Jackson woman turns home into ‘retirement house’ for elderly or abandoned pets

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Sally Fullerton, a 64-year old resident of Jackson, is a true lover of animals. In her lifetime, she’s owned multiple dogs and cats, and has always loved their companionship. In recent times, Mrs Fullerton has become concerned about the welfare of older pets, and those that get abandoned

While there are already many animal shelters that try to care for these animals, sometimes they refused to accept ageing dogs and cats because there is so little demand for these particular animals from potential adoptees.

She realised, due to their advanced age and various medical conditions, there was an influx of animals in her vicinity in Mississippi who never get moved on to a different loving home. Sally, unable to tolerate this, began a pet sanctuary for senior dogs and cats in 2013.

The sanctuary, named Old Pet’s Club, has become a loving retirement home for life to elderly pets– no strings attached. Supported by over 45 volunteers, the team walk, bathe, and care for the two dozen dogs, while cleaning and maintaining Sally’s house.

Their mission is simple: “to provide senior and special needs pets with a loving and caring home where they will be allowed to live out their lives in a secure, nurturing environment”.

“We have dogs and cats, advanced in years, come to live with us until the end of their life and we make sure that the end of their life is full of love and caring, lots of attention, and make sure they get all the medical care they need,” Mrs Fullerton said.

She is so dedicated to the cause that she seldom leaves her home, preferring to instead stay with the animals, who she describes as ‘her babies’.

“I couldn’t live in a world where these loyal, sweet creatures, who have spent years accompanying their owners, are abandoned and left to pass away in a cramped shelter,” she told journalists. “It was something that was bugging me for years, and I’m so glad that I have been able to give something back to these beautiful animals.”

Mrs Fullerton’s volunteers speak of nothing but praise for her work, saying she is an inspiration to the whole community. “When I first heard what she was doing, I knew I had to come and help,” said 29-year old Magda Ling, who was one of the first volunteers to help at the Old Pet’s Club. “When I told my friends, a lot of them wanted to volunteer as well.”

Since Mrs Fullerton started her home for abandoned pets in 2013, she estimates that she’s welcomed over 130 cats and dogs to her property. “At first the demand was overwhelming, and we had to turn some away,” she said. “However, I have been blessed to have the support of the volunteers and the community, who made all this possible. Without them I wouldn’t have been able to care for a handful of the pets that have come through her over the years.”

Speaking about the future, Mrs Fullerton hopes her idea will spread to other communities throughout Mississippi, the United States, and even the world. “I’m sure that there are countless elderly and abandoned pets in cities throughout the world that don’t have a happy and safe home to go to. It’s a way of giving something back after I’ve been blessed to spend years of my life with my own pets.”

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