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January 20, 2021
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A special place for hospice and special needs dogs

By: Stephanie Derammelaere
March 20, 2020

Wonder Dog Rescue, a 30-year old dog rescue in San Francisco, has moved to a new location in Penngrove, and will continue its mission of rescuing, fostering, and finding forever homes for dogs. The non-profit organization focuses especially on those dogs that need hospice care or have special needs, as well as those who are at the greatest risk of euthanasia in the shelters due to medical issues, both physical and emotional. 

“What’s happened over the years is that often we would be offered dogs that would have physical ailments,” says Linda Beenau, Founder of Wonder Dog Rescue. “A lot of rescues want the really cute, adoptable dogs so initially I was a little dismayed thinking these dogs would be difficult to adopt out. But the gift in that is that it led me to a love of the special needs and the hospice dogs. And that’s what I came up here to do. We still intend to have younger, adoptable dogs and special needs and hospice dogs are still adoptable, but you can imagine it’s not everyone’s first choice.”

The five-acre farm currently has five dogs, three pigs and four mini-horses, that come from a variety of shelters, many from the central valley and from individuals that have to surrender their pets for numerous different reasons. Many of the animals they receive have special medical needs such as deafness, blindness, congestive heart disease, or other injuries. For these animals Beenau wants to offer the same quality of life, love and compassion that we extend to people who are in hospice care or in medical need.

“We are contacted daily by numerous shelters and individuals,” says Beenau. “People who have to surrender a dog, people whose Mom died and nobody in the family can take the dog and they don’t want to send it to the shelter. The animal is grieving and is frightened, so we don’t want the dog to end up there. So, the dogs that meet our criteria get to come in to either the adoptable or the special needs/hospice program. Not all special needs dogs are seniors. You can easily have a two-year old dog that has a seizure disorder and that I would consider special needs.”

The sanctuary is currently in need of volunteers to do everything from petting and cuddling the animals, to feeding and mucking stalls. They will hold an orientation and training March 28 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at their location on 287 Davis Lane in Penngrove for anyone interested in volunteering. Interested participants are encouraged to RSVP to sanctuary@wonderdogrescue.org. The rescue is also continually looking for foster care families to care for dogs temporarily, or in some cases, long-term.

Wonder Dog Rescue will also be hosting an open house April 26 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. RSVPs are encouraged. THE ABOVE DATES HAVE BEEN CANCELLED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.