Answer the following questions to find out if he/she qualifies to become an Old Souls resident.
1. Is the animal legally yours or legally in your possession?
Surrendering a pet involves transferring legal ownership to Old Souls. We will only deal directly with owners during the surrender process unless the owner is incapacitated or has passed away. The owner of the animal is required to sign a form that transfers ownership to Old Souls and verifies that the owner agrees to the terms and conditions of relinquishment.
2. Is the dog old enough to come to Old Souls?
We only take in geriatric, special needs, and hospice animals that we believe, based on our experience, will not live for more than one year. In most cases, this equates to XL breeds over the age of 10 years, large breeds over the age of 12 years, and small to medium-sized dogs over the age of 15 years. We rarely make exceptions to these requirements because we would be overrun with dogs that will live longer than we are able to provide them with care.
3. Does the dog have at least one life-threatening medical condition or special need, or is he/she in need of hospice care?
Candidates for Old Souls usually have a life-threatening condition, such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, or congestive heart failure. If your dog is old and has nothing wrong with him/her, he/she is likely not a candidate for Old Souls unless they at least meet the age requirements.
4. Is the dog spayed/neutered and fully vaccinated?
We will not take in dogs that are not spayed/neutered or not fully vaccinated. If your dog meets our other requirements but not these, you must have him/her spayed/neutered and fully vaccinated before we will accept him/her into the rescue.
5. Are you prepared to make a $500 minimum donation Old Souls per animal?
We require a $500 donation for each dog that we accept from the public. Caring for old sick dogs is expensive, and you are giving up your dog at the most expensive time in its life. $500 is a mere fraction of what we will spend on your dog in one year. So before you ask us to take in your dog, know that you will be responsible for providing this minimal donation.
6. Are you giving up the animal because you are moving?
We will not take in dogs that are being surrendered because the owner is moving, unless they are moving into a nursing home or hospice care. Moving is the most common reason why people give up their pets. If you are planning on moving, look into housing that is pet friendly. Many apartment complexes and landlords do allow pets. It may be a bit more challenging to find, but it is worth the commitment and bond you made to your pet. Old Souls has moved 3 times with no fewer than 8 dogs, 4 cats, 1 pig, 2 birds, 3 tortoises, and other animals. If we can do it, so can you.
7. Are you giving up the animal because you are getting married, divorced, having a baby, or experiencing other life events?
We will not take in dogs that are being surrendered because the owner is getting married or divorced, having a baby, or undergoing any other normal life events. Sadly, pets are left homeless each day due to these lifestyle changes. You made a lifetime commitment to your pet when you took him/her into your home. Consider putting your dog into daycare or hiring a dog walker to give him/her some exercise and attention during these times of change, or hire a trainer to help the dog and new baby get used to each other. Giving up your dog should not be an option. Please look out for our education workshops for more information and advice on how to care for older dogs!
8. Are you giving up the animal because he/she has behavioral problems?
We will not take in dogs that are being surrendered due to behavioral problems. Most behavior problems can be solved with proper training and advice from a behavior specialist or veterinarian.
If you answered YES to questions 1-5, and NO to questions 6-8, then it is possible that we might take in your animal. Read on to learn more about what kinds of animals we take in, and why we have to say no to others. If your animal qualifies, then please contact us.
Nothing is more important to us than the well-being of the animals in our care. Hospice animals who come to Old Souls will peacefully live out their days with us, surrounded by love and receiving the best care possible. That is a huge responsibility and one that we don't take lightly. As a result of limited resources, we cannot take in every dog that people want to surrender to us. We are a completely volunteer-run organization, and the rescue is located in our home. Paula works a full-time job to keep a roof over Old Souls and to put human food on the table, while Isaac works 24 hours/day as the Director of Operations for no paycheck, with no holidays, no vacations, and often without even a thank you. Every day we take care of up to 50 animals, with volunteers helping us for only 2-3 hours per day, but sometimes with no help at all. Without our volunteers, we couldn't do this. We are incredibly grateful to our volunteers, our donors, and all those who support us.
While we feel sympathy for owners who think they need to give up their animals, we will not take on more animals than we are realistically able to care for. Nor will we adopt out or foster out animals without conducting extensive home visits and background checks just to make room for new animals. We receive phone calls, emails, and Facebook messages many times each day from owners, shelters, and people who monitor shelter websites regarding dogs that they would like us to take in. It weighs heavily on us that we can't say yes to everyone, especially when there is a dog that we know should be with us. But it's simply not realistic for us to say yes without having enough foster homes, volunteers, and a constant income of donations.
Bringing an animal into your home is a lifetime commitment. If you genuinely need to find a new home for your dog, consider what you are asking of us or of any rescue that you contact. Think of the time, effort, people, and funding we will need to keep your dog (and every dog in our care) truly comfortable in their final days. It hurts us deeply to say no to an animal who needs us, but we must remain realistic. If you have an emergency or an urgent need that falls within our mission statement please contact us and we will do our very best to help you.
Isaac and Paula Rivadeneira,
Old Souls Animal Rescue and Retirement Home