Young at Heart Pet Rescue

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Dear Friends,

I am so incredibly excited to announce that the future for homeless senior pets just became a whole lot brighter!

Young at Heart Pet Rescue has officially purchased 8 acres of beautiful land in unincorporated Woodstock, just minutes from downtown Crystal Lake. These 8 acres will eventually become home to a serene oasis for senior dogs and cats in need of rescue – an adoption center, sanctuary and grounds designed specifically for senior pets aged 7 years and older.

We have worked our tails off since our founding in 2005 to make sure that your generous support has helped to provide the highest standard of care to our senior pets awaiting loving homes. At the same time, we have also worked towards securing a future where a larger number of senior pets can be helped. Today, we are one step closer to our goal of building a facility especially for senior pets, and we have you to thank for that.

In next week’s e-newsletter, we’ll show you around the land a bit more in photos. Though it will take a mighty effort on the part of our supporters and volunteers to raise the funds needed for a facility, we are so excited to begin the next step in our journey to secure a better future for senior pets in need.

Thank you for believing that senior pets deserve a second chance and for your continued support of Young at Heart’s mission to rescue and rehome senior dogs and cats.Congratulations on making such an amazing difference for homeless senior dogs and cats.

Dawn Kemper
Executive Director
Young At Heart Pet Rescue

Read more about The Future Home of Young at Heart! Click Here!



One of Young at Heart’s long-term goals is to build a adoption center for senior pets that includes a physical sanctuary where older dogs and cats that are too far along in life or have too many medical needs can live out their years being loved, happy, and safe. Imagine a 15 year old dog or a 17 year old cat, once dumped by their family with no hope of ever making it out of a pound alive, living out their golden years in a place full of love and laughter, with room to roam and stretch, where ear scratches and belly rubs know no bounds. This place, this Sanctuary, is one that Young At Heart is constantly working towards.

Young At Heart created “A Sanctuary of the Heart”, a sanctuary program where foster families with enormous hearts agree to take on the lifetime care commitment of one of our pets that is happy and has many years left, but may not be considered “adoptable” by many people. These dogs and cats will receive all the medical care, love, and attention they need for the rest of their lives, cared for by their Sanctuary Homes, and financially supported by Young At Heart.

The dogs and cats in our sanctuary program have been rescued from pounds and shelters with the intention of being adopted out, but medical issues have prevented them from becoming fully adoptable. SANCTUARY HOMES ARE NOT AVAILABLE FOR DOGS AND CATS FROM OUTSIDE YOUNG AT HEART’S ADOPTION PROGRAM.

With a BIG HEART, you can help us build our Sanctuary!

Meet Our Sanctuary Residents!


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My elderly mom couldn’t take care of me any more, so I ended up at the pound. I was really scared and almost didn’t end up leaving the pound (if you know what I mean!), but luckily YAH came along and saved me.

Read the rest of Howie's story


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Rescued in December 2011, a broken and depressed senior shepherd named Nellie stole the hearts of everyone who saw her video online. YAH rescued her, and began a slow and rewarding journey of helping her blossom into a dog that constantly smiled. In April 2012, Nellie was diagnosed with Melanoma after several months of emotional rehab. After coming so far, and finally exuding happiness wherever she went, it was the obvious choice to treat Nellie’s cancer and make her a Sanctuary Dog.

Read the rest of Nellie's story


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Howdy! I’m Dorothy, and I’m a true wiggle-butt! This 10-year-old Rottweiler’s little nub wiggles non-stop! I am such a sweet girl, and when Young at Heart rescued me from the pound, I was quite the train wreck. But after a lot of TLC, most of my issues were treated, and I waited for months to be adopted, to no avail. With my arthritis advancing rapidly, and me finally a part of my foster dad’s pack, I officially became a Young at Heart Sanctuary dog.

Read the rest of Dorothy's story


Hi there! Are you wondering whose the best wiggly butt in the midwest? That would be me! I’m Ronna (pronounced Roan-a), and I am such an adorable little girl. My favorite thing in the whole world is snuggling, so I hope you are interested in having a love bug join your family. I’m a beautiful […]

Read the rest of Ronna's story


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Hi there! I’m Duke, and I’m one handsome guy! I’m a 12 year old lab mix with a very sweet disposition and gentle demeanor. My owner passed away and I ended up at the pound, but Young at Heart rescued me. Unfortunately, right after Young at Heart rescued me, I was diagnosed with hemangiosarcoma, an […]

Read the rest of Duke's story


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Sprout came to Young at Heart somewhere between the age of 12-14 years. This funny little chihuahua/boston terrier mix stole everyone’s hearts. Because of a Mast Cell Tumor, Sprout became a Sanctuary Pet in August of 2011.

Read the rest of Sprout's story

Tiki Yoda

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Tiki was rescued from a shelter in downstate IL, a cute little snuggle bug with a cough that was initially thought to be kennel cough. We had a family interested in him, but we didn’t want to send Tiki home with a cough. The family waited, and so did we. Tiki continued to cough.

Read the rest of Tiki Yoda's story

Sweet Galena

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Sweet Galena came to Young at Heart in 2006 when a local animal welfare agency was forced to close its doors. The oldest of the cats at the time, no other group was willing to take this petite little fireball. Young at Heart took her in, not knowing the amount of care this little girl would soon need to figure out just what was ailing her…

Read the rest of Sweet Galena's story


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Fredd came to Young at Heart in August of 2008, a beautiful boy who had been a puppy mill stud, cast aside when his legs were no longer up to the task of repeatedly breeding. You see, Fredd had been kicked, and whether his breeder knew it or not, Fredd COULDN’T use his legs well- because that kick had caused massive damage to his spinal cord.

Read the rest of Fredd's story

Minnie Pearl

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Shortly after rescuing her, Minnie was diagnosed with an inoperable mast cell tumor under her jaw. Because of her age and her condition, it was decided she should live out her days in comfort and surrounded by those her love her most. And so, Minnie became a Sanctuary Resident at Young at Heart.

Read the rest of Minnie Pearl's story


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Hi there! I’m Cinnamon, and I came to Young at Heart from a local pound in early December, 2009 after waiting there for months on end for a home of my own. Even though I was a sweet and beautiful kitty, my age scared everyone away.

Read the rest of Cinnamon's story


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I can remember the phone call like it was yesterday. “I don’t know if you can help her, she can barely walk, but she won’t have a chance anywhere else.” The phone call came in the coldest snap of January 2008. Natalie, as we named her, had been found in a climate controlled storage facility, matted to the bone and barely able to walk. Could we help her?

Read the rest of Natalie's story


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Lady came to us exactly a year ago after being surrendered to a local pound by her owner. Lady had allergies, and her owner could not afford to feed her or medicate her any longer. When we agreed to take Lady in, we figured a diet change and some allergy meds would do the trick.

Read the rest of Lady's story


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Sparky was a 14 year old border collie/pointer mix who was abandoned by her family at the vet to be euthanized because she was “too old” and they were done taking care of her. Little did they know that Sparky was simply a diabetic and needed insulin, and whatever “old dog” problems they had with her were easily treatable. But when they were alerted to the simple treatment, they didn’t care. They were done, and besides, they had two other dogs to keep them occupied, including a new puppy.

Read the rest of Sparky's story


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Ginger was originally rescued when Young At Heart was looking for a dog that would fit the needs of a local assisted living facility; We were looking for a kind-hearted dog who was gentle with people of all ages, housebroken, obedient, and had that special “something” that just made your heart swell. Ginger had been […]

Read the rest of Ginger's story


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Omar was our first Sanctuary Pet and will be in our hearts forever.

Omar started out as a cute little schnauzer mix who needed to be bailed out of the pound because he was “too old” to be adopted out, and his life was hanging in the balance. We were inundated with requests to take him- from the shelter workers to the volunteers, to the transport teams- everybody wanted us to save Omar from a terribly certain future. How could we say no?

Read the rest of Omar's story


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I’m Jojo, a very sweet and calm blond puggle. I’m about 10 years old, and I was dropped off at the pound with my best buddy, a sheltie. Another group rescued the sheltie, but left me behind. Luckily, Young at Heart Rescue made me one of their sanctuary dogs, so now I’m safe too!

Read the rest of Jojo's story


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I’m Smoochie, and I am a wonderful 11-year-old male cocker spaniel. I am the cutest little butterball, but I have been diagnosed with lung cancer. So my foster mom is now my forever Sanctuary Mom, and I’ll be able to live out my days surrounded by love and family.

Read the rest of Smoochie's story

Home Sweet Home

wish of a lifetime

A Home Away From Home
Just for Senior Pets:
Be a Part of Something Amazing. Click here!

They’re Finally Here!

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Connect with Young at Heart on the web: – If you don’t give back no one will like you. See what it’s all about. – Sign up to be a part of our Facebook community! – Follow Young at Heart for the latest tweets about the rescue! – Check out the latest Young at Heart gear! – View Young at Heart’s e-Newsletter archive


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