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  • Jennifer Sharp

Green Heart Rescue: Giving Senior Dogs the Life They Deserve


Long before Green Heart Rescue ever came to fruition, Shannon Benecke’s eyes were opened to the needs of senior dogs. In 2005 she adopted a senior dog named Dasher, he was a chihuahua mix and a bit of a grumpy old man. Dasher was a candidate for euthanasia because of his age, shelter overcrowding, and some health issues. After Shannon adopted him, he was able to live out his final four years like a king. She spoiled him, giving him the most comfortable retirement possible, including cooking his meals which ensured they were healthy and preservative-free.


Adopting senior dogs is not without its challenges. With elderly dogs can come health issues, including sight or hearing impairment or kidney and liver problems. One of the most difficult aspects of adopting a senior dog is knowing your time with them will be short.


The positives far outweigh the negatives. Being more on the vintage side, they are usually pretty calm, with no wild puppy behavior. Usually, they just want to nap in comfort. Adopted senior dogs are often so appreciative that you have given them a comfortable home and look at you with pure love. While your time with them may be short, the reward of knowing you gave them the most comfortable life possible is worth it in itself.


After Dasher passed over the Rainbow Bridge, Shannon kept busy within the rescue community. She took in other senior fosters and had a sense of fulfillment. It was the missing piece of the puzzle for her.


In 2018 she took the leap to make it official and started the paperwork for a 501(c)(3), Making Green Heart Rescue, an official charity. They are completely volunteer-based and all money raised goes towards the needs of the senior, hospice, and special needs dogs they place. This means when a dog is placed in a foster home Green Heart Rescue covers all medical expenses and food. In the three years they have been operating, they have helped over 100 dogs live out their final days in comfort, in a real home.


The Treasure Valley Community has been incredibly generous with helping to raise donations and spread the word about the need to help senior dogs. Social media has been the main form of communication to let the Boise area know which dogs are available for fostering and helping in fundraising efforts.


If you would like to donate to Green Heart Rescue or are interested in fostering a senior dog, please contact them. Please visit their website at: https://greenheartrescue.org

or email Shannon directly at greenheartrescue@gmail.com


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