables Facebook page was born along with a feature on White Whiskers’ main Facebook page that we call Senior Sunday. Through these efforts, we have helped find loving families for many homeless senior pups.
Things are really happening for us! Our network has grown, and our supporters have multiplied. Local media is recognizing our efforts, and our social media pages are flourishing with 4,800+ followers. Even though we had to cancel 13 events last year, we raised an astounding $100,000!
Going forward, along with the realization of our dream to have a senior dog sanctuary, we make these promises to you:
In the end, the White Whiskers Senior Dog Sanctuary will be a gift to our community, a place of peace, comfort and solace. With all of you, we WILL get this done – TOGETHER!
A very big THANK YOU to all!
Western New York needs a senior dog sanctuary! Many older dogs need special attention and care that cannot always be provided by other shelters. I want to make sure that our aging furry friends are given the best lives possible!
I have owned dogs pretty much all my life and have 27 boxes of ashes because of my habit of adopting the elderly and/or infirm. All lives have meaning! No matter the circumstances, all of us, two and four-legged, need love!
This project will not only provide comfort and security for our senior canines, our plan is to also impact our community in very positive ways! While being a safe harbor for old dogs, we can be a beacon of light and an agent of comfort for people who are struggling with a myriad of issues. The therapeutic nature of dogs is well known. In rescuing them, we will also be rescuing ourselves, as well as those in need of emotional support around us!
To make this happen it’s going to require ALL of us - no exceptions! Despite our differences, we truly will unite for the greater good.
Lofty and ambitious plans? You bet!
Realizable? I am sure of it, as I have been sure of nothing else!
We WILL make this happen! And you are all welcome to come along for this ride!
Founder & President
White Whiskers Senior Dog Sanctuary
Your support and contributions will enable us to purchase a property to make our vision a reality! Your generous donation will help animals and people in need.
Copyright © 2021 White Whiskers Senior Dog Sanctuary - All Rights Reserved. Photos by New Leaf Photography of Buffalo. Website design by Ace of Spades Design.
WWSDS is a 501c3 charitable organization.
Once again, we are competing in Cellino Plumbing's 2023 Annual Truck Wrap Contest and we need your votes!
The winner of the Truck Wrap Contest has the opportunity to design a co-branded, custom-designed wrap for one of Cellino Plumbing & HVAC trucks. In addition, the winner receives a $25 donation for every completed furnace or A/C tune-up for a whole year.
To learn more about the contest and to cast your vote, please follow the link: