Grey Muzzles: York County SPCA receives grant to help older dogs

Anthony Maenza
York Dispatch

Giving old dogs new hope in their waning years is the goal of The Grey Muzzle Organization — and the group is willing to put its money on the line to back that up.

The York County SPCA has received a $10,000 grant from the group to help local senior dogs.

York County SPCA spokesperson Kristen Dempwolf said it was the first time the local organization had applied for the grant.

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The local SPCA was one of 78 organizations to receive Grey Muzzle Grants, which are funds that specifically target reducing the amount of time older dogs spend in shelters and improving health care opportunities for them while they are in a shelter’s care.York County SPCA was chosen from among 344 applicants to receive a grant.

“We are thrilled to have been awarded the Grey Muzzle Grant. With the help of this grant, we hope to overcome hesitations and ease any concerns people may have about adopting a senior dog,” said York County SPCA Shelter Medical Director Dr. Natalie Weekes said in a statement. “Medical issues in older animals are always a concern, so giving us the ability to alleviate some of that by providing thorough care is great.”

Weekes stated she is looking forward to helping more senior dogs get a second chance.

York County SPCA currently has 17 dogs classified as "senior dogs," Dempwolf said, meaning dogs that are 7 years old or older. Of the 17, eight are considered "super senior" dogs, she said, which are dogs 10 years old or older.

Rocky, an 8-year-old male terrier/pit bull mix, is available for adoption at York County SPCA in Manchester Township, Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2022. Dawn J. Sagert/The York Dispatch

Eight of these 17 dogs are currently available for adoption on the SPCA website. 

"So far in 2022, we have had 170 senior dogs in our care; of those, 75 were super seniors," Dempwolf said.

The Grey Muzzle Organization has handed out $3.8 million in grants over the past 14 years to support care for older dogs.

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“Thanks to the generosity of our donors, we’re delighted to help deserving organizations like York County SPCA make a difference in the lives of dogs and people in their communities,” Grey Muzzle’s Executive Director Lisa Lunghofer said in a statement. “Many senior dogs in York County are enjoying their golden years in loving homes thanks to the wonderful work of the York County SPCA.”

— Reach Anthony Maenza at or @atmaenza on Twitter.