They say time waits for no man, but it also waits for no dog, either. Older dogs who develop health problems later in life are increasingly finding themselves without a safe place to call home. Whether it’s an owner surrender or simply bad luck, so many older and geriatric dogs are left to roam the streets or even spend their last years in a local animal shelter. Thanks to one woman’s generosity, some of those dogs have a warm place to call home, even in their golden years.
Kim Skarritt owns a hospice center for dogs called the Silver Muzzle Cottage in Elk Rapids, Michigan. The facility is geared specifically to older dogs and is a cage-free environment for them to lives out their lives even if they have major health problems. Though it is the only such facility in Michigan and one of just a few dog hospice centers in the United States, it is still making a difference in the lives of older dogs.
The idea for the Silver Muzzle Cottage was born from a compelling need, after a local shelter noticed an alarming pattern. Many owners were giving up their old and sometimes sick dogs or simply leaving them near the facility. Owner Kim Skarritt saw a need and filled it, turning an old storage building and outfitting it with couches and all the comforts of home for dogs.
So, what kind of dogs comes to the Silver Muzzle Cottage? Any dog, it turns out: whether they are surrendered by their owners or their owner passes away it does not matter. The Cottage accepts every single dog they can. In all, the facility has taken in over 70 dogs. Many of them are ill and some are even near death, but the Silver Muzzle Cottage gives them a place to rest their head and live the rest of their lives out in comfort and love.