NORTH YARMOUTH, Maine (CNN) — Many older dogs will now be able to live out their final years in the comfort of a loving home.
Laurie Dorr of North Yarmouth, ME recently opened what she calls “Finally Home,” a rescue and retirement home for senior dogs.
“I love all dogs and senior dogs are just, they just want to be loved,” Dorr said.
She understands and accepts the wistful reality that most of her “seniors” have come to the home to finish out what’s left of their lives.
“I feel good that they’re going to have a good life here, even though it may be short,” Dorr said.
Dorr opened Finally Home in early 2019. Now, it’s a mix of her own longtime pets with other, older dogs she’s adopted from shelters as far away as Mississippi.
“I mean, I consider these my dogs now,” she said. “I’m adopting them all, I’m not fostering them.”
Dorr hopes to eventually house as many as 10 to 15 senior dogs.
Her five-acre home provides the space, her line of work allows the time, and her passion for these aging animals allows the enthusiasm to give them the attention they need.
“It doesn’t happen overnight,” Dorr said. “You have to show the dogs that no one here is going to hurt them, you know? That it’s a safe place, that this is their home now.”
Registered with the state and a recognized non-profit organization, Dorr hopes that will encourage public donations. Local pet stores have already donated food and other supplies. Any funding Dorr receives will go straight to the dogs’ much-need care.
“It’s the vet’s costs that I think I’m really trying to build a little fund for, the vet costs,” she said.
So far, all the dogs seem to be adapting to their new surroundings, which includes other dogs, cats, and a horse.
“We can pet her now,” Dorr said of one dog. “That was not a thing that was able to happen when she first came.”
Emotionally, Dorr knows exactly what she’s getting into, but the chance to give some stray or abandoned older dog a happy and healthy final home is worth whatever the length of attachment.
“You know, I’ll know the last however-long they spent here was good, so that will make me feel better,” she said.