Carie Broecker: Executive Director of Peace of Mind Dog Rescue

Peace of Mind Dog Rescue is on a mission to help senior dogs and senior people. Their programs help elderly keep their pets as they age, or help the pets find new, loving homes if they can’t be cared for by their owner anymore. POMDR also takes senior dogs out of shelters to give them the attention they need and find them forever homes. Carie started POMDR so that seniors don’t have to worry about the safety of their pets when they’re no longer with us. Learn more here!

Can you tell me about how POMDR started?


I started watching a 7-year-old dog named Savannah for her owner, Alice, when she would travel. Alice ended up developing emphysema and spent a lot of time in the hospital. I took care of Savannah while Alice was sick and brought her to visit as much as I could. When Alice found out that she would be moved to hospice, she was distraught thinking about what would happen to her dog. I assured her that I would find a great new home for Savannah, and she had such peace of mind knowing that her dog wouldn’t end up in a shelter or euthanized. That’s how I came up with the idea for POMDR. My co-founder Monica and I had been working in animal rescue for years and knew that this was a niche that needed our help. It was Monica’s idea to expand the focus to include rescuing senior dogs from shelters, that way we are helping both senior dogs and senior people.


What kind of assistance do you provide seniors and their pets?


We take in dogs from senior people who can’t care for them anymore, and take in senior dogs from shelters where they are often overlooked. We want to preserve the human and animal bond for people, so our Helping Paw program keeps people and dogs together as long as possible. We provide financial assistance for people to pay for vet care, we have volunteers who walk dogs if the owner isn’t able to, and we have a temporary foster program for people who are recovering from illness or surgery and need time to get back on their feet before taking their dog back. If the person can’t care for the dog anymore, they surrender the dog to us and we find it a new home.


POMDR works to change the narrative around senior dogs. What do you want people to know about them?


The dogs that we rescue are 6+ years old; we’ve had some that are as old as 15-20. Some younger dogs are also surrendered to us from senior owners. There comes a point when a senior dog is easier to care for than a puppy: they are easier to house train (or are already house trained), they need less exercise, they are familiar with how the world works, and they are so grateful to be in a loving home. They have a sense of wisdom, especially dogs that have jumped from home to home or have spent a long time in shelter. Senior dogs are also much calmer than puppies and make for an easier transition for adopters. That being said, once senior dogs get to a certain level of age, they start to have health issues and can have mobility issues. There’s a sweet spot where it’s really easy, and then it gets hard. For people who are fostering or adopting with us, they need to understand the aging process, especially people who haven’t had a dog before.


What are POMDR’s plans for the future?


It’s the best feeling to help dogs who really need us and bring adopters and dogs together to form forever families. I want to reach as many dogs as possible, because saying no to a dog because we don’t have the resources is so heartbreaking. We run off private donations, which mostly fund the medical care for our dogs. Looking ahead, we hope to build a home-like center with acreage so that we could host 30-40 dogs at a time. It would be a facility of our own where the dogs can live together in harmony. People could visit the dogs and decide who to adopt, our vet could do rounds on dogs with health issues, and volunteers could come to walk and play with the dogs. That’s our big dream right now, and we can only get there with the help of donors and volunteers. They do so much for us and we’re so grateful.